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Current time:0:00Total duration:16:18

Video transcript

Where we left off in the last video, Napoleon was doing pretty well. In 1804, just as a bit of review, he declared himself Emperor Napoleon I. And then, the whole last video was about the Third Coalition that formed in 1805. And we saw that at the end of 1805, after the Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon was able to crush the Third Coalition, which was mainly made up of Russia and Austria. And this is all review. We saw this in the last video. And the big by-product of that, other than the fact that it just made everyone think gee, this Napoleon guy, he's pretty formidable, is that it ended the Holy Roman Empire. Which you remember was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. It was really just a collection of German speaking states. But it ended the official Holy Roman Empire. And Napoleon felt so good about himself at this point, especially after crushing the Austrian and Russian forces at Austerlitz, that he had the Arc de Triomphe, which if you go to Paris right now, it's one of the things you should see. He had this built. And now it's to commemorate all of the soldiers who have died for France. But it was originally built by Napoleon, or it was commissioned by Napoleon, to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz. So this is the Arc de Triomphe. My spelling is always a little weak. But it's especially weak when I'm spelling something in French. And that's right there. So Napoleon was doing pretty well. Now, on the other side of the equation, you could imagine that the other major powers of Europe were kind of licking their wounds. They weren't sure what was going on and they were starting to feel threatened. And in particular, this guy started to feel especially threatened. This is Frederick-- once again my spelling is not the strongest, especially when I'm doing something in German-- Frederick Wilhelm III. It actually took me a long time to realize that Wilhelm and William are the same names. And William is just the English version of it. But this is Frederick Wilhelm III and he is the King of Prussia. And he stayed out of the action during the Third Coalition. And even now, Prussia is a major European power. And he gets threatened by this rising power of Napoleon, who was able to break up, or almost take away Austria's influence from the Holy Roman Empire. And now it kind of becomes this Confederation of the Rhine. Let me show you the map. So this whole area over here. All of this right over here, which is now mainly modern day Germany, that used to be the Holy Roman Empire, it's emperor was the King of Austria, who wasn't necessarily in it, but it kind of implies some type of allegiance. This is France right here. Once he was able to trounce Austria in Austerlitz-- Austria and Russia-- then this becomes the Confederation of the Rhine. Let me highlight this a little bit better. So this general area. Holy Roman Empire no longer exists. And it now becomes kind of a satellite region of France. France has a huge amount of control. So you could imagine that the King of Prussia starts getting a little bit threatened. France is on its borders, it has shown itself to be able to defeat other great powers with ease. So this guy gets a little paranoid whether he feels that France might kind of threaten Prussia's power. Or maybe on the other side of the equation, that he just didn't like this upstart who was not related to all of the other royalty of Europe. He maybe wanted to put him in his place. So Frederick Wilhelm III declares war. We're now in 1806. We have Prussia declares war on France. And you're going to see this pattern multiple times. And the one thing to kind of remember, if you just want to remember kind of major themes. We're always talking about the First Coalition, Second Coalition, Third Coalition, Fourth Coalition, all of these. And it's always some combination of Britain. And Britain has kind of already dominated the ocean. So when we talk about these battles on land, we're not talking about Britain much. But this whole time, Britain is in the background trying to be a pain in France's neck. And then all the other coalitions are some combination of Prussia, Austria, and Russia. And some other countries here and there. But you see one after another that they keep challenging Napoleon up to this point. And Napoleon keeps trouncing them, takes more and more land and territory and power from them. And they get even more insecure and then they want to form other coalitions. So this happens again. And this is the start of the Fourth Coalition. In the last video, it was the third. This is now the formation of the fourth. And essentially, the coalition forms as soon as someone else other than Great Britain joins the fight. Because Great Britain is kind of in a continuous war with Napoleon over this entire time period. So we've got this Fourth Coalition that forms. We've got Prussia, we've got Great Britain, and Russia wants to join the fight again. So as you can imagine, the end of the Third Coalition didn't keep Russia out of the fight for long. Let me write it down. You have Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain. There's always some other actors, but these are the major ones. And it was kind of silly on the part of Prussia. Because Prussia would've been in a much better situation if it had helped the Third Coalition. Maybe that would have changed the outcome. But now they're kind of taking on Napoleon, at least initially on their own. Because Russia is always kind of behind Austria or Prussia, depending which coalition you're talking about. So Prussia and Austria are always the first line of offense. In this case, in the Fourth Coalition, it's Prussia. And they get trounced in Jena-Auerstedt. Let me show you where that is. So this is actually Napoleon getting the troops together at Jena-Auerstedt. This right here is a charge of the French troops there. Let me write this down. Two cities close by each other in Germany. They are roughly around here. Let's see, this map is a little difficult to read. But they're roughly in that area right there. Napoleon, once again, he trounces Prussia. So Prussia is just out of the way. That's in October of 1806. And then Napoleon essentially chases the Russians through most of what's now Poland. He has this hugely bloody stalemate at Eylau. I don't even know how to say that. It's right around there. If I read my maps correctly. So a stalemate. This is in 1807. Stalemate, February 1807 at-- let me get the spelling right, E-Y-L-A-U. Super bloody. They actually win the battle. But they aren't able to decisively defeat the Russian troops, or the Russian army. And there are estimates that in that one battle, there's anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 casualties on both sides. Which was huge at that time. Even now, if you think about even modern wars, that's a major amount of casualties to have in just one single battle. But Napoleon persists, and he's eventually able to decisively meet the Russians at Friedland, which is right about there. That is in June of 1807. And then he's able to decisively defeat the Fourth Coalition. So here we we're kind of at the summer of 1807. We're talking about June is when Friedland occurs, Russians decisively defeated. The Prussians were already trounced several months ago. And then in July of '07, July of 1807, you have France signing the Treaties of Tilsit. And it's called the Treaties of Tilsit, instead of the Treaty of Tilsit, because he signed separate treaties with Russia and Prussia. At this point, Napoleon had kind of lost all respect for Prussia. And he wanted to show it. So he had a separate treaty with Prussia and a separate treaty with Russia. The one with Russia was a lot more respectable. It had all this language about how Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I are now friends. This is Tsar Alexander I right here. And as you'll see, this friendship is very temporary. As you could imagine, I mean this is the guy Napoleon defeated at Austerlitz not too long ago. So all this friendship should probably be written in quotes. But the treaty with Russia was very friendly. And I think Napoleon still respected Russia's power. So friendly with Russia, it declared them allies. But the other Treaty of Tilsit with Prussia carved it up. Carved up Prussia. And the main thing it did, if we look at this map here, this is a map of central Europe. Or I guess Prussia and Austria and France at the end of the Third Coalition. The main thing it did, it took the territory west of the river Elbe from Prussia. So this is the river Elbe right here. The blue is Prussia after the Third Coalition. So all of this stuff gets taken away from Prussia. And most of it turns into a French satellite kingdom called the Kingdom of Westphalia. So this is part of the Prussian Treaty of Tilsit. So you have the Kingdom of Westphalia. And to really emphasize, it really is a French satellite state. And to add insult to injury to the Prussians, Napoleon puts his brother Jerome as king. So it really is a satellite state of France. So here at the end of this, the other powers in Europe haven't learned that this Napoleon character with his grand army, this huge army that he's been able to raise and his military tactics, really is someone formidable to deal with. So they keep, Third Coalition, and then they lose territory. Then the Fourth Coalition, then they lose even more territory. So what happens at the end of this Fourth Coalition, and actually during the Fourth Coalition, after Napoleon defeated Prussia, he realized gee, you know what? I have, I'm in either direct control or indirect control of a significant part of Europe. And at the same time, he knew that Britain had complete domination of the oceans. And it was this kind of rising industrial power. It was the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So Napoleon's ideas, well I can't defeat Great Britain on the waters. Did I say Russia? No I've been saying-- the whole point is that Great Britain is dominant on the oceans. And Napoleon realizes that he can't invade Great Britain by sea. He can't do anything in the water with Great Britain kind of pestering him. So what he tries to do is declare economic warfare on Great Britain. And he institutes at the end of 1806, the Continental System. So I'll put this right here. This is in November of 1806. So this is right after he trounces the Prussians at Jena-Auerstedt. This is in November of 1806, where he's feeling really good about his strength on the actual continent. He institutes what he calls the Continental System. And this is really just the notion of economic warfare with Great Britain. That hey, if you are either a part of the French Empire, controlled by the French Empire, or aligned with the French Empire, you embargo Great Britain. This little island, it controls the waters, but it is dependant on trade. So Napoleon's idea through this Continental System is to embargo the United Kingdom of Great Britain, whatever we want to call it. Embargo Great Britain. And one thing he got out of the Russians, this was actually a huge concession, because Russia was a major power at the time. He got them, through the Treaty of Tilsit, to also join the Continental System. Let me write that in a color that'll actually show up. And in return, he also got some land, some islands, the Ionian Islands off the western coast of Greece. And some of the land off the Dalmatian coast. Let me show you right there. So this area over here. And Russia in return, and it's pretty good because Russia essentially lost the war, but in return they were allowed to do whatever they want with the Ottoman Empire. And we'll talk more about the Ottoman Empire in future videos, but if you want to have a general view of what the Ottoman Empire is, I guess the last remnant of it is what is today modern Turkey. But obviously it was an empire at that time. But Russia and the Ottoman Empire were kind of that at odds with each other. So it was great for Russia to say hey, I'm going to be able to do whatever I want with the Ottoman Empire. Because before this, Napoleon was nominally aligned with the Ottomans. So this was actually a big concession for Russia. So at the end of this, we have a situation once again, I guess the other powers don't realize it. Over and over, Third Coalition, Napoleon, he really takes care of the Russians and the Austrians. Destroys the Holy Roman Empire, makes it the Confederation of the Rhine under Napoleon's control. Prussia wants to put down Napoleon. Declares war again, Fourth Coalition. The only by-product of that is now they lose this land. Napoleon becomes even stronger. Puts his brother as king in the kingdom of Westphalia. And now he has Russia as an ally to help his embargo on England. So really, after the end of the Fourth Coalition, a lot of historians view this as kind of the height of Napoleon's power in Europe.