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Battle of Traflagar

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As a result of abandoning his aspirations to expand France into the New World Napoleon was able to focus all of his efforts to Europe. Napoleon captured parts of Italy and the Austrian Netherlands. These actions caused fear to arise in Russia, Austria, and Sweden which caused them to agree to join forces with the British. After further terrorizing the countries that agreed to join forces with Britain, the countries were forced to sign peace treaties with Napoleon. This left Britain as France's only major enemy.

Following Napoleon's brief streak of success came his only major defeat in battle. This naval defeat took place in 1805 off of the southwest coast of Spain. Horatio Nelson, the British commander, was superior to Napoleon at sea because Nelson was as bright of a commander at sea as Napoleon was on land. Horatio Nelson's main strategy was to separate the denser French fleet. In this way Nelson was able to capture many French ships, approximately two-thirds of the French fleet.

This French defeat ultimately had two major effects. One result was the guarantee of British navy supremacy throughout the next 100 years. Another outcome caused by the defeat was that this forced Napoleon to abandon his plans of invading Britain. This pressed Napoleon to create a new way to control his powerful enemy across the English Chanel. Because of this growth his size over such a short amount of time the French Empire proved to be very unstable. The French Empire quickly fell apart in 1812, mostly because of Napoleon's actions.



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