Hi, welcome back. Make yourself comfortable. So, last week, we talked a lot about the democratic revolutions. This week, we're going to spend some time on a period of revolutionary wars. Now the standard way of writing about this would be to talk about the Napoleonic wars in Europe. And, we'll do some of that next. But, my argument to you is that the most important implication of these wars for world history are not the battles going back and forth in Europe. The most important aspect of this period for world history is what these wars meant for the fate of North America, South America, and India. Now see these wars as the convergence of the big three trends we did last time and the week before: think of them as the convergence of Commercial Revolution, Military Revolution, democratic revolutions, all coming together now in a tumultuous struggle that originates in Europe but has these rippling implications for the fate of a lot of the rest of the world. Where I want to start is, let's talk about what happens in North America because the pivotal episode for North America occurs relatively early on, really actually centered around the years 1802 and 1803. Alright. Let's set the scene for what's happening here. Time period: late 1790s. Early 1790s, you've got the initial war of the monarchies against the brand new French Republic. That's the early 1790s. That war, sometimes called the War of the First Coalition, subsides by the middle of the 1790s. Both sides regroup. War resumes in the second half of the 1790s, continuing to about 1801. So that period, let's say, 1796 to 1801, that's sometimes called the War of the Second Coalition. This is a period in which there's a lot of thinking going on as to how to expand the theaters of war. And a lot of that thinking was centered on the Americas. Let's just take a look at the situation in the Americas and the different ambitions that various empires had there. So here is a snapshot of the way the Western Hemisphere looked in the year 1800. You see that the Spanish possessions, which are marked in purple, are enormous. One important point is coming out of the Peace of 1763. The Spanish domain had really expanded in North America. So that the Spanish have added Florida, here, and they've added what was French Louisiana, covering this territory out here. To what had been the Vice Royalty of New Spain. You see the Portuguese possession, Brazil. This area at the southern cone of South America is basically unoccupied. And then the different colonies of the British and the Spanish in the West Indies, with the French holding their prized possession, Saint Domingue. But Saint Domingue is convulsed by a slave revolt that has overthrown the original French slaveholding aristocracy there and is depriving revolutionary France of the riches of what had been the richest colony in the entire Western Hemisphere. But the big geopolitical fact to keep in mind, in the late 1790s, is that Spain was seen as weak by the British Empire and the French Empire, alike. It was seen as weak partly, simply because of misrule in Spain. Spain had actually had relatively strong leadership and had done well in the Americas in the 1760s, 1770s, and 1780s. But by the 1790s, the Spanish monarchy had come under the rule of Charles IV who was, well, idiot might be too strong a word. But, incompetent would not be too strong. So the Spanish government increasingly is dominated by this man, Manuel Godoy. This is Godoy: that's spelled G-O-D-O-Y. Godoy made his way to court as an attractive young guardsman. He became the lover of the queen and the favorite adviser of the king, who may or may not have understood that Godoy was very much his queen's favorite. But the king allowed Godoy to influence his actions, as well. This painting kind of captures the somewhat indolent figure of Godoy. He's portrayed, of course, in his resplendent finery, but Goya has captured a little bit of the spirit of the man as it was perceived by his contemporaries. So the British and French are eyeing a situation where the Spanish monarchy has lost its vigor. It's being steered by a minister whom these empires regard with a good deal of contempt. And they see this as an area of opportunity for them. The first empire to make their really big moves in the Western Hemisphere are actually the British. The British, who were back at war again with Spain, which had fought France earlier in the 1790s and then made peace with France and was their ally in this war of the Second Coalition. The British choose to try to seize rich Saint Domingue using their great colony in Jamaica as their base for their attack here. The British also seize upon unrest by the rich trading port of Buenos Aires to try to implant another foothold in the Western Hemisphere, landing troops there, as well. Both of these very costly expeditions by the British end up resulting in complete failure. They have to withdraw their troops from Saint Domingue, yielding the field to the former slaves who now dominate the place. And they also have to withdraw their troops and even surrender a garrison eventually, ignominiously, in Buenos Aires, against the now-aroused populace, which was increasingly disgusted with Spanish rule but wasn't very fond of taking on British rule instead. Now Iï¿½m going into these British failures a little bit because that's going to be really important, in that the British, frustrated by their failures in the Western Hemisphere, are going to shift their gaze more east, to India. That's going to become a very important decision. But what I want to focus on right now is the way the French start thinking about this part of the world. All right, let's start with Bonaparte's plan in the late 1790s and the turn of the new century. Just take a moment and think about the world in the way Bonaparte might have perceived it around say 1799, 1800, along with his chief foreign policy adviser, a man named Talleyrand. He looks around. What does he value? He would like France to have a powerful, wealthy overseas empire. He sees the advantages the British are gaining from that. He looks around. You do the reality judgments and action judgments. What's the situation? Where can France hope to gain an overseas empire? Bonaparte himself had just led an invasion of Egypt in 1798. That fails by 1799, a failure from which Bonaparte himself barely escaped. So he's made a big effort to try to create a Mediterranean Empire. It's just failed. France had had a possible position in India, but that's pretty well lost by the late 1790s. What France had had, and which Bonaparte and Talleyrand and other Frenchman really remember, is they used to have a great empire in North America. They feel keenly the loss of Canada, the loss of Louisiana, the loss of the opportunities there, and the loss of their foothold in the rich colony of Saint Domingue. So, they develop a plan as to how to we recover our former empire in the West Indies and North America. That's the plan he's developing. It's really an extraordinary plan that he and his advisers put together. First element, he needs to settle with his European enemies and get some peace. Peace with Austria, peace with Britain. Why? Because if you have peace, the Atlantic Ocean can be used safely by French vessels. Because you're going to need to cross the Atlantic with a lot of vessels to carry the forces you're going to need to carry out this plan. He had just had a problem with the British navy interfering with his Egyptian expedition. Peace with Britain means the Atlantic Ocean is a clear field. Part two: he has to cut a secret deal with Spain in which Spain agrees to return Louisiana back to France. But, it has to be done secretly, so this can be unveiled at just the right moment, without completely alarming all the people who might try to oppose this deal. And Bonaparte has to assemble a gigantic expeditionary force. Tens of thousands of soldiers carried by hundreds of ships that can be sent on a voyage of reconquest. Reconquest of Saint Domingue and an occupation of Louisiana and the key port of New Orleans. When you see the ingredients of this plan, you see the ambition of how Bonaparte hoped to consolidate a new overseas empire for the French Republic that he is recreating in his image. So let's see how Bonaparte's plan played out, especially in the pivotal year for it: 1802-1803. Around 1800-1801, Bonaparte actually makes his move. One, he was going to get peace. He's got peace. 1801-1802, he's beaten his European enemies. He gets a peace with both Austria and Britain. Two, he signs the secret deal with the Spanish, basically trading Louisiana, going to go back to France, in exchange of giving the Spanish king some land he wants in Italy. Why? [LAUGH] We all have these wonderful images of - wouldn't it be nice if we had beautiful land in Tuscany that was all our own? The Spanish king very much wants to have some great property in Tuscany, and he's willing to trade Louisiana for property in Tuscany, which happens at that time to be under French domination. So, he cuts the deal with the Spanish to get Louisiana to revert back to French rule. He unveils this move; at the same time, he is now assembling his expeditionary force, as well, to cross the Atlantic Ocean. When he unveils this move, probably no country is more shocked and alarmed by this news than the United States of America. Let me explain why. The essential thing to understand about the geography of this period is that any significant shipment of goods has to occur by water. There's no railroads, no highways, so if you have goods you want to ship, surplus from your farms, and you want it to run downstream, it's gotta follow this line. So if you're one of these new settlers in this area here and this area here, which very soon is going to be incorporated as the state called Kentucky, you ship your goods on this river valley, which then has to go out this way and then your goods come out and go back around here to the East Coast where they can be sold, buying manufactured goods that maybe can be shipped over land to hop the short distance across the Appalachians to begin the circuit again. You sell your agricultural goods downstream to get a few things that might come back over the very tough overland slog to get you to the headwaters of the Ohio River Valley. If you just follow that basic schematic diagram for a little while, you will understand, as all the wealthier people did living along this valley, that whoever holds this place right here holds the key to the entire settlement of this part of the continent. Advancing this forward in the year 1800, now you see how the population has thickened along that Ohio River Valley area. Some people crossing the Appalachians, which by the way joins another river system that begins to run into this watershed, instead of back east towards the Atlantic Ocean. Once you cross the Appalachian Mountains, youï¿½re in a watershed in which the control of New Orleans is the key to future prosperity. New Orleans had been under Spanish control, and there are big debates about how to handle that problem. The Spanish had had a relatively generous policy in letting the Americans ship their goods out. But as soon as it's announced that the most powerful country in Europe, the best armed country in Europe, is now going to control New Orleans and is readying an army to march to America...Napoleon Bonaparte will control this chokepoint armed with the strongest army that will arrive in the entire new world. From the point of view from the new United States, France will control the destiny of their future expansion once his plan succeeds. The Americans, of course, could be frantic about what to do about this. Militarily, they are effectively helpless. They don't have anything like an army that could hope to compete with even the French expeditionary force that Bonaparte can spare to send. And indeed, it's not the United States of America that frustrates Bonaparte's plan. Bonaparte's plan fails because of the freed slaves in Saint-Domingue, the place that the freed slaves will eventually call the country of Haiti. This is a book actually published in 1802, explaining to the French the background of the turmoil in Saint Domingue. You see the illustration in the frontispiece. It's the illustration of the leader of the freed blacks: their great general, the George Washington of Haitian independence, Toussaint Louverture. Napoleon hopes to win Toussaint over through trickery. He promises that they're going to make a deal that will bring Toussaint into the French Republic and welcome them. Toussaint arrives for peace talks. He's betrayed. He's captured and taken as a prisoner back to France, where he will die in a French dungeon. Then, Napoleon springs his next trap on the freed slaves. He announces that he's going to restore slavery to the French colonies; he plans to restore the old colonial system. And the freed slaves go mad with anger and do everything they can to destroy the French army as soon as it arrives: a force of tens of thousands of soldiers, led by Napoleon's own brother-in-law, his favorite young general, Leclerc, married to his sister Pauline. Here are a couple of illustrations of the incredibly intense fighting that goes on. One of the ironies in this painting, which was executed in late 1800s by a Polish painter, is these are actually Polish soldiers fighting in the French army because they were sympathetic to the French revolutionary cause and its promises of the liberation of Poland. So, here Polish soldiers find themselves part of a French expeditionary force fighting in Saint Domingue against freed slaves, whom you can see they were armed with firearms, they're using spears, every weapon to hand in brutal battle. You see one of the slaves, former slave soldiers holding up the severed head of one of the Polish soldiers, as the Poles were leading another charge with the ocean in the background. Or if you want a contrasting image of this fight for black freedom in Saint Domingue, this is a painting executed in the 1930s by a painter more sympathetic to the cause of Haitian freedom. More of a modernist style. The bottom line is this: the French are defeated. Partly through the frenzied efforts of the former slaves trying to retain their freedom, partly by the depredations of Yellow Fever, which kills Leclerc, Napoleon's brother-in-law, and causes Napoleon to sink into a feeling of despair and frustration about the whole future of his adventure in the Western Hemisphere. Napoleon then makes an absolutely critical series of decisions in early 1803. Does he redouble his effort in the Western Hemisphere, move on to Louisiana? Or does he simply abandon the whole enterprise of building a new empire in North America and go back to war in Europe and try to build his empire there? That will mean, of course, resumed war with Britain. It means the Atlantic Ocean is closed off to easy French movements. So, you're giving up on the New World. Actually, there's a big argument about this inside the French leadership, and most of Napoleon's advisers thought he should persist with the Western Hemisphere ambitions and not go back to war in Europe. But Napoleon makes his call. The British have been antagonizing him anyway, and a lot of the British leaders would actually like to go back to war with France. And the bottom line is, in early 1803, Napoleon decides to choose Europe. Choose the path of renewed war with Britain there and give up on his dreams in the New World. That then leads to a decision that Americans think of as the Louisiana Purchase. Summarized simply, the Louisiana Purchase is that Napoleon Bonaparte sells Louisiana to the Americans. But just think about that for a second. Why would he sell Louisiana to the United States of America? Why not sell it back to the Spanish who had just turned it over to him? Bottom line is actually the negotiations with Spain, that secret deal, trading land in Italy for Louisiana, had kind of gotten bogged down in acrimonious arguments over details. Plus, Napoleon held Godoy in contempt. He kind of, he had kind of gotten to the point where the last thing that he was going to do was to do Godoy a favor. And he'd rather sell it to the Americans than give it back to the Spanish. Besides, selling it to the Americans, the Americans will just be troublesome for the British and troublesome for the Spanish. And that doesn't bother him a bit. So the Americans are the fortunate beneficiaries of these geopolitical calculations. The consequences, of course, are just enormous for the United States. One way of seeing the impact of the Louisiana Purchase on the future of the United States is just to look at what happens to American population after the purchase. So, this is population distribution in 1800. If you study this map, this is 1800, and Iï¿½m keeping in the modern state borders and the modern cities so that you can orient yourself, keeping in my line of the Ohio and Mississippi Valley. Okay, let's take out the modern state features, let's take out the cities, just so that you can concentrate and notice the way the population distribution is changing. So here we are in 1800, before the Louisiana Purchase. With New Orleans securely in the hands of the United States and the valley secure, look at what happens to the population Distribution as you go to 1810,1820,1830. America is moving west. Instead of being a country whose orientation had always been looking this way, feeling itself on the borderlands of the Atlantic, oriented as an Atlantic world country, really now it's swinging, so that a large part of the country is looking towards its continental future. Very much the direction in which Thomas Jefferson, its president at the time, hoped to point it. It's hard to overestimate the significance of this as a pivot point for the whole future of North America. And the future of North America is obviously pretty important for the course of world history. So, let's stop there and now let's go back to Europe and see what did happen in those Napoleonic Wars there, before we swing out to the wider global canvas again. See you next time.