By Jean-Denis G. G. Lepage

This ebook describes and illustrates French fortifications from 1715 (the dying of Louis XIV) to 1815 (the fall of Napoleon), focusing quite at the Napoleonic period. After an ancient historical past, it covers the historical past of the Ancien Regime with the real contributions of Vauban (the bastioned defense), Gribeauval's reforms in artillery, and Montalembert's strategies. Chapters discover the fashion of Napoleonic fortifications, siege conflict, artillery and engineering corps, in addition to the Napoleonic achievements in France, Italy, German and the Netherlands, together with tasks that have been deliberate yet by no means accomplished. incorporated are approximately 250 line drawings of ancient fortifications.

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Additional resources for French Fortifications, 1715-1815: An Illustrated History

Sample text

NAPOLÉON’S APOGEE By 1809–1811, the Napoleonic Empire had reached the zenith of its territorial and political expansion. It stretched from the Tagus to the Niemen, from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea. The family-minded Corsican Napoléon, now at the peak of his power, had given Europe a new face and showered wealth and position on his brothers, sisters and close friends, despite their grumblings, constant intrigues, incompetence, sulkings and indiscretions. The Kingdom of Holland had been entrusted to his brother Louis, as Spain 32 FRENCH FORTIFICATIONS, 1715–1815 had been to Joseph.

The increase in the consumption of wine and meat was a clear indication of the improved standard of living. Most tenant farmers and laborers were able to live off the land, the cost of living was rather low, grain harvests were abundant until 1810, and cattle breeding was enjoying a period of steady growth and improvement. , the loom in the silk industry), and improved networks of communication. The creation through Napoleonic conquests and territorial annexations of a large market for goods encouraged inland trade, facilitated industrial development, and spurred the manufacture of new products.

He imposed a new constitution — the so-called Year VIII Constitution, which vested him with dictatorial power allowing him to appoint and dismiss ministers, and to draft laws, for example. The First Consul rapidly shaped the revolutionary zeal and idealism of France to his own ends. It was the fulfillment of Robespierre’s prophecy that the Revolution would be concluded by a Messiah in army boots. The mention République Française headed official documents until 1804 and remained on coins until 1808, but the Consulate amounted to a dictatorial monarchy in fact if not in name.

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