The beginning of the Modern Era also saw the start of the Napoleonic Wars. These wars started in 1803 and continued until 1815. The Napoleonic Wars did not just include Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire, but it also included a mix of various allies as well as opposing coalitions. These wars were also seen as the continuation of the French Revolution which had started back in 1789.
During this time period France quickly rose to power and had control of a large portion of Europe. When Napoleon was finally defeated, the Bourbon Monarchy was quickly reinstated. While France had control of Spain, Spain’s colonies all over the world especially those on the North and South American continents quickly began to lose their power. As a result much of Latin America took this opportunity to fight back against its colonisers and won their freedom.
There is no true information as to when the French Revolution ended and the Napoleonic Wars began but many attribute the difference to Napoleon’s seizure of France at an inopportune moment as the only period of peace between Britain and France took its ending. At which point, Napoleon took it upon himself to crown himself as Emperor of France and went forth to take control of Europe.
When Napoleon suffered defeat against Russia in Waterloo, the Second Treaty of Paris was signed which also ended the Great French War which was also known as the Anglo-French Second Hundred Years' War.
Up until the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution had been going strong. This war was fought between France’s revolutionary government and several other countries in Europe including that of the United Kingdom. The first steps in the revolution saw the advancements of military technology which allowed the French to take control of a number of places south of France including a large portion of the Mediterranean.
The French Revolution was actually separated into two coalitions with the First Coalition running from 1792 until 1797 and the Second Coalition lasting until 1801. When you look at the French Revolution which was immediately followed by the Napoleonic Wars, the most common terminology for the combined wars is that of the Great French War.
Along with the Great French War though, Britain had been at war with France already since 1689. This was not actually a single conflict but rather it was a persistent state of war between the two countries which has become known as the Second Hundred Years' War. Throughout much of this time it was not uncommon for the two to commit piracy between the opposing country’s colonies through Letters of Marquee. Other wars which have also been rounded up into this coined term includes the Seven Years War as well as the War of the Quadruple Alliance through which all of them both France and Great Britain were on opposite sides.
As all of this continued to go on, another approaching issue was that of the Barbary Pirates which had also gone by the name of the Ottoman Corsaires. These were pirates and privateers who where North African Muslims and had been engaging in acts of Piracy since the time of the Crusades.
By the Modern Era though the Barbary Pirates were also based out of ports like Tripoli, Tunis, Salé, Algiers as well as Morocco to which their basic mode of piracy was that of preying basically on any non-Muslim ships. Originally as far back as the Crusades, the Barbary Pirates could be found along the shores of the Barbary Coast on the western edge of Africa, but by the Modern Era these pirates were not only going after ships, but they began to raid European coastline villages to take back Christians as slaves in Africa. By the end of their reign they were estimated as having captured more than one million Europeans as slaves. The Barbary Pirates continuously took slaves along coastline villages not just in Europe but also in North America. It has been said that their territory ran all the way up to Greenland on the eastern side of the Atlantic and then back down to the Caribbean.
By 1815 though, it was decided by many of the European powers, that the Barbary Pirates must be stopped. The last major raid occurred in Palma which is located on the Island of Sardinia. At this time period Great Britain had control of places like Malta as well as the Ionian Islands and was in the workings of suppressing their own slavery as well as slavery practices of the other European superpowers.
As a result of the Congress of Vienna Lord Exmouth was sent to Tunis and Algiers in an attempt to get treaties between the two. However while he was working on negotiations he had heard about some brutal treatment of fellow British subjects and as a result a British and a Dutch Squadron set sail to Algiers and attacked them. Tunis got scared and not only turned over 3,000 slaves but also agreed to the treaty demands. However this agreement would not last and as a result another British fleet set sail in 1824 to bombard Algiers again.
While these are just a few of the wars and battles that occurred during the Modern Era, there are a number of other battles which may be better remembered depending on where you were at. Most of these though can be constituted under one or more of these military occurrences.
Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 21/07/2008