The Takeover of Spain and Portugal Laniya Jackson

After seizing political power in France in 1799 coup d'état, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself emperor in 1804. In 1806, not long after his crowning , Napoleon ordered a continental blockade in order to prevent England from trading with the European countries. Nevertheless, Portugal continued to carry out business with England. Not surprisingly, France decided to invade Portugal. The only way for them to do so was to march across Spain. This was not a problem because Spain and France were allies at the time. In October of 1807, Spain’s Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy and France signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau, which divided Portugal into three kingdoms. In November of 1807, Napoleon sent an army into Spain with the task of invading Portugal. The Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil and appealed to Britain for help. The opportunity was seen to invade Spain as well, going against its former ally. Napoleon sent Marshal Murat into Spain with a large French Army. Later on, the Spanish King Charles IV and his son were removed from the throne and Napoleon's brother, Joseph, was placed on the Spanish throne.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps. The portrait created by Jacques-Louis David shows Napoleon as a great military leader. The work depicts the self-confidence of a man who had staged a coup d'état against the French Revolutionary government in 1799.

The takeover of Spain and Portugal will have a drastic impact on the future. Given the circumstances, I believe that Spain and Portugal will soon become allies as a cause of France's aggressiveness towards the opposing countries. Also, a war will break out between the countries in order to regain their independence. Lastly, the French will have a decline in resources which includes both men and material. This shortage of resources will be due to the constant conflicts between the countries. The opposing countries will have this issue as well.

A military conflict known as The Peninsular War was fought between Napoleon's empire and the allied powers of Spain, Britain, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars.

Citations and Sources

The French Flag


Created with images by David Paul Ohmer - "National Art Gallery - Napoleon Bonaparte" • WikiImages - "napoleon bonaparte france emperor" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "A new and exact map of Spain & Portugal divided into its kingdoms and principalities &c with ye principal roads and considerable improvements" • jackmac34 - "french flag nation france"

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