The Continental System
- A blockade that prevented any countries controlled by France from trading with Britain
- The blockade was not effective enough, and enough supplies were smuggled through to harm France's economy more than Britain's.
- Several countries disobeyed this decree, such as Russia, to which Napoleon responded fiercely with his army, leading to both the Peninsular Campaign and the Invasion of Russia(see below).
- Portugal was ignoring the continental system, so Napoleon sent over 100,000 troops through Spain to enforce the system
- The Spanish were furious, and after several riots, Napoleon put his brother on the throne, further angering the Spanish
- Many peasant fighters, called guerrillas, ambushed French armies in Spain
- This came to be known as the Peninsular War
Invasion of Russia
- France and Russia's alliance broke for several reasons. The czar of Russia, Alexander I, refused to stop selling grain to Britain. Both rulers also wanted control of Poland.
- Napoleon invaded Russia in June 1812. As he entered Russia, the Russian forces retreated, leaving nothing for the French army. The French quickly ran low on food.
- The armies fought in the Battle of Borodino. After a very close battle, the Russians retreated.
- The Russians destroyed the city of Moscow rather than letting it fall under French control.
- It was now early winter, and the march back to France was devastating to the French army
These three mistakes made by Napoleon ultimately led to the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon was exiled for the final time, and later died