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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

While Schwarzenberg advanced by a more southerly route



Jerome Bonaparte fled from his kingdom of Westphalia immediately after the battle of Leipzig: Wuertemberg joined the Allies, the Rhine-Bund dissolved, and the artificial structure which Napoleon had created fell to pieces. Even then, Prussia, Russia and Austria wished to discontinue the war: the popular enthusiasm in Germany was taking a _national_ character, the people were beginning to feel their own power, and this was very disagreeable to Alexander I. and Metternich. The Rhine was offered as a boundary to Napoleon: yet, although Wellington was by this time victorious in Spain and was about to cross the Pyrenees, the French Emperor refused and the Allies were reluctantly obliged to resume hostilities. They had already wasted much valuable time: they now adopted a plan which was sure to fail, if the energies of France had not been so utterly exhausted.

Three armies were formed: one, under Buelow, was sent into Holland to overthrow the French rule there; another, under Schwarzenberg, marched through Switzerland into Burgundy, about the end of December, hoping to meet with Wellington somewhere in Central France; and the third under Bluecher, which had been delayed longest by the doubt and hesitation of the sovereigns, crossed the Rhine at three points, from Coblentz to Mannheim, on the night of New-Year, 1814. The subjection of Germany to France was over: only the garrisons of a number of fortresses remained,

but these were already besieged, and they surrendered one by one, in the course of the next few months.




Napoleon's Retreat. --Halting Course of the Allies. --The Treaty of Paris. --The Congress of Vienna. --Napoleon's Return to France. --New Alliance. --Napoleon, Wellington and Bluecher. --Battles of Ligney and Quatrebras. --Battle of Waterloo. --New Treaty with France. --European Changes. --Reconstruction of Germany. --Metternich arranges a Confederation. --Its Character. --The Holy Alliance. --Reaction among the Princes. --Movement of the Students. --Conference at Carlsbad. --Returning Despotism. --Condition of Germany. --Changes in 1830. --The Zollverein. --Death of Francis II. and Frederick William III. --Frederick William IV. as King. --The German-Catholic Movement in 1844. --General Dissatisfaction.

[Sidenote: 1814. NAPOLEON'S DEFENSE.]

Napoleon's genius was never more brilliantly manifested than during the slow advance of the Allies from the Rhine to Paris, in the first three months of the year 1814. He had not expected an invasion before the spring, and was taken by surprise; but with all the courage and intrepidity of his younger years, he collected an army of 100,000 men, and marched against Bluecher, who had already reached Brienne. In a battle on the 29th of January he was victorious, but a second on the 1st of February compelled him to retreat. Instead of following up this advantage, the three monarchs began to consult: they rejected Bluecher's demand for a union of the armies and an immediate march on Paris, and ordered him to follow the river Marne in four divisions, while Schwarzenberg advanced by a more southerly route. This was just what Napoleon wanted. He hurled himself upon the divided Prussian forces, and in five successive battles, from the 10th to the 14th of February, defeated and drove them back. Then, rapidly turning southward, he defeated a part of Schwarzenberg's army at Montereau on the 18th, and compelled the latter to retreat.

[Sidenote: 1814.]

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