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The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars against the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. They consisted of five wars, starting with the Third Coalition in 1803 and followed by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Coalition in 1815. The wars resulted in Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on the island of Saint Helena on the Coast of Africa.
See the fact file below for more information on the Napoleonic Wars or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Napoleonic Wars worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HOW IT STARTED
- The term Napoleonic is derived from one of the greatest military leaders and statesmen, Napoleon Bonaparte.
- He took advantage of the ongoing French Revolution to raise his rank.
- He befriended the revolutionary leader Robespierre who raised the French Republic and dethroned King Louis XVI.
- When Robespierre lost power, Napoleon was put on house arrest.
- Another revolutionary government, The Directory, was created, and Napoleon’s services as a military man were summoned.
- He later organized the Coup of 18 Brumaire to remove The French Directory and replace it with his government, The Consulate. It was led by three consuls, with him as the First Consul.
- In 1804, Napoleon declared himself as Emperor of the French.
THE THIRD COALITION
- The Third Coalition started when the United Kingdom declared war against France in 1803.
- It was formed by the United Kingdom, Austria, and Russia, and was their answer to Napoleon’s act of growing his French empire.
- After the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, where France humiliatingly lost to the British Naval force, Napoleon recognized that he could not conquer Great Britain by water.
- Napoleon met the Austrians at Ulm. He was able to fool the Austrian army by going the other way, which took the Austrians by surprise.
- The French fought against the Russian and Austrian armies in The Battle of Austerlitz, which happened at the same time as Ulm.
Napoleon won both battles and established himself and France as the dominant force in Europe.
- Austria was forced to give up territory in Bavaria and Italy as prescribed in the Treaty of Pressburg.
- This war also ended the Holy Roman Empire, a group of small kingdoms and states in Europe which existed since the year 800, and replaced it with Confederation of the Rhine, which comprised 19 various German states with Napoleon as its protector.
- It became France’s greatest military ally as it supplied Napoleon with military personnel in exchange for his protection.
THE FOURTH COALITION
- Frederick Wilhelm III, King of Prussia, felt threatened with Napoleon’s rising power after the latter won the Third Coalition.
- He declared war against France in 1806 and formed a coalition with Great Britain and Russia.
- Great Britain was in a continuous battle against France.
- Prussia lost in the twin battles of Jena and Auerstedt.
- Napoleon chased the Russians in Poland in 1806 called the Battle of Eylau. The result was indecisive.
- Napoleon persisted and determinedly defeated the Fourth Coalition in the Battle of Friedland.
- This victory resulted in the Treaties of Tilsit, where France made Prussia and Russia allies against Great Britain and Sweden.
THE FIFTH COALITION
- In February 1806, Austria declared war against France. During this time, Napoleon got hold of restless Spain.
- The Spanish citizens were resistant to Napoleon’s takeover and continuously formed a guerilla against the French Emperor.
- When Austria declared war, Napoleon left Spain and left 300,000 men to control the uprisings.
- The Fifth Coalition only consisted of Austria and Great Britain and lasted for just four months.
- Austria was confident in declaring war against France because they were aware of Napoleon’s dilemma in Spain. They assumed that Prussia would join the coalition and Russia would at least be neutral about it.
- Great Britain’s only contribution to this war was providing financial assistance to Austria.
- The Battle of Wagram in July 1809 ended the Fifth Coalition.
- The Treaty of Schonbrunn was the result of Austria’s war against France. They were asked to give up the Duchy of Salzburg to Bavaria and its access to the Adriatic Sea. They had to give one-sixth of their territory to France and endure being part of Napoleon’s Continental System.
THE SIXTH COALITION
- The Sixth Coalition was the largest coalition formed against France. It included Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, who were later joined by Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the several German States.
- Napoleon and his French troops were victorious in the Battle of Lutzen, Bautzen, and Dresden, but were defeated in some small but significant battles at Grossbeeren, Katzbach, Dennewitz, and Kulm.
- The allied forces persisted, and engaged in the Battle of Leipzig, also called the Battle of the Nations. It was the largest battle in Europe at the time.
- The allied forces offered a peace agreement, the Treaty of Chaumont, where Napoleon would give up his conquered territory and lead France in its “natural boundaries”. He instantly declined.
- The allied forces continued their campaign against the French Army until they entered Paris on March 30, 1814.
- Understanding the inevitable defeat of Napoleon after the allied forces’ invasion of Paris, Napoleon’s generals refused to continue the battle and demanded that he step down.
- Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to the Island of Elba on April 11, 1814.
THE SEVENTH COALITION
- French territory was being reduced to its original boundaries while Napoleon was in exile on the Island of Elba. This made Napoleon furious and motivated him to come back.
- He regained control of France in 1815 after escaping exile. Soldiers were sent by French king Louis XVIII to capture Napoleon, but he just made the soldiers turn against their King and join him instead.
- The Seventh Coalition, composed of the victorious countries of the Sixth Coalition, vowed to never negotiate with Napoleon.
- Napoleon successfully invaded Prussia at the Battle of Ligny on June 15. This was his last victory.
- The Duke of Wellington led his army and defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18.
- Napoleon was reportedly tired and sick after his success in Ligny, resulting in poor decisions and indecisive actions.
- He abdicated again on June 22, 1815, and was exiled in October to the Island of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. He died on May 5, 1821.
AFTER NAPOLEONIC WARS
- The Napoleonic Wars ended after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
- France was brought down to its original boundaries and placed King Louis XVIII as the head of its monarchy.
- A Congress of Vienna formed among the European countries to create a balance of power, avoid future wars, and maintain peace and stability.
- Europe’s royal family was restored in their position and European’s sense of nationalism was strengthened.
- The Napoleonic Wars also served as an instrument to bring independence to the Spanish and Portuguese in South America. The wars weakened the military and authority of Spain.
- Britain established its royal naval dominance and became a significant economic power in Europe.
- The Congress of Vienna gave Prussia its original boundaries. It also received some territories from Poland, Saxony, Rhineland, and Westphalia. Prussia transformed into an industry leader.
- The Congress of Vienna brought peace among European countries for around 40 years.
Napoleonic Wars Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Napoleonic Wars across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Napoleonic Wars worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Napoleonic Wars which were a series of wars against the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. They consisted of five wars, starting with the Third Coalition in 1803 and followed by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Coalition in 1815. The wars resulted in Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on the island of Saint Helena on the Coast of Africa.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Napoleonic Wars Facts
- A Napoleonic Life
- Napoleonic Battles
- France Versus England
- The Napoleonic War
- Battle Grounds
- The Battle of the Nations
- The Greatest War
- A Napoleonic Quote
- France and England’s World
- Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
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Link will appear as Napoleonic Wars Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 27, 2020
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