Austerlitz, Wagram, Borodino, Trafalgar, Leipzig, Waterloo: these are the battles most closely associated with the Napoleonic Wars. But how did this period of nearly continuous warfare affect the world beyond Europe? The immensity of the fighting waged by France against England, Prussia, Austria, and Russia, and the immediate consequences of the tremors that spread from France as a result, overshadow the profound repercussions that the Napoleonic Wars had throughout the world.
In his new book The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History
(Oxford University Press, 2020), Professor Alexander Mikaberidze
of the department of History at Louisiana State University, argues that the Napoleonic Wars can only be fully understood with an international context in mind. France struggled for dominance not only on the plains of Europe but also in the Americas, West and South Africa, Ottoman Empire, Iran, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Taking specific regions in turn, Professor Mikaberidze discusses major political-military events around the world and situates geopolitical decision-making within its long- and short-term contexts. From the British expeditions to Argentina and South Africa to the Franco-Russian maneuvering in the Ottoman Empire, the effects of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars would shape international affairs well into the next century. Skillfully narrated and deeply researched, here at last is the complete global history of the period, one that expands our contemporary view of the Napoleonic Wars and their role in laying the foundations of the modern world.
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s