Compare and Contrast the Foreign Policies of Napoleon I and Louis-Philippe

Topics: Louis XVIII of France, Nationalism, Louis XVI of France Pages: 4 (1179 words) Published: February 27, 2008
Compare & Contrast the foreign policies of Napoleon I and Louis Philippe

Both placed on the thrown after revolutions, King Louis Philippe and Napoleon Bonaparte were pressured to adopt a nationalistic foreign policy. During Napoleon's reign, France reached its greatest magnitude and was considered among Europe as a leading military power. In contrast, King Louis Philippe adopted a cautious foreign policy which did not satiate the nationalistic thirst of the French people at the time nor did it match the persevering and resolute manner that Napoleon upheld. This was mainly due to interfering personal opinions of the king and of his advisors. However, domestic issues in France created differing situations for the two rulers which influenced the policies each put into place. Although Napoleon was clearly more aggressive and consistent than Louis Philippe, their foreign policies coincided as they both were subject to international and domestic pressures.

Although Napoleon's empire eventually came to its downfall his expansive foreign policy allowed France to reach its place in the sun. Napoleon's empire encompassed 130 departments, satellite states and was inhibited by 80 million people. In addition to acquiring new territories, the military was able to preserve the conquered lands. Napoleon defeated the strengthened Austrian army in the Danube Valley in 1809, and eventually forced Austria to surrender. The aggressive and direct foreign policy was successful in many ways as it inspired nationalism. However this nationalist sentiment can be debated to be a positive or negative outcome of Napoleon's international relations as it created bellicose atmospheres throughout the 19th century. Louis Philippe's foreign policy however was also in its own way successful as it actually prevented France from sinking down under the menace of the other European great powers. An example of this can be given when the tempting opportunity of annexing Belgium and seizing the...
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