Napoleon and Some of His Contributions

Topics: Napoleonic Wars, International trade, First French Empire Pages: 3 (827 words) Published: August 8, 2006
Napoleon's main contribution to the French economy was the Continental system. At that time, France ruled many countries and had control over most of Europe so in theory, it should have had a fairly large impact on Britain considering that Britain would lose many of it's trading partners.

The continental system was a system where by France forbade France, her allies and neutrals to trade with Brtain on the basis that British blockades were against international law and he expected that the unfavorable trade balance and lack of precious metal would ruin Britain's economy and industries. This resulted in Britain forbidding all trade with France and any other countries following the Berlin degree ( The continental system). Both countries hoped to cause unemployment and thus political unrest in the other country and below, I shall further elaborate on the effects of this continental system.

Later Britain went further and attacked Copenhagen when they obeyed the Berlin degree which did not work well as Britain was the dominant industrial power and had control of the seas. Britain then announced that any neutral ships or enemy ships that were heading to enemy ports would be seized if they had goods of the enemy or even if they were heading to their neutral ports.

A side effect of this was that USA forbade trade with both France and Britain as they were both seizing ships and in order to protect itself, it closed up it's ports for a while but later allowed the ships to trade elsewhere except at France and Britain due to their policy of seizing ships.

To see the impact of the Continental system, figures are needed and apparently Britain had increased imports and exports while French imports fell by 50% and French exports increased by 17% while Britain had 92% increased exports.

From this alone, one can see the continental system was a failure. In fact it harmed France and her allies more than it did the British. This was due to corrupt French officials who...
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