© CNRS Editions
From the publishers:
Foreign policy during the Consulate and Empire periods cannot be simply defined by conflict and conquest. Even when at war with the other European powers, Napoleon continued to engage in active and often creative diplomacy, directed by both his own goals and informed by tradition inherited from previous regimes, both royal and revolutionary. He also sought to spread France's influence in Europe and worldwide, and not always through military force.
Through analysis of the Napoleonic "system" and numerous case studies, this book examines the roots of Napoleon's diplomacy. Aside from the various rivalries with England - the traditional enemy - and struggles for influence with the other great powers of the period (Russia, Austria, Prussia), Napoleon also looked further afield, often towards more exotic locations. What lay behind his colonial policy in the West Indies? What was the nature of his relationship with Morocco? Did he really believe in the United States? What were his true intentions for Poland? Why did his attempt to create an "English Vendée" in Ireland fail? Why such distrust for Spain, a nation that had been a key ally for more than half his reign?
In his answers to these questions, Thierry Lentz highlights the vision and relentless calculations that lay behind the only goal that counted: French hegemony. In doing so, he throws light on the figure of Napoleon as an accomplished practician of the logic behind war and peace.
Place and publisher: Paris: CNRS Editions
Date of publication: 2012
Number of pages: 266