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Bicentenary Dossier: the "Continental system or Blockade"  [17/11/2006 - 17/11/2006]

On 21 November, 1806, Napoleon decreed, from his Palace in Berlin, a blockade of the British Isles and forbade all British goods and commerce entering the continent. This came to be known as the 'continental' blockade since de facto most of the European continent was under French influence. Napoleon hoped to asphyxiate the British economy and to compel Britain to come to the negociating table. Ostensibly in retaliation for the blockade of all the coast from Brest to the Elbe enacted by Britain by its Order in Council of 16 May, 1806, the Berlin decree was in effect Napoleon's longest and most far-ranging attempt to solve the 'Angleterre' problem.
The text of the Berlin Decree, 21 November, 1806

- Eli F. Heckscher, "The Berlin Decree", Chapter II of Part II of his book, The Continental System: An Economic Interpretation, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1922

For a more traditional 'legendary' viewpoint see
- Philippe Masson, Napoleon and England (Part II) - translated from the Souvenir Napoleonien (vol. 400, 1995)
- Map of contreband routes at the time of the Continental Blockade
- Burning and sale of English goods
- Jean-Baptiste Collin, Comte de Sussy (1750-1826), Minister for Commerce and Manufacturing (detail)
- John Lagobe, Manufacturier anglais : Goddem ! Mes balots me restent!!! (John Lagobe, English manufacturer: Dammit! No-one bought my bales!)


(c) Fondation Napoléon (c) Fondation Napoléon

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