You are here

Fear and Domination

Title: Fear and Domination: Pierre Riel, the Marquis de Beurnonville at the Spanish Court and Napoleon Bonaparte's Spanish Policy, 1802-05.
Name(s): Jones, Michael W., author
Horward, Donald D., professor directing dissertation
Grant, Jonathan, committee member
Jones, James, committee member
O'Sullivan, Patrick, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2005
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Napoleon Bonaparte's foreign policy was perhaps the crucial weakness in the First Empire's fate. Through strength of arms on the battlefields of Europe, Napoleon was able to subdue and dominate Europe, yet it was this very strength which facilitated a belligerent course with France's allies. This was exemplified by Napoleon's use of twenty-two generals as ambassadors for the First Empire. Therefore, when Napoleon turned to Spain, he was not seeking to strengthen a historical alliance through mutually supportive policy; rather he sought to force his ally to subordinate its interests to France. From 1802-05, General Pierre Riel, the Marquis de Beurnonville, served as Napoleon's ambassador to the Spanish court. Although Beurnonville's character was at times a hindrance, the ambassador never flinched from the difficult course Napoleon demanded. Beurnonville forced Charles IV's reluctant government to accept damaging commercial treaties, a subsidy of seventy-two million francs and finally to join its navy with France to battle the British fleet. The focus of this dissertation is to shed light on a crucial period of Franco-Spanish relations. Under Beurnonville's tenure, Napoleon sowed the seeds of his disastrous invasion of Spain. The renewal of war with Britain in 1802, led Napoleon to augment the French navy and prepare for an invasion of the British Isles. Spain became an important component of Napoleon's strategy to invade England. Initially, the First Consul planned to substitute seventy-two million francs of Spanish gold, a sum that British leaders estimated would field fifteen ships-of-the-line and 200,000 French troops, for Spain's martial commitment. Spain, under Manuel Godoy's leadership, sought to avoid paying this financial burden because the nation could not afford it and payment could lead to war with Britain. The result of his efforts was an ultimatum and invasion scare from France. Once Spain reluctantly accepted its treaty obligations England reciprocated with its own ultimatum and attacked the Spanish treasure fleet. In the aftermath of this action, Spain declared war on England. Thereafter, Beurnonville and Godoy strove to rebuild the moribund Spanish navy. Ultimately, their efforts were capped with Spain's contribution to the Allied fleet at Trafalgar.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3434 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2005.
Date of Defense: April 28, 2004.
Keywords: Beurnonville, Napoleon Bonaparte, Manuel Godoy
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Donald D. Horward, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jonathan Grant, Committee Member; James Jones, Committee Member; Patrick O'Sullivan, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Jones, M. W. (2005). Fear and Domination: Pierre Riel, the Marquis de Beurnonville at the Spanish Court and Napoleon Bonaparte's Spanish Policy, 1802-05. Retrieved from