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There is no doubt that Napoleons life left a huge impact on Europe People have called him The greatest man of action born in Europe since Julius CaesarWinston Churchhill The campaign of 1812 was more frankly imperialistic than any other of Napoleons wars it was more directly dictated by the interests of the French upper class The basic purposes of the war were to subject Russia to the economic interests of the upper class and to create an eternal threat against her in the shape of a vassal Poland united with Lithuania and White Russia Only by resisting this aggregation could Russia preserve her economic and political independence Napoleon had tried to conquer England but was defeated at Trafalgar The English also succeeded in organizing a new anti-French coalition consisting of Austria Russia Sweden and Naples On December 2 1805 in his greatest victory Napoleon defeated the combined Austrian and Russian armies in the Battle of Austerlitz In September 1806 Prussia entered the war against France and on October 14 the Prussian armies were defeated at Jena and at Auerstdt The Russians put up a better resistance at Eylau in February 1807 but were routed at Friedland in June The Russian emperor Alexander I could have continued the struggle but he was tired of the alliance with the British He met Napoleon at Tilsit in northern Prussia near the Russian frontier There on a raft anchored in the middle of the Niemen River they signed treaties that created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw from the Polish provinces detached from Prussia and in effect divided control of Europe between the emperors At this time the French and their allies were maintaining a blockade against England Russia was not effectively pursuing this blockade and the French upper class wanted the complete elimination of England from European markets Napoleon made this his primary excuse for the war Since
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