Je veux que nous ayons la guerre ; elle est indispensable. Nous devons avoir la guerre. Mais il faut avant tout épuiser les moyens qui peuvent nous l’épargner.The European Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts resulting from the French Revolution in a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions. They pitted the French Republic against British Commonwealth, Austria and several other monarchies. Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. It is Usually divided in two phases 1790-1802 and 1803-1810.
(Georges Jacques Danton, Speech to the National Assembly)
The First Phase (1790- Oct 1802)
After a constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe. This first phase ended with the Treaty of Amiens (October 1802), a short truce.
This period was also marked by the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, independence of Haiti from France (1791–1804), and the formation of the Confederation of the Rhine around French allies in Germany and several sister republics in Switzerland and Italy.
In 1791 the Dauphin Louis-Auguste escaped France and arrive to New Orleans being proclaimed Louis XVIII King of France and Emperor of India (at Louisiana). The immediate effect was Louisiana declared in favor of the Bourbons. This during the Haitian Revolution that changed from a newly acquired self-government to independence. Fears of slave revolt and the radicalism of the French Revolution was one of the fears that rushed the planters to welcome a return to the old regime becoming a bulwark of the Bourbons.
The rebellion of the French East India Company over its nationalization led to breaks ties with the French Republic and allies with Royalists. Reinforced in 1792 when Louis XVIII's brother Prince Louis-Charles de Bourbon arrived to Pondicherry as Viceroy of India.
A Short Truce (Oct 1802 - June 1803)
The short Winter and Spring Truce did not help settle down animosity in Europe.
France pressures Flanders and Belgium in signing secret Treaty of Antwerp that gives access to Flemish and Dutch ports and gives right of passage to French troops. the Treaty would become public a month later. Further French coerction on United Kingdom of Scandinavia with a naval blockade unless it is given exclusive rights of navigation for warships in the Danish Straits and consultation in case of War (The Danish Straits provocation).
The war would star in June with the British declaration of war against France in answer to the Danish Straits provocation and violation of the Treaty of Amiens.
The Second Phase (June 1803-1810)
Stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the first phase and its resultant conflict. Under the leadership of the British Commonwealth and allies several of the territories taken by France were recovered and Germany became the major theater of War. The invasion of United Kingdom of Scandinavia and the establishment of a client republic prompted Prussia to enter again the war against France in the Baltic and northern Germany.
The ambitious campaign of the French invasion of Ottoman Egypt (1803-1806) had its goal to undermine Britain's access to India and the East Indies. Also, it would more easily linked with Cygnia, regain French India and help France's ally Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore in India.
Severe economic hardship and news of battlefield reverses had led to war-weariness and growing unrest among France's citizenry opening to the diplomatic negotiation of Peace. Also the rising costs of war and pressure on industry and manpower and a perceived stalemate in Europe moved Britain and its allies to end the war.
A Final Peace (1810)
Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre.The Peace of Vienna redrew the borders of Europe, and brought a lasting peace to the continent. The wars had profound consequences on global history; it fostered the spread of nationalism and liberalism, saw the rise of the British Commonwealth as the world's foremost power, independence movements in Spanish North and South America and the subsequent collapse of the Spanish Empire, the independence of Haiti and Louisiana, the fundamental reorganization of German and Italian territories into larger states, and the establishment of radically new methods of conducting warfare.
(Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, From personal communication to the First Consul))
The Revolutionary Wars and the French occupation of Egypt triggered the first steps of what would be Tanzimât (reorganization) of the Ottoman Empire in the mid 18th century. It also brought closer ties of France, Britain and Ottomans over the Eastern Question and Russian access to the Mediterranean.
The wars revolutionized European warfare; the application of mass conscription and total war led to campaigns of unprecedented scale, as whole nations committed all their economic and industrial resources to a collective war effort.
The Final Act of the Peace of Vienna gave origin to the Congress System as a means to dealt with European diplomatic crisis and keep the balance of power in international relations, a policy considered obsolete by France and allies.