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Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Description: In 1793, Great Britain embarked on a war against Revolutionary France to reestablish a balance of power in Europe. Traditional assessments among historians consider British war planning at the ministerial level during the First Coalition to be incompetent and haphazard. This work reassesses decision making of the leading strategists in the British Cabinet in the development of a theater in the Mediterranean by examining political, diplomatic, and military influences. William Pitt the Younger and his controlling ministers pursued a conservative strategy in the Mediterranean, reliant on Allies in the region to contain French armies and ideas inside the Alps and the Pyrenees. Dependent on British naval power, the Cabinet sought to weaken the French war effort by targeting trade in the region. Throughout the first half of 1793, the British government remained fixed on this conservative, traditional approach to France. However, with the fall of Toulon in August of 1793, decisions made by Admiral Samuel Hood in command of forces in the Mediterranean radicalized British policy towards the Revolution while undermining the construct of the Coalition. The inconsistencies in strategic thought political decisions created stagnation, wasting the opportunities gained by the Counter-revolutionary movements in southern France. As a result, reinvigorated French forces defeated Allied forces in detail in the fall of 1793.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Baker, William C.

Conquering the Natural Frontier: French Expansion to the Rhine River During the War of the First Coalition, 1792-1797

Description: After conquering Belgium and the Rhineland in 1794, the French Army of the Sambre and Meuse faced severe logistical, disciplinary, and morale problems that signaled the erosion of its capabilities. The army’s degeneration resulted from a revolution in French foreign policy designed to conquer the natural frontiers, a policy often falsely portrayed as a diplomatic tradition of the French monarchy. In fact, the natural frontiers policy – expansion to the Rhine, the Pyrenees, and the Alps – emerged only after the start of the War of the First Coalition in 1792. Moreover, the pursuit of natural frontiers caused more controversy than previously understood. No less a figure than Lazare Carnot – the Organizer of Victory – viewed French expansion to the Rhine as impractical and likely to perpetuate war. While the war of conquest provided the French state with the resources to survive, it entailed numerous unforeseen consequences. Most notably, the Revolutionary armies became isolated from the nation and displayed more loyalty to their commanders than to the civilian authorities. In 1797, the Sambre and Meuse Army became a political tool of General Lazare Hoche, who sought control over the Rhineland by supporting the creation of a Cisrhenan Republic. Ultimately, troops from Hoche’s army removed Carnot from the French Directory in the coup d’état of 18 fructidor, a crucial benchmark in the militarization of French politics two years before Napoleon Bonaparte’s seizure of power. Accordingly, the conquest of the Rhine frontier contributed to the erosion of democratic governance in Revolutionary France.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Hayworth, Jordan R.

The Countess of Counter-revolution: Madame du Barry and the 1791 Theft of Her Jewelry

Description: Jeanne Bécu, an illegitimate child from the Vaucouleurs area in France, ascended the ranks of the Ancien régime to become the Countess du Barry and take her place as Royal Mistress of Louis XV. During her tenure as Royal Mistress, Jeanne amassed a jewel collection that rivaled all private collections. During the course of the French Revolution, more specifically the Reign of Terror, Jeanne was forced to hatch a plot to secure the remainder of her wealth as she lost a significant portion of her revenue on the night of 4 August 1789. To protect her wealth, Jeanne enlisted Nathaniel Parker Forth, a British spy, to help her plan a fake jewel theft at Louveciennes so that she could remove her economic capital from France while also reducing her total wealth and capital with the intent of reducing her tax payments. As a result of the theft, her jewelry was transported to London, where she would travel four times during the French Revolution on the pretext of recovering her jewelry. This thesis examines her actions while abroad during the Revolution and her culpability in the plot. While traveling to and from London, Jeanne was able to move information, money, and people out of France. Jeanne was arrested and charged with aiding the counter-revolution, for which the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced her to death. Madame du Barry represented the extravagance and waste of Versailles and of Bourbon absolutism, and this symbolic representation of waste was what eventually inhibited Jeanne’s success.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Lewis, Erik Braeden

Grenelle Environnement

Description: The new 'Grenelle II' laws are presented in the French Parliament. The Grenelle II (2010) follows the Grenelle I (2007) and a second public consultation round with representatives of large companies. Detailed plans are presented for building, transport and energy sector. Local authorities are asked to play a more important and facilitating role. The new law package contains six pillars and contains the 'outlines' and 'logistics' of the application on regional and local level: - 1. Improving the Energetic Performance of Buildings. Among the measures are : insisting on 'Batiments a Basse Consommation' (BBC, < 50 KW/H/m2 per year) for new buildings and to reduce the consumption of existing buildings by 38% untill 2020. - 2. Creating a change in Transport Use. Among the measures presented are : speeding up the process of public transport infrastructure, insisting local public authorities on offering 'lease-bikes' and car-sharing programs, and subvention of electric and hybrid car development. - 3. Reducing significantly Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions. Measurements foreseen are : Obligation of all enterprises with over 500 employees and municipalities with more than 500.000 inhabitants to calculate CO2 emissions on a yearly bases. -4. Preserving Biodiversity. Pharmaceutical and hospital products will be more restricted and reported. -5. Risks, health and waste. Various measurements are proposed, such as the Protection of Electrical and Telephone Network workers. -6. A new Ecological Governance Model. Introduction of Five 'Colleges' of Stakeholders: ONG, Entreprises, Unions, Public Authorities and Public Administration. Regions with over 50 000 inhabitants will be obliged to create a Sustainable Development report. Each product should carry CO2 emission information, related to the CO2 emissions created by transport of people and goods.
Date: October 2010
Creator: France. Ministère de l'écologie, de l'énergie, du développement durable et de la mer

Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, Comte De Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

Description: Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert (1743-1790) dedicated his life and career to creating a new doctrine for the French army. Little about this doctrine was revolutionary. Indeed, Guibert openly decried the anarchy of popular participation in government and looked askance at the early days of the Revolution. Rather, Guibert’s doctrine marked the culmination of an evolutionary process that commenced decades before his time and reached fruition in the Réglement of 1791, which remained in force until the 1830s. Not content with military reform, Guibert demanded a political and social constitution to match. His reforms required these changes, demanding a disciplined, service-oriented society and a functional, rational government to assist his reformed military. He delved deeply, like no other contemporary writer, into the linkages between society, politics, and the military throughout his career and his writings. Guibert exerted an overwhelming influence on military thought across Europe for the next fifty years. His military theories provided the foundation for military reform during the twilight of the Old Regime. The Revolution, which adopted most of Guibert’s doctrine in 1791, continued his work. A new army and way of war based on Guibert’s reforms emerged to defeat France’s major enemies. In Napoleon’s hands, Guibert’s army all but conquered Europe by 1807. As other nations adopted French methods, Guibert’s influence spread across the Continent, reigning supreme until the 1830s. This dissertation adopts a biographical approach to examine Guibert’s life and influence on the creation of the French military system that led to Napoleon’s conquest of Europe. As no such biography exists in Anglophone literature, such a work will fill a crucial gap in understanding French military success to 1807. It examines the period of French military reform from 1760 to the creation and use of Napoleon’s Grande Armée from 1803 to 1807, illustrating the importance of ...
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Date: August 2014
Creator: Abel, Jonathan, 1985-

A Pre-professional Institution: Napoleon’s Marshalate and the Defeat of 1813

Description: Napoleon’s defeat in 1813 generates a number of explanations from historians regarding why he lost this epic campaign which ultimately resulted in France losing control over the German states. Scholars discussing the French marshalate of the Napoleonic era frequently assert that these generals could not win battles without the emperor present. Accustomed to assuming a subordinate role under Bonaparte’s direct supervision, these commanders faltered when deprived of the strong hand of the master. This thesis contributes to this historiographical argument by positing that the pre-professional nature of Napoleon’s marshalate precluded them from adapting to the evolving nature of warfare during the First French Empire. Emerging from non-military backgrounds and deriving their capabilities solely from practical experience, the marshals failed to succeed at endeavors outside of their capacity. An examination of the military administration of the Old Regime, the effects of the French Revolution on the French generalate, and the circumstances under which Bonaparte labored when creating the imperial marshalate demonstrates that issues systemic to the French high command contributed to French defeat in 1813. This thesis also provides evidence that Napoleon understood this problem and attempted to better prepare his marshals for independent command by instructing them in his way of war during the 1813 campaign.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Smith, Eric C.

Rediscovery of the Elements

Description: Interactive DVD documenting the research by Dr. James and Virginia Marshall to trace the history of the elements in the periodic table. It includes biographical information on the scientists who discovered each of the elements, notes about each of the elements with photos, periodic tables, maps and photographs of the cities where elements were discovered, a timeline of discoveries, written articles about the research, and other background documentation.
Date: July 2010
Creator: Marshall, James L., 1940- & Marshall, Virginia R.