Maps of Europe During the Napoleonic Wars

How Napoleon Overturned the Political Order of Europe

Napoleon's New Europe

How Did Europe Change As a Result of the Wars of Napoleon?

Napoleon's bid for world domination saw French armies surge across most of Europe, from Spain to Moscow, engaged in wars against ever shifting alliances and foes. As a result of these wars, great powers were brought down while other nations rose to dominance. Some countries were destroyed all together while others gained their independence. This series of maps illustrates the changes that were brought about as a result of the wars of Napoleon.

Europe in 1799

This map shows the political boundaries of Europe at the start of the Napoleonic wars. France owns a large portion of what is now North East Germany. The main European powers are Britain, France and Austria. Russia's size dwarfs any of its European neighbours, but the country is extremely backward and underdeveloped. Italy and Germany are divided amongst petty states though the German state of Prussia has risen to middle power status and dominates north central Europe. Prussia's position between France, Austria and Russia makes it vulnerable to encirclement. Spain remains a large country with many overseas possessions but it is a weak military and economic power. Similarly the Ottoman empire still holds vast areas of Europe, Asia and Africa but it is backwards militarily and economically and not equal to the European powers militarily.

Europe in 1805

By 1805, the fighting in Europe has led to some changes in the political status quo. The major powers - Britain, France and Austria are pretty much the same as before. But in Italy, the French puppet state of the Italian Republic has been created as a result of Napoleon's victories there


Europe in 1810

By 1810 the map of Europe reflects the enormous changes wrought by Napoleon's campaigns in Europe and the political re-alignment that followed. Poland has been wrested from Prussia and Russia and re-established as an independent country after years of foreign occupation. The Papal states have been annexed by Italy and the Italian Republic has expanded in the north. The boundaries of Austria had changed significantly. There has also been a re-alignment of the German states.

Europe in 1815

1815 is the year of Napoleon's final defeat following the battle of Europe. The map of Europe reflects the waning of French power. The Italian Republic is gone and France has lost much of its German possessions as well as territory in northern Italy.

Europe in 1824

1824: It is now 9 years after the French defeat and the victors have re-apportioned Europe to their liking. Sweden has absorbed Norway. Poland has been carved up between Prussia and Russia. Austria has gained territory especially in Northern Italy. Germany is once again fragmented among small states, but Prussia has survived and in less than 50 years will united Germany under its empire and eclipse the fading empire of Austria. France has been diminished territorially and has the shape that it will have until its disastrous war with Germany in 1870, when even more of its territory will be lost.

These maps illustrate the rise and fall of the French empire under Napoleon in Europe. Beyond Europe France was stripped of most of its colonial empire. Clearly the wars of Napoleon were not a benefit to France, which never fully recovered its status as the leading European power. Its defeat during the later Franco Prussian war would forever extinguish any dream of a French resurgence.

Biography of Napoleon
Biography of Napoleon
Empress Marie Louise - Second Wife of Napoleon
Marie Louise, Empress of France