World History 1799

About the history of the world in 1799, French troops occupy Egypt, Napoleon leads a coup d'etat in France.



Prussian Baron Alexander von Humboldt and French botanist Aime Bonpland left Marseilles on an epic five-year, 6,000-mi. expedition to South and Central America. Traveling through Venezuelan jungles on foot and horseback or by canoe, exploring the basin of the Orinoco River, they suffered from heat, insects, and near starvation as they collected scientific data. Humboldt's weather maps were the first to employ isotherms and isobars, laying the foundations of modern climatology.

Aug. French troops continued to occupy Egypt. At the mouth of the Nile near the town of Rosetta, a group of French soldiers excavating at ruined Fort Rachid unearthed the slab of black basalt known as the Rosetta Stone. Dating from 196 B.C., its text in three languages of a proclamation of Ptolemy was to provide the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Later, when Napoleon's campaign collapsed through British intervention, the stone was taken to England, where it remains today in the British Museum.

Aug. 23 Upon learning that there was a political and economic crisis in France and that Austria had declared a war that endangered his Italian conquests, Napoleon rushed home to Paris, leaving Egypt to Gen. Jean Kleber.

Nov. 9 With the aid of one member of the Directory, Napoleon led a coup d'etat, setting up a consulate of three members with himself the powerful First Consul.

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