World History 1814

About the history of the world in 1814, the downfall of Napoleon, the British invade Washintgon.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1814

Apr. After the Russian debacle, Napoleon's generals insisted that he abdicate, and the French Senate called for restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Spain, and Sweden were allied against him. He had nothing left but an army of old men and boys.

Apr. 12 Facing abdication, Napoleon took poison and became violently ill, but recovered. In his recovery he saw the hand of destiny and made no more suicide attempts.

Apr. 13 At Fontainebleau Napoleon signed the Act of Abdication. He was given a revenue of 2 million francs and Elba, a tiny island off Italy, to rule. Empress Marie Louise, madly in love with an Austrian general, declined to share Napoleon's exile. On Elba he spent monotonous evenings brooding or quarreling over cards with his mother and sisters.

May 2 The wheel of the French Revolution came full circle when Louis XVIII, 60, corpulent and gout-ridden brother of Louis XVI, entered Paris as the constitutional monarch after 25 years of exile.

Aug. 24 The defense of Washington by incompetent Gen. William Henry Winder proving totally inadequate, the British marched into the capital determined to avenge American vandalism in York, Ontario (1813), by setting fire to the White House, the Capitol, and the navy yard. The White House was saved from complete destruction by a thunderstorm. Essentially the same walls stand today, and repair work was supervised by James Hoban, the original architect.

Sept. 14 Lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote "Defense of Fort McHenry." which, under the title "The Star-Spangled Banner," became in 1931 the national anthem of the U.S.

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