Perhaps no event affected the lives of so many people and the history of so many nations as the French Revolution and subsequent roles played by Napoleon Bonapart. There was the Louisiana Purchase and the preliminaries to the War of 1812 in North America. In the Caribbean the Haitian independence movement which was precipitated by events in France set off a chain of events of farreaching consequence. For Spanish America the Napoleonic invasion and occupation of Spain had a catalytic affect for the independence-minded patriots who declared themselves independent “in the name of Spanish Prince Ferdinand.” The invasion of Portugal and the flight of the Court to Brazil set that country reeling on its course toward nationhood. This study begins with the earliest actions in the French colony of Saint Dominigue after the outbreak of the French Revolution.
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