Saturday, April 2, 2011

Battle of Copenhagen

'Prussia, more intent on her own immediate aggrandizement, than mindful of the welfare of Europe in general, took advantage of the universal ill-will against England, to seize upon the King's continental dominions of Hanover, with peculiar breach of public faith, as she herself had guaranteed the neutrality of that country.

The consequences, with regard to the northern powers, are well known. The promptitude of the administration sent a strong fleet to the Baltic; and the well-contested battle of Copenhagen detached Denmark from the Northern Confederacy. Sweden had joined it unwillingly; and Russia altered her course of policy in consequence of the death of Paul. That unhappy prince had surmounted the patience of his subjects, and fell a victim to one of those conspiracies, which in arbitrary monarchies, especially such as partake of the Oriental character, supply all the checks of a moderate and free constitution, where the prerogative of the crown is limited by laws. In these altered circumstances, the cause of dispute was easily removed, by the right of search being subjected to equitable regulations and modifications.

Bonaparte received the news of Paul's death with much more emotion than he was usually apt to testify. It is said, that, for the first time in his life, a passionate exclamation of "Mon Dieu!” escaped him, in a tone of sorrow and surprise. With Paul's immense power, and his disposition to place it at the disposal of France, the first consul doubtless reckoned upon the accomplishment of many important plans which his death disconcerted. It was natural, also, that Napoleon should be moved by the sudden and violent end of a prince, who had manifested so much admiration of his person and his qualities. He is said to have dwelt so long on the strangeness of the incident, that Fouche was obliged to remind him, that it was a mode of changing a chief magistrate, or a course of administration, which was common to the empire in which it took place.'

The Battle of Copenhagen was fought on April 2, 1801. Sir Walter Scott covered it in his "Life of Napoleon Buonaparte". The outcome of this battle was very favorable for the British, who fought under the command of Admiral Hyde Parker. Another British naval hero, Horatio Nelson, played a pivotal role in the battle. At roughly the same time Russian Czar Paul I was assassinated, which Scott points out altered the course of Russian policy thereafter.

No comments:

Post a Comment