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1798 was a relatively quiet period in the French Revolutionary Wars. The major continental powers in the First coalition had made peace with France, leaving France dominant in Europe with only a slow naval war with Great Britain to worry about. The leaders of the Directory in Paris feared Napoleon Bonaparte's popularity after his victories in Italy, so they were relieved when he proposed to depart France and mount an expedition to Egypt to gain further glory.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted the French Republic against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee which governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
At this time, Egypt was a province of the Ottoman Empire, but Napoleon viewed invading Egypt as a way to threaten British dominance in the Mediterranean Sea and threaten the British position in India, and to gain prestige for revolutionary arms.
The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.
India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Napoleon raised a large army including scientists and cultural experts, and sailed from Toulon on 19 May. Stopping to capture Malta on 12 June, he landed near Alexandria on 2 July and took the city. Napoleon's army proceeded to march against the Mameluke armies in Cairo, and met them at the Battle of the Pyramids on 21 July. Facing a huge army, Napoleon organized his army into squares and used his artillery to disperse the Mameluke attacks. The Mameluke army retreated into Syria, leaving Napoleon dominant in Egypt.
Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department.
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.
Mamluk is an Arabic designation for slaves. The term is most commonly used to refer to slave soldiers and Muslim rulers of slave origin.
However, the British were threatened by this move, and admiral Horatio Nelson rushed to the coast of Egypt. There, he came upon the French fleet at anchor and systematically destroyed it in the Battle of the Nile. Without a fleet, Napoleon's army was trapped in Egypt, and the majority would never return to France.
The Battle of the Nile was a major naval battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the Navy of the French Republic at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast off the Nile Delta of Egypt from the 1st to the 3rd of August 1798. The battle was the climax of a naval campaign that had raged across the Mediterranean during the previous three months, as a large French convoy sailed from Toulon to Alexandria carrying an expeditionary force under General Napoleon Bonaparte. The British fleet was led in the battle by Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson; they decisively defeated the French under Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers.
Napoleon consolidated his base in Egypt for the remainder of the year. However, the local population in Cairo, encouraged by the battle of the Nile and annoyed by various taxes and impositions by the French, revolted in October, killing many of the French but eventually being suppressed. Damage to mosques sustained during this revolt embittered the Egyptian population against the French.
The French were also under pressure in Belgium and Luxembourg where the local people revolted against conscription and anti-religious violence (Peasants' War). French troops deposed Pope Pius VI, establishing a republic in Rome.
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.
The Peasants' War was a peasant revolt in 1798 against the French occupiers of the Southern Netherlands, a region which now includes Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of Germany. The French had annexed the region in 1795 and control of the region was officially ceded to the French after the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. The revolt is considered part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
Pope Pius VI, born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1775 to his death in 1799.
On 5 March 1798, French troops overran Switzerland at the invitation of French-speaking factions in Vaud, and the Old Swiss Confederation collapsed. On 12 April 1798 121 cantonal deputies proclaimed the Helvetic Republic, "One and Indivisible". The new régime abolished cantonal sovereignty and feudal rights. The occupying forces established a centralised state based on the ideas of the French Revolution.
The early modern history of the Old Swiss Confederacy and its constituent Thirteen Cantons encompasses the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) until the French invasion of 1798.
In Swiss history, the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803) represented an early attempt to impose a central authority over Switzerland, which until then had consisted of self-governing cantons united by a loose military alliance.
On 18 May the British launched combined Royal Navy and British Army raid on Ostend to destroy the lock gates of the Bruge Canal and to burn the French gun-ships that were in the harbour. The objectives were achieved but the entire army contingent of 1,300 men were either killed or captured.
An expeditionary force was sent to County Mayo in Ireland to assist in the rebellion against Britain in the summer of 1798. On 22 August, nearly two months after the main uprisings had been defeated, about 1,000 French soldiers under General Humbert landed in the north-west of the country, at Kilcummin in County Mayo. Joined by up to 5,000 local rebels, they inflicted a humiliating defeat (known as the Castlebar races to commemorate the speed of the British retreat) on the British at the Battle of Castlebar and set up a short-lived "Republic of Connacht", before final defeat at the Battle of Ballinamuck, in County Longford, on 8 September 1798.
By the end of the year, the European powers, having recovered from their previous defeats and emboldened by Napoleon's absence, organized a new Second Coalition. The only military activity before the end of the year was in Italy, where Naples captured Rome on 28 October but was driven out by the end of the year.
| French Revolutionary Wars |
1798 (MDCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar, the 1798th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 798th year of the 2nd millennium, the 98th year of the 18th century, and the 9th year of the 1790s decade. As of the start of 1798, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
The Battle of Abukir or Aboukir refers to three battles fought near Abukir, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast west of the Nile delta:
In 1882, Egypt was occupied by the United Kingdom, following the Orabi Revolt against the Egyptian khedive. Though never formally a British colony, the Kingdom of Egypt was essentially under British control thereafter, even after the formal recognition of Egyptian independence in 1922, with British troops remaining around the Suez Canal zone. Full Egyptian self-rule was not realised until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
The War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802) was the second war on revolutionary France by the European monarchies, led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and including the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and Sweden. Their goal was to contain the expansion of the French Republic and to restore the monarchy in France. They failed to overthrow the revolutionary regime and French territorial gains since 1793 were confirmed. In the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, France held all of its previous gains and obtained new lands in Tuscany, Italy, while Austria was granted Venetia and the Dalmatian coast. Britain and France signed the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, bringing an interval of peace in Europe that lasted for 14 months. By May 1803 Britain and France were again at war and in 1805 Britain assembled the Third Coalition to resume the war against France.
The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was a major engagement fought on 21st July 1798 during the French Invasion of Egypt. The French army, under Napoleon Bonaparte, scored a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Egyptian army. It was the battle where Napoleon employed one of his significant contributions to military tactics, the divisional square. Actually a rectangle, the deployment of the French brigades into these massive formations repeatedly threw back multiple cavalry charges by the Egyptians.
Murad Bey Mohammed was an Egyptian Mamluk chieftain (Bey), cavalry commander and joint ruler of Egypt with Ibrahim Bey. He is often remembered as being a cruel and extortionate ruler, but an energetic courageous fighter.
The Battle of Abukir was a battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Seid Mustafa Pasha's Ottoman army on July 25, 1799, during the French campaign in Egypt. It is considered the first pitched battle with this name, as there already was a naval battle on August 1, 1798. No sooner had the French forces returned from a campaign to Syria, than the Ottoman forces were transported to Egypt by Sidney Smith's British fleet to put an end to French rule in Egypt.
The Eyalet of Egypt was the result of the conquest of Mamluk Egypt by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, following the Ottoman–Mamluk War (1516–1517) and the absorption of Syria into the Empire in 1516. Egypt was administered as an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 until 1867, with an interruption during the French occupation of 1798 to 1801.
John Moore was an Irish statesman and rebel leader.
The French Campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Ottoman territories of Egypt and Syria, proclaimed to defend French trade interests, weaken Britain's access to British India, and to establish scientific enterprise in the region. It was the primary purpose of the Mediterranean campaign of 1798, a series of naval engagements that included the capture of Malta.
The Siege of Alexandria was fought between 17 August and 2 September 1801, during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French and British forces and was the last action of the Egyptian Campaign. The French had occupied Alexandria, a major fortified harbour city on the Nile Delta in northern Egypt, since 2 July 1798, and the garrison there surrendered on 2 September 1801.
Events from the year 1798 in France.
The Ottoman–Mamluk War of 1516–1517 was the second major conflict between the Egypt-based Mamluk Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire, which led to the fall of the Mamluk Sultanate and the incorporation of the Levant, Egypt and the Hejaz as provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The war transformed the Ottoman Empire from a realm at the margins of the Islamic world, mainly located in Anatolia and the Balkans, to a huge empire encompassing much of the traditional lands of Islam, including the cities of Mecca, Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo. Despite this expansion, the seat of the empire's political power remained in Constantinople.
The Battle of Feldkirch saw a Republican French corps led by André Masséna attack a weaker Habsburg Austrian force under Franz Jellacic. Defending fortified positions, the Austrians repulsed all of the French columns, though the struggle lasted until nightfall. This and other French setbacks in southern Germany soon caused Masséna to go on the defensive. The War of the Second Coalition combat occurred at the Austrian town of Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, located 158 kilometres (98 mi) west of Innsbruck.
The Siege of Fort Julien was a military engagement that took place during the French Revolutionary Wars as part of the French campaign in Egypt and Syria from 8 to 19 April 1801. The action was between a British and Ottoman force numbering 2,000 men and a besieged French force of 300 men.
The Siege of Cairo also known as the Cairo Campaign was a siege that took place during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French and British with Ottoman forces and was the penultimate action of the Egyptian Campaign. British commander John Hely-Hutchinson advanced to Cairo, where he arrived after a few skirmishes in mid June. Joined by a sizeable Ottoman force Hutchinson invested Cairo and on 27 June the surrounded 13,000-strong French garrison under General Augustin Daniel Belliard, out-manned and out-gunned then surrendered. The remaining French troops in Egypt under Jacques-François Menou disheartened by this failure, retired to Alexandria.
The Irish Republic of 1798, more commonly called the Republic of Connacht, was a short lived puppet state proclaimed during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 that resulted from the French Revolutionary Wars. In theory the republic was to cover the whole island of Ireland, but its functional control was limited to only very small parts of the Province of Connacht. The opposing Irish Royal Army was deployed across most of the country including the main towns such as Dublin, Belfast and Cork.
The Convention of El Arish was signed on 24 January 1800 by representatives from France and the Ottoman Empire in the presence of a British representative. It was intended to bring to an end the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, with the repatriation of French troops to France and the return of all territory to the Ottomans.