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Genesis: Historical research
Reference:

Economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars

Morzheedov Vladislav Gennad'evich

ORCID: 0000-0003-2139-4291

Senior Lecturer, the Department of Fundamental Legal and Socio-Humanities Disciplines, Synergy University; Senior Lecturer, Department of History of Russia, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

105318, Russia, Moscow, Izmailovsky Val str., 2

wladek@rambler.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-868X.2023.6.38281

EDN:

HNOXWW

Received:

17-06-2022


Published:

30-06-2023


Abstract: The article deals with the problem of economic confrontation between France and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. The subject of the study is the nature and conditions of the Anglo-French confrontation through the prism of economic processes. The object of the study are those measures and actions that were taken by France and Britain in order to establish their own economic superiority, special attention is paid to the Continental Blockade introduced by Napoleon I Bonaparte. The purpose of the study is to analyze the causes and consequences of Anglo-French rivalry, as well as the peculiarities of the development of national economies in wartime conditions. The article discusses the measures that have been taken to overcome the crisis phenomena by the governments of France and Britain in connection with the conduct of a policy of mutual blockade. The special role of the naval force and the smuggling trade is noted. The author uses chronological, historical-comparative and historical-system research methods in his work. The results of the study may be of interest to specialists in economic or military history, as well as in the theory and history of international relations. There are still conflicting assessments of the effectiveness and consequences of the economic measures taken by the French and British governments to establish their own hegemony on the European continent. The novelty of the study consists in a comprehensive examination of the nature of the economic confrontation between the two European "superpowers" in the early XIX century. The relevance of the study is determined by the fact that the instrument of economic blockade, the policy of sanctions and counter-sanctions, as well as trade wars remain one of the most important elements of the military-political confrontation of various modern states.


Keywords:

France, Britain, confrontation, The Continental Blockade, Napoleon Bonaparte, trade, industry, port, contraband, Economy

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction

The choice of the research topic is due to the changes that have been taking place in the world in recent years. Due to the confrontation between Western countries and Russia, the competitive struggle in the world market between the United States and China, the contradictory processes of integration and disintegration in various regions of the world, we increasingly find in the modern information field, media reports, various studies mention of economic sanctions, trade wars, customs restrictions, the threat of economic crises. Therefore, many researchers, and not only historians, turn their eyes to the past, where they are looking for some analogies to the processes that are taking place in the world now, trying to identify possible solutions to modern problems. If they talk about one of the first global political and economic confrontations in history, they often recall the period of the XVIII – beginning. XIX century, when the two largest European powers – France and Britain – used all their resources and capabilities to establish and strengthen their hegemony in Europe and in the world. Very often, in the struggle with each other, these two great powers used not only military-political, but also economic methods, they took various actions that combined both military and economic aspects. In the conditions of modern sanctions pressure on Russia, it is very useful to study the experience of the Anglo-French confrontation, which was especially aggravated during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Therefore, this study seems to be quite relevant in the light of the tasks facing our country to develop possible development strategies in the face of sanctions and political and economic confrontation with the West.

The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze the causes, mechanisms, and consequences of the economic confrontation between France and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. The choice of this historical period is due to the fact that it was by the first decades of the XIX century. the confrontation between the two great European empires, which at that time expanded their influence far beyond the European continent, became as acute as possible. It was the colonial character of these empires, as well as Napoleon's attempts to establish French hegemony, primarily in Europe, that determined the features of the economic and political confrontation between the two European powers and their allies.

The object of the author's research was the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars. The subject of the study can be called the consideration of the characteristics and features of this confrontation, primarily through the prism of economics. When working on the problems indicated in the title of the article, the author used chronological, historical-comparative and historical-systemic research methods.

In the era of the Napoleonic Wars, the main confrontation between France and Britain unfolded not only on the continent, but also at sea. Although Britain in that historical period was not subjected to large-scale military invasions or devastating financial shocks, nevertheless, the country went through extremely difficult times. The confrontation with revolutionary and then Napoleonic France affected the material and social level of development of Britain. Of course, the rivalry with Britain had its effect on France itself, on other countries of the continental part of Europe, as well as on the young North American state.

International trade is closely connected with world politics and economics, so it is impossible to exclude the mutual influence of these spheres of public life, as well as the contradictions that arise in each of them. There are several examples in history when general economic blockades aimed at destroying the environment of international contacts for a particular country and trade blockades became instruments of politics. In the future, so-called sanctions also became instruments of confrontation. The most impressive event of this kind in the XIX century was the Continental Blockade, which Napoleon I Bonaparte tried to implement, acting on behalf of France and its allied countries, in relation to Britain and its allies [1, pp. 237-238].

In fact, it took some time to approve this system. Only when Russia, Prussia, Holland, Spain and a number of other countries dependent on Napoleonic France formally joined the anti-British blockade, it was possible to talk about its establishment. At the same time, Britain adopted in 1807 a number of legislative acts that determined, in fact, the implementation of a number of measures that can be called a counterblockade.

It is also important to mention the role played by the navies of both sides in the Anglo-French rivalry. The armed struggle at sea contributed to changes not only in the military, but also in the economic policy of France and Britain. It significantly influenced the implementation of maritime trade, the destruction of old and the creation of new trade routes. Many researchers consider the famous Trafalgar Naval Battle of 1805 to be a key date in the history of the Napoleonic Wars. After the victory in this battle, the English Royal Navy became the "master of the seas". In order to ruin Britain and try to win the war with it, using not only military force, Napoleon decides to introduce a Continental blockade.  In the end, the naval efforts of France after the defeat at Trafalgar became part of the economic war unleashed by Napoleon, the consequences of which were very severe not only for Britain, but also for the French Empire. At the same time, Napoleon began to increasingly associate the final victory over the British with the inclusion of Russia in the orbit of his influence. One of the reasons for the military campaign of Napoleonic France and its allies in 1812 was an attempt to force Alexander I and the Russian government to comply with the conditions of the Continental Blockade. It is not for nothing that the famous Russian historian E.V. Tarle noted that the Continental Blockade became the core of the entire economic, and therefore political struggle at the beginning of the XIX century [12, p. 217].

If we talk about the analysis of historiography on the topic of the study, it is worth noting that the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries have already been covered to varying degrees in the works of a number of domestic and foreign researchers.  At the same time, there are certain contradictions in the assessments of the consequences of the Continental Blockade for France, Britain and other European states. For example, the Russian authors K.A. Voensky, I. M. Kulisher and V.I. Semevsky considered the Continental Blockade as a prologue to the Patriotic War of 1812. At the same time, no special studies were created on Russia's participation in the system of the Continental blockade in pre-revolutionary historiography. Already in Soviet historical science, the outstanding Russian historian E.V. Tarle devoted a separate work to the study of this phenomenon, for this he attracted a fairly wide range of foreign sources. Soviet historians in their studies of the period of the beginning of the XIX century tried to reasonably answer the question whether the Continental Blockade contributed or, on the contrary, hindered the capitalist development of the Russian Empire. For example, M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky and M.N. Pokrovsky justified the conclusion about the progressive influence of the Continental Blockade on the development of the Russian economy. On the contrary, another number of researchers (A.V. Predtechensky, S.A. Pokrovsky, V.G. Sirotkin, etc.) to one degree or another held the opinion about the negative impact of the blockade on Russia. In this study, it is intended to move away from the characterization and analysis of the Continental Blockade and the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation as a whole exclusively through the prism of the influence of these processes on Russia. Therefore, it seems relevant to return to this topic and give a general picture of the Anglo-French economic rivalry during the Napoleonic Wars, analyze the causes and consequences of this confrontation. 

The main part

The origins of the Anglo-French rivalry that swept Europe and the world as a whole during the Napoleonic Wars should be sought back in the XVII-XVIII centuries. Some researchers rightly note that the English and French models of the development of capitalism look to a certain extent directly opposite. This partly explains the long and rather fierce rivalry between Britain and France in the Modern era.

As a result of the revolutionary processes that unfolded in these countries, different political models emerged. The French Revolution, unlike the English One, unfolds from the very beginning as a more radical, innovative movement. The French authorities throughout the XVII-XVIII centuries tried to resolve internal contradictions partly due to external expansion. The wars were supposed to increase France's share in the world market and thereby satisfy the appetites of the bourgeoisie without sacrificing the position of the aristocracy [7, p. 509].

It is also important to note that during the XVIII century. Britain performed a kind of "arrow on the scales" function in Europe. In order to balance the balance of political forces between the powers on the continent and block the rise of a competing hegemonic power, as a rule, British subsidies to the inferior side in any conflict were quite enough. Thus, Britain motivated its continental allies by using its own troops as little as possible [11, pp. 72-73].

 With the coming to power of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Anglo-French confrontation only escalated. Bonaparte actually adopted the economic methods of the war against Britain and, above all, the expulsion of its goods from the French market from the Convention and Directory of the French Republic. However, unlike his predecessors, Napoleon moved from protecting French industry and trade to expansion, since he sought to conquer the entire European market for French goods. Even the conclusion of the Peace of Amiens in 1802 did not resolve the trade contradictions between Paris and London; after its rupture and the resumption of hostilities, the French occupied Hanover and the mouth of the Elbe. In response, Britain declared a blockade of the coast from Brest to the Elbe [13, p. 188].

In Napoleon's plans to establish hegemony, contrary to our modern experience, the political largely precedes the economic. It is enough to consider the dates. When the Continental Blockade was established by the Berlin Decree of November 21, 1806, Napoleon's empire was not yet being built, it was already actually created. After the victory at Austerlitz in the first six months of 1806, the map of the continent changed significantly. Napoleon seated his relatives on the thrones of Europe: Joseph Bonaparte ruled in Naples, another brother, Louis - in Holland, and sister Eliza - in Lucca. Emperor Franz II of Habsburg laid down the crown of Germany, and the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist, and in July 1806 the Rhine Union was created under the "protection" of the Emperor of the French.

The goals set by the Berlin Decree were quite ambitious. Napoleon sought to defeat Britain at sea by his actions on land. Of course, the Continental Blockade did not close the way for other forms of continuing the struggle against Britain. Some researchers of the Napoleonic era believed that the very idea that it was possible to defeat a naval power with the help of certain measures implemented on land was an impossible task. In addition, the creation of a unified Europe, at least in the sphere of economic policy, was also quite difficult to implement at that time. In the European countries in the XIX century. the process of formation of national states continued. Therefore, the attempt to unify the European continent at that time contradicted in many ways these trends [9, pp. 459-460].

If the closure of European space for British goods at least partially became possible, it was only because Napoleon won a brilliant military victory over Prussia. Within a few weeks after the Battles of Jena and Auerstedt (October 14, 1806), the French were able to seize important ports - Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck. Napoleon began to control almost the entire coast of Northern Europe. The only ones open to English ships were the coasts of Russia and Sweden, which were still at war with France. Therefore, the declaration of the Continental Blockade in 1806 was only the beginning of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars.

Napoleon not only continued and strengthened the monopolization of the imperial domestic market in favor of French industry, but also dealt a blow to the entire English economy, tried to push it to state bankruptcy, starvation and surrender. He wanted to expel the British not only from the French Empire, but from Europe, to deprive them of all European markets [12, p. 217].

It is important to note that the blockade itself did not mean the creation of an economic union on the continent under the auspices of France. It only extended to the whole of Europe the ban on English goods, which the Republican Convention established for France back in 1793. At the same time, the governments of the states dependent on the Napoleonic Empire were simply informed about the introduction of the anti-British blockade, no preliminary consultations were held with them.

In July 1807, the conclusion of the Tilsit Peace allowed Russia to be involved in the Continental Blockade, then Denmark joined the system two months later, after the British attack on Copenhagen. Portugal was also forced to do this for a while, and Austria closed its ports on the Adriatic to the British and their trade. Napoleon at that time regarded his actions precisely as a war "for the independence of trade." After the defeat of Prussia and Russia, France had in fact only one significant rival in Europe – Britain. Napoleon's goal was to close all European markets to her.

In December 1807, in Milan, Napoleon signed decrees aimed at strengthening the blockade of Britain. Any trade and all relations with the British were strictly prohibited. All British goods found on the territory of France and its allied states were subject to confiscation. In addition, any vessel that allows it to be inspected by a British ship will be considered "denationalized" - a concept that, within the meaning of international legal norms, can only be identified with the definition of "outlaw". Such a vessel "lost its flag", at least for the French authorities, and was subject to immediate seizure [10, p. 423].

Pursuing such a policy, Napoleon hoped that by cutting off Britain from European markets, he would strangle it economically, but Britain was able to respond to this with a naval counterblockade. British ships seized French and neutral merchant ships, blocked French ports and, despite all obstacles, smuggled British goods into Europe and even into France itself. Nevertheless, the Continental blockade at first strengthened the political and economic hegemony of France in Europe [4, p. 199].

For Britain, the introduction and expansion of the Continental Blockade has become a definite test of strength. Trade in naval products (wood, resin, hemp) in exchange for tropical goods and industrial products begins to fail. The decline in trade led in turn to an industrial crisis, especially in the textile industry. At the same time, the French economy is booming and developing its exports across the continent. However, Britain retained its position in the Mediterranean, and as a result of the bombing of Copenhagen in 1807, She forced Denmark to maintain free passage through the straits. As a response, Britain facilitated the smuggling trade from warehouses established in Heligoland, Gothenburg and Malta. In the English Channel, hundreds of smugglers, despite careful surveillance, delivered goods to the French coast.

With the resumption of hostilities in 1808-1809 in Spain and Austria, the crisis of the British economy was generally overcome. There was an impressive recovery in export volumes, which exceeded the level of 1806. However, the defeat of Austria in 1809 led to a new crisis of the British economy, much more serious than the previous one, especially since it coincided with the gap between Britain and the United States. English exports declined from 61 million pounds in 1810 to less than 43 million pounds the following year.  The collapse of trade leads to a new industrial crisis. All production regions were affected. Unemployment and falling wages led to riots, factory fires and the growing popularity of the "Luddite" movement.

To overcome the next crisis and successfully confront France in the economic sphere, Britain focused on the markets of Canada, the West Indies and especially Latin America. The latter became a zone of special British interests after the French intervention in Portugal and Spain. The British government also took advantage of the crisis in the French Empire itself. Due to the British counterblockade, French producers lacked raw materials, in particular cotton and raw silk. Their products, considered too expensive and of poor quality, were boycotted by buyers in the rest of Europe, which largely contributed to the growth of British smuggling.

In 1807-1812, the same customs barriers operated in Europe as in France. She closed access to colonial goods and industrial British products for herself, paradoxically imposing on herself the blockade that Britain imposed on her from the sea. According to Napoleon, all this seemed necessary as a kind of "medicine" on the way to future prosperity. In addition to the immediate demands of war against Britain, we are talking about, taking into account the circumstances, creating a new regime of international economic relations in which Europe, freed from British domination, could freely develop its industrial capabilities.

Due to the Continental blockade, the French economy could face a paradoxical situation at the beginning of the XIX century. French industrialists have a unique opportunity to dominate the European market and, first of all, the domestic market. On the other hand, raw materials could become so scarce that it would jeopardize the hopes of expanding production. This new situation was supposed to influence changes in the rules of the economic game.

It should also be noted that the application of the blockade policy has led to a number of unpleasant consequences for European consumers. Of course, not a complete lack of products, since there was smuggling, namely the shortage caused discontent among the population. The deficit, as usual, led to a significant increase in prices for "sanctioned" goods. Some measures, such as the burning of products of English production, organized since October 1810, only increased discontent. According to the famous Baroness de Stael, it was the increase in sugar and coffee prices that influenced the decline in Napoleon's popularity among various segments of the population at that time.

In order to calm down their own population somewhat, the rulers of the German states allowed a certain amount of smuggling, while in France they tried to fight it. As a result, for example, the prices of prohibited goods were much lower on the right bank of the Rhine than on the left: in 1807, a kilogram of cotton, which cost six francs on the right bank, cost fourteen on the left; in 1811, the ratio was even one to six. When Napoleon tried to suppress the spread of smuggling among his satellites, he did not always find the expected support.

In the unfolding confrontation with Britain, Napoleon had to ease the blockade, which resulted in the adoption of the new Trianon Decree of 1810. In order to reduce the negative consequences of the anti-British policy and deprive smugglers of part of their income, the Emperor of the French introduced a system of "licenses", a kind of official permits for violating the Continental Blockade. Such licenses were issued exclusively to American or French vessels. This, of course, was another reason for the discontent of Napoleon's European allies. The Russian Emperor Alexander I used this as an excuse to violate his "Tilsit" obligations and close his country to French goods by decree of December 31, 1810.

The decrees adopted in Trianon and Fontainebleau (August 5 and October 18, 1810, respectively) changed the customs policy of Napoleonic France and strengthened repressive measures against possible fraud. They allowed the importation into the empire, for the payment of very high duties, of colonial goods and woolen fabrics. The consequence of this could be too large a difference between French and foreign prices, which would contribute to the expansion of smuggling and would damage the French cotton industry, which was forced to produce products at higher prices than foreign enterprises. Forcing German countries to levy the same duties on colonial goods and cotton as in France meant putting French and German merchants and industrialists on an equal footing: a measure characteristic of the continental system in its economic aspect.

As a result, special licenses allowed the import of colonial goods into France, such as cotton, silk, sugar and coffee, even if they passed through English inspection. According to Napoleon, this system was supposed to aggravate the leakage of precious metals from the British economy and ruin the enemy. In reality, the expected collapse did not happen, and it was the French Empire, after a short recovery, that would plunge into crisis again, starting in 1812.

The provisions of the new decrees revising the rules of the blockade will begin to apply to all European territories without prior consultation with France's allies. Thus, the situation with the Berlin and Milan decrees will be repeated. All this emphasized once again that the Napoleonic Empire did not consider its allies on the continent as equal partners, but sought to protect only its own interests in the first place.

In addition to the above-mentioned reasons for the deterioration of relations between France and its European allies in 1810, there was another reason for discontent. Napoleon believed that France, which, because of the blockade, was making great sacrifices in the interests of the whole of Europe, should receive some compensation for this. The emperor sought to open European markets to French industry, while maintaining the exclusivity of the national market, protected by protectionist laws from competition from not only Britain, but also its European allies. French industry had to make the most of France's dominance in Europe. Manufactured goods that could compete with national industry were banned or heavily taxed when imported into France.

Within the framework of the Anglo-French confrontation, Russia was also one of the key players in the international arena. She was a member of several anti-French coalitions. The Anglo-French rivalry also had an impact on the economic situation of the Russian Empire. Despite officially joining the Continental Blockade in 1807, the Russian government, faced with economic difficulties, was forced to further violate these agreements and resume trade relations with Britain. The reason for the change in economic policy was that in Russia, after its accession to the blockade, a reduction in the total volume of trade began, while prices for imported goods rose and prices for traditional Russian exports fell. As a result, revenues to the treasury of customs duties have almost halved, the production of export-oriented goods and goods for the manufacture of which imported materials were used has fallen. All this led to a financial crisis and forced the Russian government to violate the Tilsit Treaty, which, of course, caused displeasure on the part of Napoleon [5, p. 24]. Despite certain negative consequences, the Continental blockade, as well as the Anglo-French economic confrontation in general, gave a tangible impetus to the development of the Russian manufacturing industry. The French envoy to Russia Armand de Caulaincourt wrote to Paris on March 21, 1811, not only that Russians complain about the high cost of luxury goods and the fall in the exchange rate of their ruble, but also that many cloth, silk and spinning factories have been founded, that rich landowners are writing out foreign masters who teach Russian workers to the techniques of their craft [6, p. 165].

Conclusions

Summing up, it should be noted, first of all, the scale of the Anglo–French confrontation that took place at the end of the XVIII - early XIX centuries. It affected almost all European countries, as well as the United States and Latin America.  There is still no unity among domestic and foreign researchers in assessing the nature and consequences of the economic confrontation between the two "superpowers" of the European political space. But the fact that the economy, politics and the social sphere are closely interrelated and subject to mutual influence can be very clearly demonstrated, including on the events of the Napoleonic Wars.

According to the fair remark of the American naval theorist and historian A.T. Mahan, in order to win in the fight against France, Britain had not only to weaken the Napoleonic empire, but also to strengthen its own forces. The battle between the "sea" and the "land" was to take place on the basis of trade. The British did not have a large army to oppose the forces of Napoleonic France and its allies. Napoleon, in turn, did not have a navy capable of measuring forces with his main opponent. As in the siege of an impregnable fortress, the only alternative for each of these "fighters" was to bring the enemy to exhaustion [10, p. 421].

Some researchers see the continental system that Napoleon tried to create as a prototype of the European "common market" or even the predecessor of the European Union, which seems to be some exaggeration.
There is no denying the fact that, despite a number of important steps towards pan-European economic and political integration, Napoleonic France sought, first of all, to establish its own hegemony, eventually destroying Britain's influence on the continent.

The important economic consequences of the Anglo-French rivalry in the period under review include the fact that the volume of trade between European countries decreased by about one and a half times. At the same time, the indicators of French foreign trade in the period from 1807 to 1811 were very deplorable. During these years, the level of French exports, fluctuating between 261 and 339 million francs, remained significantly below the level of 1806 (408 million francs) and even 1804 (358 million francs), the cessation of trade with neutral countries largely explains these disappointing figures. Only in 1812 the value of French exports (418 million francs) was higher than the average before the blockade, which can be explained by the cumulative effect of the resumption of trade relations with the United States and the introduction of licenses by Napoleon. English exports, as well as the economy as a whole, were also subjected to constant crisis phenomena, which was discussed in more detail above.

From the point of view of the famous French historian F. Kruse, in economic terms, the Continental Blockade was not "ineffective". However, due to a number of political and military reasons, Napoleon could not use this tool for a long time to successfully achieve his goals [14, p. 855-860]. On the one hand, the French encountered political and nationalist resistance within their empire. On the other hand, in this fertile atmosphere, Britain bought allies for itself through significant loans. As a result, under this counter-pressure, Napoleon began to retreat on the economic scene as early as 1810, when he reopened French ports for colonial products with the help of licenses. Thus, he actually included the smugglers' incomes in the state treasury, but this only increased political resistance in Europe, since this measure turned out to be a hidden economic deal with the British at the expense of other Europeans [3, p. 146].

Politically, the Anglo-French rivalry and the Continental Blockade, as one of its instruments, led to the constant expansion of French territory. This, for example, was clearly demonstrated by a series of annexations in 1810, when Holland, Hamburg, Bremen and a number of other territories were annexed directly to France. The inconsistency of the processes taking place at that time lies in the fact that, by strengthening the economic and military-political power of France, Napoleon simultaneously contributed to the growth of resistance to his policies, even in countries that were his allies. Britain, of course, suffered economically from the measures of the Continental Blockade. On the other hand, it was forced to rebuild its economy to some extent, making it more flexible in case of increased crisis phenomena in the future. In addition, following the results of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain became one of the victorious countries and was able to compensate for its economic losses in general by annexing new territories and becoming a "workshop of peace" in the future.

Speaking about the consequences of the Napoleonic Wars for Europe, of which the Anglo-French rivalry was a part, it is also important to note that, despite the short-term strengthening of the absolutist regimes, in the end the victory of the Anti-French coalition led to an even greater increase in the political and especially economic power of Great Britain. The XIX century, despite the unconditional political influence of France, should be fully called the "British century". It was the foggy Albion, not France, that was the undisputed leader of the capitalist world-system (free-trader imperialism, in the words of D. Arriga) and its defender against any military and economic threats. In addition, the industrial, commercial and colonial hegemony of Great Britain was no longer threatened. France, having become a capitalist power, having once again lost in the struggle for the hegemony of Great Britain, establishes a strategic partnership in Europe and in the colonies with its previously deadly rival [2, p. 22].

In addition to the purely economic consequences, the victory of the Anti-French Coalition, where Britain played one of the key roles, had political and socio-cultural consequences that were associated with the further development of Europe. After the victory over Napoleon, the mood associated with the construction of a new political reality is confirmed in the public consciousness of Europeans. The ideas of forming a new pan-European order were literally in the air, the issue of national liberation and unification of various peoples was being discussed more and more actively. This was especially true for Germany, Italy, as well as for the Slavic world [8, p. 608].

Thus, having considered the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as its political consequences, we can safely conclude that without understanding the connections and mutual influence of the political and economic spheres of society, it is impossible to understand the processes that took place in the past. And it is impossible to fully prepare for the crisis phenomena that may await us in the future.

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for the article Economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars, the title generally corresponds to the content of the article materials. The title of the article conditionally looks at the scientific problem, which the author's research is aimed at solving. The reviewed article is of relative scientific interest. The author failed to explain the choice of the research topic and justify its relevance. The article does not formulate the purpose of the study, does not specify the object and subject of the study, the methods used by the author. In the reviewer's opinion, the main elements of the "program" of the study were not fully thought out by the author, which affected its results. The author did not present the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem and did not formulate the novelty of the undertaken research, which is a significant disadvantage of the article. In presenting the material, the author selectively demonstrated the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem in the form of links to relevant works on the research topic. There is no appeal to opponents in the article. The author did not explain the choice and did not characterize the range of sources involved in the disclosure of the topic. The author failed to explain and justify the choice of chronological and geographical scope of the study. In the opinion of the reviewer, the author sought to maintain the scientific style of presentation, competently use the methods of scientific knowledge, observe the principles of logic, systematicity and consistency of presentation of the material. As an introduction, the author said that Britain went through extremely difficult times during the Napoleonic Wars, that "international trade is closely linked to world politics and economics, therefore it is impossible to exclude the mutual influence of these spheres of public life," and that "the most impressive event of this kind in the 19th century was the Continental Blockade," etc. The author listed a number of names the researchers, whose works touched upon "the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries," and stated that it is important "to return to this topic and give an overall picture of the Anglo-French economic rivalry during the Napoleonic Wars, analyze the causes and consequences of this confrontation." In the main part of the article, the author abstractly reported that "the English and French models of the development of capitalism look to a certain extent directly opposite," etc., explained exactly how "with the coming to power of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Anglo-French confrontation only escalated," how exactly "Napoleon sought to defeat Britain at sea by his actions on land" "he wanted to to expel the British not only from the French Empire, but from Europe, to deprive them of all European markets." Then the author revealed his thoughts that "with the resumption of hostilities in 1808-1809 in Spain and Austria, the crisis of the British economy was generally overcome," "Britain focused on the markets of Canada, the West Indies and especially Latin America," etc., that "the application of the blockade policy led to a number of unpleasant consequences for European consumers"and "influenced the decline in Napoleon's popularity among various segments of the population at that time." In the following stories, the author explained that "in order to reduce the negative consequences of the anti-British policy and deprive smugglers of part of their income, the Emperor of the French introduced a system of "licenses", a kind of official permits for violating the Continental Blockade," etc., and also that "the emperor sought to open European markets to French industry, while maintaining the exclusivity of the national a market protected by protectionist laws from competition from not only Britain, but also its European allies." Further, it is unclear why the author turned to the story about the impact of "Anglo-French rivalry during the Napoleonic Wars on the economic situation of the Russian Empire," concluding that "despite certain negative consequences, the Continental Blockade, as well as The Anglo-French economic confrontation as a whole gave a tangible impetus to the development of the Russian manufacturing industry," etc. The article contains minor typos, such as: "territories, For example,", "economically, of course, it suffered," etc., unsuccessful expressions, such as: "The nascent bourgeois class benefits by receiving government orders and profits, but there is a problem of control. In England, the Stuart monarchy is trying to free itself from the control of the bourgeoisie, while in France the bourgeoisie is trying to get rid of the control of the monarchy." The author's conclusions are generalizing and clearly formulated. The conclusions do not allow us to evaluate the scientific achievements of the author within the framework of his research. The conclusions reflect the results of the research conducted by the author in full. In the final paragraphs of the article, the author reported that the Anglo-French confrontation affected "almost all European countries, as well as the United States and Latin America," and that among researchers "there is still no unity in assessing the nature and consequences of the economic confrontation between the two "superpowers" of the European political space." The author banally stated that "the economy, politics and the social sphere are closely interrelated and subject to mutual influence," and that this "can be very clearly demonstrated, including on the events of the Napoleonic Wars period," etc. Then the author explained that "the only alternative for each of these "fighters" was to bring the enemy to exhaustion"that at the same time, "Napoleonic France sought, first of all, to establish its own hegemony, eventually destroying Britain's influence on the continent," etc. and that "due to a number of political and military reasons, Napoleon could not use this tool for a long time to successfully achieve his goals," etc. The author unexpectedly and banally summarized that "without understanding the connections and mutual influence of the political and economic spheres of society, it is impossible to understand the processes that took place in the past" and "it is impossible to fully prepare for the crisis phenomena that may await us in the future." The conclusions, in the opinion of the reviewer, do not clarify the purpose of the study. In the reviewer's opinion, the potential purpose of the study has been partially achieved by the author. The publication may arouse the interest of the magazine's audience. The article requires significant revision, first of all, in terms of formulating the key elements of the research program and their corresponding conclusions.

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The current international situation is determined by increased conflict between various actors, which is determined by the dynamic transformation of the monopolar world, led by Washington, into a multipolar world, in which, along with the North American superpower, Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi, Tehran, etc. will occupy leading positions. It is precisely the geopolitical confrontation that determines the policy of economic sanctions, which the collective West first pursued against the so-called rogue states (North Korea, Iran), and then began to implement it regardless of any principles. But the policy of economic sanctions is not new: for example, back in the early 19th century, Napoleon tried to suppress the economy of the British Empire with a continental blockade, etc. These circumstances determine the relevance of the article submitted for review, the subject of which is the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars. The author sets out to analyze the historiography of the issue, to consider the origins and nature of the Anglo-French rivalry, as well as to determine its consequences. The work is based on the principles of analysis and synthesis, reliability, objectivity, the methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach, which is based on the consideration of the object as an integral complex of interrelated elements. The author also uses the historical-comparative method. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the very formulation of the topic: the author, based on various sources, seeks to characterize the economic aspects of the Anglo-French confrontation during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as its political consequences. Considering the bibliographic list of the article, as a positive point, we note its versatility: in total, the list of references includes 14 different sources and studies. The undoubted advantage of the reviewed article is the attraction of foreign literature, including in French. Of the studies used by the author , we note how the general theoretical work (And .Wallerstein, B.Y. Kagarlitsky), and works focusing on various aspects of the era of the Napoleonic Wars (A. Mahan, E.V. Tarle, L.P. Arskaya). Note that the bibliography of the article is important both from a scientific and educational point of view: after reading the text of the article, readers can turn to other materials on its topic. In general, in our opinion, the integrated use of various sources and research contributed to the solution of the tasks facing the author. The style of writing the article can be attributed to a scientific one, at the same time understandable not only to specialists, but also to a wide readership, to anyone interested in both the history of economic confrontations in general and the Anglo-French rivalry in particular. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article. The structure of the work is characterized by a certain logic and consistency, it can be distinguished by an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. At the beginning, the author defines the relevance of the topic, shows that "the English and French models of the development of capitalism look to a certain extent directly opposite," which caused the bitterness of the confrontation between the powers in the early 19th century. The main part of the article is devoted to the history of the Continental Blockade, as well as the analysis of its assessments in research papers. The author draws attention to the fact that although "some researchers see in the continental system that Napoleon tried to create, the prototype of the European "common market" or even the predecessor of the European Union," in reality, Napoleonic France sought, first of all, to establish its own hegemony on the continent. The main conclusion of the article is that "without understanding the connections and mutual influence of the political and economic spheres of society, it is impossible to understand the processes that took place in the past," and therefore it is impossible to predict the future. The article submitted for review is devoted to an urgent topic, will arouse readers' interest, and its materials can be used both in lecture courses on modern and modern history, and in various special courses. In general, in our opinion, the article can be recommended for publication in the journal Genesis: Historical Research.
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