In March 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte attacked Austrian troops and pushed them back
to within 100 km of their capitol Vienna. They quickly asked France for a peace
agreement. Part of the treaty ceded Venice to France. France marched on Venice
to formally inform them of this fact, ending more than 1,000 years of
All the victories brought Napoleon fame and influence. He started newspapers
and was growing in political strength.
Napoleon wanted to strike England but knew Frances navy was not strong
enough so decided to take Egypt to deny England important trade routes.
In July 1798 Napoleon landed in Alexandria with the British navy in pursuit.
He quickly defeated the local Egyptian forces, but the British arrived to
destroy most of his frigates, diminishing French power in the Mediterranean
but his land army was of sufficient strength to subdue surrounding
Ottoman armies.
European powers took advantage of Napoleon being in north Africa
to renew its agression against republican France. The French
government was weakening, however Napoleon returned to Paris and
drafted a new Constitution to give himself more power. With
the government stable once again. Napoleon attacked his
European adversaries once again.
Napoleon returned to Italy to attack the Austrian troops.
The two armies finally met, and managed to surprise
Napoleon with its strength. Though the French seemed
beaten, and were essentially retreating from battle,
Napoleon was demanding his troops battle on, and fight.
A division of French cavalry entered the battle and
handed victory to the French.