Free Flashcard From French Revolution and Napoleon
The Continental System was introduce by Napoleon in 1806 in an effort to bankrupt Great Britain (a "nation of shopkeepers") by destroying its trade. This system prohibited all of France or France's dependent states and allies from trading with or having any business with Great Britain. This system was successful at first, decreasing the exports and manufacturing of Britain, however, after continuing wars it proved impossible to enforce and British goods were still smuggled into Europe. British growth continued due to this smuggling of goods into Europe, meanwhile French and other continental industries benefitted from the temporary protection from the British competition.The continental system failed to destroy England's trade because Portugal was also cut off from trade with the rest of Europe, but it was right next to Spain, which was included in the continental system. So there was a lot of smuggling from England to Portugal and into Spain and other parts of Europe and vise versa. When Napoleon caught on to the smuggling, he killed thousands of Spaniards, blaming them for complying with England and being smugglers.