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  • The Peninsular War, a letter from the besieged Cádiz


    Historical background

    We write the year 1807. Napoleon’s pact with Russia at Tilsit left him free to turn his attention toward Britain and to the two powers that remained friendly to Britain: Sweden and Portugal. Napoleon summoned the Portuguese to close their ports to the British to complete the Continental System which was designed to make economic war. When the Portuguese proved dilatory, Napoleon ordered General Junot to march with a force of 30,000 through Spain to Portugal. The Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil. Portugal and parts of northern Spain were conquered by the French army. The Spanish minister Godoy, who was known for his friendly policy toward Napoleon I., persuaded his king Charles IV to escape to South America but Charles was overthrown by the revolt of Aranjuez and abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand. Under the leadership of General Murat, French troops occupied Madrid. On May 5th, 1808 Napoleon forced

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    1. The Mother Bank quarantine station – The Peninsular War, a letter from the besieged Cádiz

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