Europe 1815: Battle of Waterloo
By June 1815 the armies of Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia were converging on France, intent on removing Napoleon from power once and for all. Planning on defeating his enemies separately, Napoleon crossed into the southern Netherlands (Belgium) where the Anglo-allied—British, Dutch, and German—and Prussian armies were gathering. However, when Napoleon attempted to eliminate the Anglo-allies at Waterloo, they beat off his attacks for long enough for the Prussians to arrive, and together the two armies routed the French.
9 May–23 Jul 1815 Petite Chouannerie▲
In May 1815 Royalist revolts broke out against Napoleon’s French Empire in the Vendée and among the Chouans—anti-Revolutionary activists—of Brittany and the lower Loire Valley. The uprising forced Napoleon to form an Army of the West and deploy over 10,000 soldiers to the region. These Imperial troops eventually crushed the Vendée rebels at the Battle of Rocheservière on 20 June, but Chouan resistance further north continued until the final restoration of King Louis XVIII’s authority in Brittany.
21 May 1815 Congress Saxony▲
King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony had remained aligned with Napoleon in 1813 and as a result his kingdom had fallen under Russian and Prussian occupation that same year. The two powers agreed that the Prussians would annex Saxony, and that the Russians would get the Duchy of Warsaw, but this deal was rejected by Austria and Britain. After some tension, a compromise was reached in 1815, where Prussia gained 57% of Saxon territory and 42% of its population but Frederick Augustus remained in charge of a reduced Kingdom of Saxony.
8 Jun 1815 German Confederation▲
In the 9th Act of the Congress of Vienna, Austria, Prussia, and the other German-speaking states agreed to form a confederation to succeed the Holy Roman Empire (which had been dissolved in 1806) and maintain stability in Germany. By design this new German Confederation was to be weak and ineffective, as none of the European Great Powers wanted a united Germany. With its capital in Frankfurt, the Confederation was managed by a Federative Diet, whose first meeting was set as 1 September 1815. Its first president was Francis I of Austria, the last ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
9 Jun 1815 Lauenburg exchange▲
In 1814 the Kingdom of Hanover agreed to exchange the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg for Prussian East Frisia, while Denmark was promised Swedish Pomerania as compensation for losing Norway to Sweden. This situation was revised in June 1815, when Denmark agreed to cede Swedish Pomerania to Prussia in return for Saxe-Lauenburg and a payment of 2.6 million Thalers. Lauenburg fell into personal union with the Danish crown, while the Prussians annexed Swedish Pomerania in October.
9 Jun 1815 Final Act of Vienna▲
On 9 June 1815 representatives of Austria, Britain, France, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden signed the 121-article Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, confirming all the separate treaties it had contained. With the signatory powers thus guaranteeing the ratification of the resolutions, the Congress was brought to an end.
17 Jun–3 Jul 1815 Second Barbary War▲
In March 1815 the United States dispatched ten naval vessels under Commodore Stephen Decatur to the Mediterranean to deal with renewed piracy by the Regency of Algiers against US merchant shipping. After passing Gibraltar, Decatur encountered and captured the Algerian flagship Meshuda at the Battle off Cape Gata, before proceeding to Algiers itself. Dey Omar Agha of Algiers soon capitulated, agreeing to return all American captives, pay for seized shipping, and guarantee no further demands of tribute against the United States.
18 Jun 1815 Battle of Waterloo▲
In June 1815 Napoleon led the French Grande Armée into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in an attempt to separately attack and destroy the two Seventh Coalition armies—one British-led and one Prussian—mobilizing there. Meeting the British and allied forces under the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo, in what is now Belgium, Napoleon attempted to break through their lines in a number of assaults, but was unsuccessful. The battle ended when the arrival of the Prussian army under Gerbhard von Blücher, and a counteroffensive by the Anglo-allies, routed the French. The defeat ended Napoleon’s brief return in the Hundred Days, forcing him to abdicate a few days later.