Tales of Trafalgar: Origins and Causes

This lib guide was created by "Group A" in the WISE 2 cohort about The Battle of Trafalgar.


This LibGuide, as a whole, will provide you with resources about The Battle of Trafalgar.

This tab focuses on the actions and events that contributed to that battle taking place. 

A Treaty Broken...


In 1802 "The Treaty of Amiens" was entered by Spain, France, and the Batavian Republic (now known as the Netherlands) with the United Kingdom. This signing marked the end of the French Revolutionary Wars. This treaty meant that Britain had to relinquish its conquests made during the wars, Egypt was to be restored to the Ottoman Empire, and France was ordered to evacuate Naples. It is believed that Napoleon had no intentions of honoring this treaty, he simply wanted to conquer the areas involved. The treaty ended in 1803, which allowed the eruption of the Napoleonic Wars and eventually led to the epic "Battle of Trafalgar".

AMIENS 1802: THE PHONEY PEACE - History Today, Sep2002, Vol. 52 Issue 9, p20

THE PEACE OF AMIEN SIGNED  -  History Today, Mar2002, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p56

RefWorks Citations

How the Battle Came to Be...

Use the "Next" button to see how the Battle of Trafalgar came to happen that day, including an interactive explanation of Napoleon's original plan and an animation of how and why the ships became arranged in that pattern.


Napoleon's Empire

The light orange area shows Napoleon's Empire in 1804 - before the Battle of Trafalgar. The Battle of Trafalgar took place because Napoleon was trying to gain ownership of The British Channel. The other portions were added to his empire throughout his tyrant reign.

Interactive Timeline: Napoleon's Reign

In 1799, at the age of 26, Napoleon seizes power and becomes the dictator of France. It is Napoleon's actions and attempts to conquer and reorganize other nations that greatly contribute to The Battle of Trafalgar taking place in 1805.

*Click the event description to view a detailed explanation and image for each item.*

Wordle: "Causes of The Battle of Trafalgar"

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NAPOLEONIC Wars, 1800-1815

PEACE treaties

GREAT Britain -- Foreign relations

GREAT Britain -- History -- 1800-1837

FRANCE -- Foreign relations

TREATY of Amiens (1802)

FRANCE -- COMBAT sustainability

FRANCE -- History, Military --19th Century

NAPOLEON I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821