Sources Question - Peninsular Wars' Effect on Napoleon's Downfall

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How far do you agree with the view that the Peninsular War played the prime role in Napoleons downfall? Explain your answer, using Sources 1, 2 and 3 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy. There are many reasons for Napoleon’s downfall. There are many individual reasons; however a combination of many events effectively was the reason for his downfall. Firstly, many say that the Peninsular War was the reason, as it showed France was no longer invincible. However, there are many other reasons such as finance, politics and his own self confidence which accumulated to his downfall. Supporting the statement that the Peninsular War played a prime role in Napoleons downfall is Source 1. It infers ‘The Peninsular War is important in explaining Napoleons eventual defeat for several reasons’. The broad viewpoint of this source suggests that the Peninsular War was definitely the reason for Napoleons downfall. It showed the world that France was no longer invincible ‘it punctured the image of French invincibility’. Most importantly, the decision to leave Spain early in 1809 was a huge mistake. He was fighting on two fronts and as a result Spain was left without any inspirational leadership, leaving hostile generals in charge. Source 1 agrees with this ‘The need to maintain forces in Spain meant that there were fewer operations elsewhere [...] Napoleon was fighting on two fronts’. Source 3 also agrees with this reason ‘the wars had become a case of France against the rest’. This clearly paints the picture that Napoleon could not handle the Peninsular was and it highlighted him as no longer the strongest leader. Not only this, Napoleon was no longer liked amongst other countries and he was being looked at as the enemy and not the hero as many years before. In the Peninsular War, Napoleon failed to realise that the guerrilla campaigns which were
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