Free Download | The Impact of Napoleon: Prussian High Politics, Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Executive, 1797-1806 | Brendan Simms

This book examines Prussia's response to Napoleon and Napoleonic expansionism in the years before the crushing defeats of Auerstadt and Jena, a period of German history as untypical as it was dramatic. Events are analyzed at the level of high politics, foreign policy and the reform of the executive. The book also addresses matters of general theoretical concern such as high politics, geopolitics and the "primacy of foreign policy". In doing so it goes beyond anything that has been attempted before, and presents a comprehensive and nuanced picture of Prussia before 1806. Brendan Simms' "The Impact of Napoleon" is one of the best historical texts I have ever read. The author presents a cogent and persuasive argument that Prussian foreign policy from 1797-1806 was not influenced in any major way by domestic politics, correcting a mistake that German historians have been making since they began writing on the subject. He shows that there was no "Pro-French" lobby in the court, and that the ministers changed policies to suit the wishes of the king. Simms shows how foreign policy was firmly in the hands of the King, Frederick William III, and the ultimate decision rested with him. Simms shows how the Prussian system of government (put in place by Frederick the Great) led to disaster in the hands of a weak and timid king, when confronted by Napoleon.