1 February, 1793 France delares War on Great Britain and the Netherlands

The "levee en masse" was not the well adorned army of Napoleon a few years later. Above is the 59eme Demi-Bragade reenacting in Italy.

It was today, 1 February 1793, less than two weeks after murder of King Louis XVI the that France declared war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Immediately after the murder of the King Louis XVI a military coalition was formed against France. France had stated it's aim was to export revolution through out Europe. The act of regicide and the declaration of the levée en masse united all of Europe This united all Europe, ...including Spain, Naples, and the Netherlands against the revolution. Even Great Britain, initially sympathetic to the assembly, had by now joined the First Coalition against France, and armies were raised against France on all its borders.

France encountered reverses at first, being driven out of Belgium and suffering revolts in the Vendée(1) and south. But by the end of the year, the newly created armies and a fierce policy of internal repression including mass executions had repelled the invasions and suppressed the revolts. The year ended with French forces in the ascendant, but still close to France's pre-war borders.

It was during this phase of the Wars of Revolution that a little Corsican made his first appearance at the Battle of Toulon.

Thus began the opening shots of a 22 year war .

Vive le Roy!

(1) Which began when the levee attempted to conscript Vendéans for the war against Austria.

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