Notes of Lessons: History, Class III

Notes of Lessons: History, Class III

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children’s regular studies (in the Parents’ Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Subject: History Class III Time: 40 minutes

By H. E. Wix
The Parents’ Review, 1904, pp. 307-309


I. To make the children think, by setting them questions which they cannot answer merely from their book.

II. To help the children to look upon the separate battles as parts of one campaign.

III. To help them to connect all the facts they know about Napoleon in a “life.”


(1) What was Napoleon’s plan for clearing the Channel that he might invade England?

(2) What mistake did Villeneuve make which led to the battle of Trafalgar?

(3) What were the results to Napoleon of the battle of Trafalgar?

(4) The battle of Austerlitz has been called “The Battle of Emperors.” Can you tell me why?

(5) What was the effect of the battle of Austerlitz on Europe?

(6) Write out a list of the most important events, in order as they happened, between October, 1805, and January, 1806.

(7) What do you know of Napoleon’s life before this time?


Step I.—Read these questions through. The first two refer to the last lesson, and the others to the lesson the children are to read. They are only to prepare the answers, except in the case of Question 6.

Step II.—Having left them for about twenty minutes to work alone, go through the questions with them, enlarging  on the answers when necessary.

(1) Napoleon wished the Toulon fleet to draw Nelson away from European waters, then to give him the slip, return to Brest and there meet the other French fleet. Then the two fleets were to protect the army as it crossed the Channel. “Let us be masters of the Channel for six hours and we are masters of the world,” said Napoleon.

(2) Villeneuve succeeded in drawing off Nelson, and in escaping from him back to Europe. At Ferrol he had an engagement with Sir Robert Calder, then the Spanish fleet joined Villeneuve. Instead of sailing straight to the Channel, he turned back and met Nelson, pursuing him. Here was the root of Napoleon’s failure. Quite possibly, had Villeneuve guarded the Channel, the invading army might have landed in England.

(3) By the battle of Trafalgar, Napoleon lost all chance of supremacy by sea, and thus he also practically lost all likelihood of ever subduing England. He immediately gave up the impossible and turned to more conquests on the Continent.

(4) At Austerlitz three Emperors were present in person: Francis II. of Austria and Alexander of Russia, who were leading their troops against Napoleon, Emperor of France.

(5) After the battle of Austerlitz the peace of Presburg was signed between Austria and France, so that Russia and England alone were left to oppose Napoleon.

(6) October 20th, 1805, Ulm.
October 21st, 1805, Trafalgar.
November, 1805, entrance into Vienna.
December 2nd, 1805, Austerlitz.
January 23rd, 1806, death of Pitt.

(7) Napoleon Buonaparte was born in 1769, the same year as Wellington and Soult. He was a native of Ajaccio, in Corsica. His father died when he was about fifteen; his mother was a good woman. They were very poor, but managed to send Napoleon to the military school at Brienne. Here he suffered much because of his poverty. One of his younger brothers went there too, and Napoleon seems to have been very kind to him. On leaving Brienne he went to Paris. He was allowed to have a commission in the army, and it is said that it was his clearsightedness which saved Toulon. In 1796 he was sent to Italy; he was twenty-six. He had married Josephine de Beauharnais, a Creole and a widow, whom he had known only a short time. Soon after the peace of Campo-Formio, he went to Egypt, meaning to go and conquer the East. The battle of the Nile disarranged his plans. Still he took Joppa and laid siege to Acre. But this place was impregnable, especially as it was helped on the sea side by Sir Sidney Smith. So Napoleon returned to France, where he was made First Consul. He then went to Italy and reconquered Lombardy, which had been taken by Austria during his absence. Then peace was made, but for a very short time. It was never intended to last. In 1804 Napoleon began to make his plans for invading England, and war broke out again.