Differences between World War 1 and the Napoleonic Wars

World war one and the Napoleonic wars were two very different wars. World war one 1914-18 and the Napoleonic wars 1793-1813, roughly one hundred years apart have many differences and little similarities, as in one hundred years a lot can change.

Causes of the Wars
The Napoleonic Wars where caused because a lot of the French people wanted the French monarchy to be re-established and to over throw the French government. This can be explained as a political reason. The re-establishment of the French government was the main cause of the war.

In the time of world war one countries made allies with other countries in a way to try and prevent wars, but this failed to work and after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand another number of political reasons stirred up the world which caused the outbreak of the First World War. Similar to the Napoleonic Wars the causes where mainly political and where not caused by greed or any form of needs, such as land…

One big difference between the two wars was numbers, the amount of people involved and the casualties. WW1’s casualties where big even compared with WW2. In WW1 each country would have had a force of millions and millions, every man would fight even the cowards where driven to the war in the end.

In the Napoleonic Wars the armies struggled to scrap together a few thousand men. But a few thousand men in the Napoleonic Wars could be a few million in WW1, so they are relative really.

The amount of deaths in the two wars would also be dependent on the period of time the wars where fought over. But this time it is not the case as the Napoleonic Wars where fought over a much greater length of time and had less casualties than WW1 which was fought over a much shorter period of time. However you must consider the amount of men that fought in WW1 compared to the amount in The Napoleonic Wars

How people felt about the Wars
The difference in numbers made very different impacts on people and changed their views to wars, as well. At the start of WW1 people weren’t worried about the war they thought it would be a stroll in the park, “Back in time for Christmas” however people soon realised this was not the case when films came out. Men dying, being shot, enemy fire, rats and terrible trench conditions, etc.

In comparison with the Napoleonic war this impact was much greater. I think the people in the Napoleonic time did not mind as much because they did not know as much about the conditions of the war and the reality of it all and in those days it was not about lives it was just being proud and fighting for your country. As time has gone on people have realised more and more just how important people’s lives really are

Weapons Of The Napoleonic wars
The weapons in the two wars were very different as well. The weapons can be linked with most of the other points. The number of deaths for example would have been lower if the weapons were poorer or could have been higher if they were better. In the Napoleonic Wars the men would have used the weapons as follows:

The Musket

Muzzle-loading, smoothbore muskets were the main weapons of foot soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. Slow to load, trained infantry were happy to fire three rounds a minute, and very inaccurate - a marksman may hope to hit a man at 80 paces, but at 100 the odds were small.


A major improvement on muskets when it came to accuracy, the rifled barrels of rifles spun the ball so that it kept its accuracy over far greater distances.
At 200 paces a rifle shot, fired by a trained man, would kill the target - almost three times the range of a musket. However, the rifles took longer to load - a fact that put Napoleon Bonaparte off using them.


The bayonet was an extremely efficient terror weapon - as few troops would stand against a fearsome charge.
The thought of being stabbed in the stomach with one would have all but the bravest seeking sanctuary from its path.


Usually the weapon of