A French governor, however, remained in it, and by compelling it to submit to the continental system almost ruined its trade.
The Revolution had made war on princes and privilege, and the common people had in general gained wherever the Napoleonic rgime had been substituted for their effete despotisms; but the Continental System was felt as an oppression in every humble household, suddenly deprived of the little imported luxuries, such as sugar and coffee, which custom had made necessaries; and from this time date the beginnings of that popular revolt against Napoleon that was to culminate in the War of Liberation.
The campaign of 1812 may, therefore, be considered as resulting, fi-stly, from the complex and cramping effects of the Continental System on a northern land which could not deprive itself of colonial goods; secondly, from Napoleon's refusal to mitigate the anxiety of Alexander on the Polish question; and thirdly, from tie annoyance felt by the tsar at the family matters noticed above.
It naturally seemed to members of the English Parliament that the cause of the war was Napoleon's ambition; to the Duke of Oldenburg, that the cause of the war was the violence done to him; to businessmen that the cause of the war was the Continental System which was ruining Europe; to the generals and old soldiers that the chief reason for the war was the necessity of giving them employment; to the legitimists of that day that it was the need of re-establishing les bons principes, and to the diplomatists of that time that it all resulted from the fact that the alliance between Russia and Austria in 1809 had not been sufficiently well concealed from Napoleon, and from the awkward wording of Memorandum No. 178.
That the Russian campaign of 1812 was the last device for assuring the success of the Continental System and the ruin of England was nothing to the great mass of Frenchmen.
That state, where Bernadotte had latterly been chosen as crown prince, decided to throw off the yoke of the Continental System and join England and Russia, gaining from the latter power the promise of Norway at the expense of Denmark.