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Britain and the League of Armed Neutrality

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With the failure of the Second Coalition against France in 1800/1, Britain was left alone at war with France during the Napoleonic Wars. They had hoped to place economic pressure on their enemy by using their strength - their navy - but upset former allies. Russia, in particular, now became anti-British, thanks to the insane Tsar. The result was a Russian led ‘League of Armed Neutrality’ formed by Russia, Sweden, Prussia and Denmark to protect Baltic shipping. But the Baltic was a vital source of imports for Britain and its navy, so they sent a fleet to force matters. Admiral parker was in charge, with Nelson second in command.

On April 2nd 1801 Nelson ignored Parker’s orders and attacked the Danish navy as it rested in Copenhagen harbour; he destroyed it after a tough battle, and aimed to follow it up by doing the same to the Russian fleet at Revel. However, Tsar Paul was assassinated thanks to members of the court, and the pro-British Alexander I acceded. He cancelled Russia’s anti-British initiatives, and the League ceased.

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