The peninsular war

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What lead to the Peninsular War, and how did it happen?

A peninsula (from the Latin words "paenīnsula", "paene-": almost + "īnsula": island) is a piece of land almost surrounded by water butconnected to the mainland. The Iberian Peninsula is what we know today as Spain and Portugal, so here, the Peninsular War refers to a war involving these two countries. This was part of theNapoleonic Wars. But why did the Iberian Peninsula get involved in the Napoleonic Wars, and how did it all end?

The Peninsular War lasted from 1807 until 1814. The Spaniards called it ‘La Guerra de laIndependencia’ which means ‘The War of Independence’ in Spanish. We already know that one of Napoleon’s biggest enemy (or even Napoleon’s biggest enemy) was Britain. Because Napoleon wanted to defeatBritain, he tried to figure out another way of weakening Britain other than fighting, as he said: ‘You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war’[1]. BecausePortugal was one of the only lands that had opened trade with Britain, Napoleon thought of taking over Portugal, in order to close trade with Britain and weaken it. One of the only ways to do that wasby tricking his allied Spain by getting its permission to enter with a French army, to move through Spanish land, and then settling in Portugal.
Of course, Bonaparte did not take the risk ofinvading Portugal and Spain by standing on the front line of his army, so he sent Generals and Marshals to different parts of the Iberian Peninsula. On the 1st of December 1807, the French settled inLisbon, under the command of General Jean-Andoche Junot. The day before that, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil, one of their multiple colonies at that time, leaving Portugal in the hands ofthe people. Three months later, Marshal Joachim Murat took entered Spain with a huge army, with the justification of establishing order, because of the dynastic crisis that was going on in Spain....
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