[1807] - Peninsular War begins

The Peninsular War refers to an extensive military campaign for the control of the Iberian Peninsula from 1807 to 1814. As the war began in December 1807 combined French and Spanish forces invaded Portugal, although the following year France turned against its ally Spain. As the Spanish embarked on a guerrilla war against occupying French forces, British troops worked alongside the Portuguese to resist French advances. By 1812 Napoleon’s forces were struggling to maintain control of the region. In addition, a French invasion of Russia ended disastrously, allowing the allied forces under the command of General Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) to liberate Madrid. Throughout 1813–14 French forces on the peninsula began to withdraw across the Pyrenees. The social, political and economic turbulence caused by the Peninsular War led to the development of independence movements throughout the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America.

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