World History































Horatio Nelson

Horation Nelson is famous because he helped defend England from Napoleon.

England was the only major European power not conquered by Napoleon, due largely to the British naval victory at Trafalgar. In 1805, a combined French and Spanish fleet of 33 warships was intercepted by a British fleet of 27 ships under the command of Admiral Horatio Nelson, a most uncommon sailor. Wounded in a naval battle ten years earlier, Nelson lost the use of his right eye. In a sea battle three years after that, he lost his right arm. The following year, Nelson defeated a French fleet at “The Battle of the Nile,” forcing Napoleon to withdraw from Egypt. Three years after that, he was in a battle against a Dutch fleet when the British commander gave the signal to withdraw. Nelson put the telescope to his blind eye and said he could see no such signal. Nelson went on to destroy the Dutch fleet.

Horatio Nelson = the English admiral who defeated the French fleets of Napoleon but was mortally wounded at Trafalgar (1758-1805).

Egypt = a country in northeast Africa, famous for the ancient civilization that built the pyramids on the Nile River. Its capital city is Cairo.

The Battle of Trafalgar would be Nelson’s greatest victory and his last. Before the battle, he told his sailors "England expects that every man will do his duty.” Nelson’s ships engaged the larger enemy fleet at Cape Trafalgar off the southwest coast of Spain. When the smoke cleared, 20 French and Spanish ships had been destroyed or captured without the loss of a single British vessel. Nelson, however, was shot by a French sniper and died aboard his flagship H.M.S. Victory. Before he died, Nelson was certain of victory, and he declared, “Thank God I have done my duty.” Trafalgar wrecked Napoleon’s plans to invade England, and Britain continued to rule the waves for another hundred years. Today a statue of Admiral Nelson stands atop a tall column in London’s main square, Trafalgar Square.

Battle of Trafalgar = a naval battle in 1805 off the southwest coast of Spain; the French and Spanish fleets were defeated by the English under Nelson (who was mortally wounded).

London = the capital of Britain, located in southeastern England on both sides of the Thames River.