If the military turning-point in Napoleon’s fortunes was the disastrous Russian campaign of 1812, while the position of his forces in the Peninsula also worsened during 1813, it nevertheless took all the allies of the Sixth Coalition to bring him down in the campaigns of 1813–14. In that victory the contribution of Russia was probably the decisive factor, helped no doubt by Prussian mobilisation early in 1813. For if Britain provided most of the lubrication of the Coalition, thanks to the heavy subsidies Castlereagh was able to extract from parliament , Tsar Alexander I injected the resolute will to pursue and destroy the emperor while he was in retreat. It was his Drang nach Westen, as it were, almost a spiritual crusade, that eventually gave the Allies their superiority over the French and inspired his vision of a Holy Alliance at the peace. In spite of Napoleon’s desperate and often brilliant efforts during the campaigns of 1813–14, he was forced to abdicate on 6 April 1814. The claims made on behalf of the King of Rome, the presumptive Napoleon II, with Marie-Louise as regent, had also foundered in the final ‘betrayal’, and the restoration of Louis XVIII was agreed .
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