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In the Napoleonic Wars, the blockade designed by Napoleon to paralyze Britain through the destruction of British commerce. In the Decrees of Berlin (1806) and Milan (1807), France proclaimed that neutrals and French allies were not to trade with the British. The United Kingdom responded with a counterblockade, which led indirectly to the War of 1812. Because of Britain's naval superiority, the effort to enforce the system proved disastrous for Napoleon.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Continental System, visit Britannica.com.
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