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hero of the Battle of Trafalgar
Viscount Nelson, one of England's greatest admirals, was given command of the British Mediterranean fleet in 1803 at the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars between France and Britain and their respective allies. At the Battle of Trafalgar, fought near the Strait of Gibraltar on October 21, 1805, Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet. The victory cost Nelson his life, but ended French naval dominance in Europe. Napoleon then decided that the only way he could defeat the British was through economic warfare. Britain responded by taking measures that were among the primary causes of the War of 1812.
A statue of Nelson sits atop a memorial column in London's Trafalgar Square, which was named in honor of the battle which established British domination over the seas.
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This page was last updated on June 19, 2017.