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Napoleon Bonaparte

Emperor of the French

Napoleon Bonaparte, by Jacques Louis David

One of the greatest military geniuses of his time, Napoleon's armies crushed one foe after another until he seemed invincible. His soldiers adored him. He personally directed complicated military maneuvers and at the same time controlled France's press, its police system, its foreign policy, and its home government. A talented administrator, he supervised the work of preparing the system of laws called the Code of Napoleon. He also founded the Bank of France, reorganized the French educational system, and established a strong centralized government.

Unimpressive in appearance, Napoleon nevertheless carried himself well. He stood slightly below average height. His courage and short stature led to his early nickname of le Petit Corporal, or "the little corporal."

Chronology of Napoleon's Life and Career
August 15, 1769   Born at Ajaccio, Corsica.
January 1786   Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Artillery.
1789-1794   Fought on the side of the revolutionaries during the French Revolution.
October 5, 1795   Appointed by Vicomte de Barras as his second in command in the Army of the Interior.
March 9, 1796 Josephine Married Josephine de Beauharnais.
March 11, 1796   Named to command the French Army of Italy.
1797   Made peace with Austria in the Treaty of Campo Formio.
July 1798   Defeated the Mamelukes of Egypt.
November 9, 1799   Seized power in France.
August 2, 1802   Named Consul for Life.
December 2, 1804 Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France Crowned himself Emperor of the French.
December 2, 1805   Crushed the allied armies at Austerlitz.
July 12, 1806   Set up the Confederation of the Rhine.
October 14, 1806   Defeated the Prussians at Jena and Austerstädt.
June 14, 1807   Overwhelmed the Russians at Friedland.
April 2, 1810   Married Marie Louise of Austria.
September 14, 1812   Occupied Moscow.
April 11, 1814   Abdicated his throne.
May 4, 1814 Napoleon goes into exile at Elba Exiled and arrived on Elba.
March 20, 1815   Returned to power in France.
June 18, 1815   Defeated in the Battle of Waterloo.
October 16, 1815   Exiled to Saint Helena.
May 5, 1821   Died at Longwood in Saint Helena.

Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte
Saint Helena

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This page was last updated on December 24, 2018.