Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait

A Napoleonic Era Timeline

15 August 1769 - Napolione di Buonaparte born in Ajaccio, Corsica

15 May 1779 - Napoléon (now using the French spelling) enters the Military College of Brienne in France

17 October 1784 - Napoléon enters the Royal Military College of Paris and graduates 21 October 1785 as a Second Lieutenant

1789-99 - The French Revolution

1793 - The Siege of Toulon, where Napoléon is promoted to Brigadier General

5 October 1795 - At the request of Director Barras, Napoléon crushes a royalist upraising, is promoted to General-in-Command - Army of the Interior and first meets Joséphine Beauharnais

9 March 1796 - Napoléon marries Joséphine

March 1796 - October 1797 - First Italian Campaigns, which include victories over the Austrians at Lodi, Arcola and Rivoli and the signing of the Treaty of Campo-Formio

May 1798 - October 1799 - Egyptian Campaign, which ends with Napoléon’s hasty return to Paris

9-10 November 1799 - Napoléon seizes power in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, is elected First Consul of the Republic and declares the end of the Revolution

May-June 1800 - Second Italian Campaign, where Napoléon defeats the Austrians on 14 June at the Battle of Marengo

24 December 1800 - Napoléon survives bomb plot

25 March 1802 - Treaty of Amiens signed with England

4 August 1802 - Adoption of the new constitution and Napoléon made Consul for life

3 May 1803 Sale of the Louisiana Territory by France to the United States

16 May 1803 - Peace of Amiens breaks down

21 March 1804 - The Napoléonic Code established

18 May 1804 - Napoléon proclaimed Emperor of the French and a new constitution creates an imperial monarchy

2 December 1804 - Napoléon is crowned as Emperor by Pope Pius VII in Notre-Dame Cathedral

17 May 1805 - Napoléon crowned King of Italy in the Milan Cathedral

April-December 1805 - The Third Coalition of England, Naples, Russia and Austria formed against France, with Admiral Nelson destroying the French Fleet on 21 October at the Battle of Trafalgar

2 December 1805 - Coalition dissolves with Napoléon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz

1 April 1806 - Napoléon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Naples

October 1806 - Fourth Coalition of England, Prussia and Russia formed against France but Napoléon gains victories at Jena and Auerstadt and enters Berlin on 27 October

21 November 1806 - The Continental Blockade begins, closing continental ports to British ships

14 June 1807 - The Russians are defeated at Friedland and the Treaty of Tilsit is signed between Czar Alexander I of Russia and Napoléon on 7 July

22 July 1807 - Grand Duchy of Warsaw created

16 August 1807 - Napoléon’s brother Jerome becomes King of Westphalia

30 November 1807 - The French occupy Portugal and seize Lisbon on 1 December

20 February 1808 - Occupation of Spain begins under the command of Murat and Joseph becomes King of Spain on 4 June (Murat replaces him in Naples)

April-October 1809 - Napoléon defeats Austria on 5 July at the Battle of Wagram and then enters Vienna

15 December 1809 - Napoléon divorces Joséphine in order to remarry and conceive an heir

2 April 1810 - Napoléon marries Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria in religious ceremony

31 December 1810 - Russia breaks with Napoléon

20 March 1811 - Napoléon and Marie-Louise’s son, the King of Rome, is born

19 June 1812 - United States declares war with Britain

June-December 1812 - The Russian campaign, where Napoléon is forced, for the first time, to retreat and the Grand Army is decimated

March-November 1813 - Sixth Coalition of England, Austria, Prussia and Russia formed against France, with Wellington taking Madrid on 12 August, victory at Leipzig on 15 October in the Battle of Nations, Napoléonic Germany collapsing and Holland being lost

January-March 1814 - Allied troops enter France with the fall of Paris on 30-31 March

4 April 1814 - Napoléon abdicates unconditionally at Fontainebleau, royal authority under the Bourbons is re-established, returning France to a constitutional monarchy, and Empress Marie-Louise and the King of Rome flee to Bois

4 May 1814 - Napoléon exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Italy where he is made ruler and retains his title as Emperor

29 May 1814 - Empress Joséphine dies at the Château of Malmaison

March-June 1815 - Napoléon escapes from Elba and lands at Golfe Juan in the south of France, his old armies rally to his side as he marches to Paris, Louis XVIII flees to Ghent on 20 March and Napoléon reigns again for what is known as “The Hundred Days”

18 June 1815 - Wellington and Blücher defeat Napoléon at the Battle of Waterloo

22 June 1815 - Napoléon’s second abdication at the Elysée Palace in Paris which is followed by his surrender to the English on 15 July

17 October 1815 - Napoléon is exiled to St. Helena, a barren island in the South Atlantic

5 May 1821 - Napoléon dies in his home, Longwood, on St. Helena

22 July 1832 - Napoléon’s son, the King of Rome, who became the Duke of Reichstadt in 1816, dies

May-December 1840 - The English Government allows the Emperor’s ashes to be returned to France, his body is exhumed on 15 October and placed in the Invalides in Paris on 15 December

17 December 1847 - Empress Marie-Louise, who was made the reigning Duchess of Parma in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, dies

15 December 1940 - Adolph Hitler returns the ashes of Napoléon’s son to Paris for internment in the Invalides

Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011