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  • August 15, 1769: Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica.

  • May 17, 1779: ·Napoleon studied at the royal military academy.

  • October 28, 1785: Napoleon graduated from Ecole Militaire as second lieutenant in the artillery.

  • November 3, 1785: ·Stationed in Valence


  • July 14, 1789: Paris mob stormed Bastille prison - official beginning of French Revolution


  • April 20, 1792: France declared war on Austria

  • Prussia joined Austria to create the First Coalition (1792-1797)

  • May-October, 1792: ·While in Paris with his regiment, Napoleon witnessed the storming of the Tuileries Palace and the dethroning of the French King, Louis XVI.


  • August 9-20, 1794: ·Napoleon was imprisoned under suspicion of being a Jacobin and a supporter of Robespierre


  • June 13, 1795: ·Napoleon is promoted to General of the Army of the West


  • March 9, 1796: Napoleon married Josephine Beauharnais


  • March 2, 1786: Napoleon (as Commander of Army of Interior) was given command of the French army in Italy

  • March 11, 1796: ·Italian campaign against Austria began

  • May 10, 1796: ·Napoleon won the Battle of Lodi

  • November 17, 1796: ·Napoleon won the Battle of Arcole

  • January 14, 1797: ·Napoleon won the Battle of Rivoli

  • October 17, 1797: ·Austria signed Treaty of Campo-Formio peace settlement with France

  • December 5, 1797: Napoleon returned to France as a hero


  • May 19, 1798: ·Napoleon began his Egyptian campaign

  • ​With a corps of 167 technical experts (engineers, translators, artists etc.)

  • Called "Commission des Sciences et des Arts"

  • July 21, 1798: ·Napoleon won Battle of the Pyramids against Mamelukes in Egypt

  • July 24, 1798: Cairo fell to Napoleon

  • August 1 - 3 1798: Battle of Nile

  • British fleet under Admiral Nelson, destroyed French ships in Egypt

  • Leaving French stranded.

  • July 1799: French corps of experts find the Rosetta Stone (written in Greek and Hieroglyphics)


  • August 23, 1799: Napoleon abandoned troops in Egypt

  • And returned to France after hearing about turmoil in Directory

  • November 9-10, 1799: Napoleon joined with Abbé Sieyès ("What is the Third Estate") to overthrow Directory in a coup.

  • A short, quick constitution was drawn up and approved by a national plebiscite (vote)

  • Following the coup, Napoleon named himself First Consul of the new French government

  • And moved into the Tuileries Palace.


  • Napoleon placed the 83 departments under control of an agent of government (a prefect).

  • Effectively ending democracy

  • Napoleon welcomed members of the Old Regime and moderate Jacobins into govt.

  • Welcomed back reactionary emigres from old aristocracy.

  • Continued revolutionary ideals.

  • The end of serfdom and feudal privilege

  • Accepted property rights of new owners of Church property (sold during revolution)

  • Continued equality before the law.

  • Science (Enlightenment reforms)

  • Supported scientific research

  • Rewarded surgeons, chemists, mathematicians etc. with government jobs and honors

  • To deter opposition (un-Enlightened changes)

  • Napoleon create secret police force headed by Joseph Fouche.

  • Censored newspapers and art.

  • Economics

  • Established Bank of France Jan. 1800

  • To handle governmental funds and issue money.

  • Enacted huge program of public works supporting certain industries

  • Established price controls.

  • Education

  • Created long-lasting system of secondary schools tied to University of France

  • Used to spread patriotic propaganda.

  • Created Legion of Honor

  • To reward loyal servants to the state.


  • May 20, 1800: Napoleon led his army across the Alps

  • ​In Second Italian Campaign

  • June 14, 1800: Fr. defeated Austrians at Battle of Marengo

  • Austria forced to sign Treaty at Luneville

  • ​Declared "peace, amity and good understanding" between France and Austria


  • July 15, 1801: Concordat ended schism with Catholic Church

  • Granted Catholic Church special status as the religion of “the majority of Frenchmen

  • Pope Pius VII regained right to confirm church dignitaries appointed by French govt.

  • In return, pope recognized the French govt. and accepted loss of church properties

  • That had been confiscated during Revolution


  • December 24, 1801: Napoleon survived an assassination attempt by royalists.


  • March 25, 1802: Britain signed Treaty of Amiens temporarily ending hostilities between Britain and France.


  • May 1, 1802: ·Napoleon restructured French educational system

  • Also censored press and suppressed all political opposition

CONSUL FOR LIFE, August 4, 1802: ·

  • New constitution adopted, making Napoleon First Consul for life

LOUISIANA, May 3, 1803

  • France sold Louisiana territory to U.S.

  • Louisiana had supplied the French West Indies (Haiti)

  • After Haitian slave rebellion, no need for Louisiana to supply them

  • Fear that Britain would take Louisiana

  • Napoleon wanted money ($15 million) to help finance war on continent.

WAR, May 16, 1803

  • England violated Treaty of Amiens

EMPEROR, Dec. 2, 1804

  • December 2, 1804: Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris


  • October 21, 1805: French and Spanish navy are defeated by British navy under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar

  • ​Nelson died

  • December 2, 1805: French victory in the Battle of Austerlitz against Austria and Russia

  • Solidified his reputation as a military genius

  • Arc de Triomphe built in honor of victory

  • March 30, 1806: ·Napoleon names his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, king of Naples, and appoints other family members to various other posts


  • Nov. 21, 1806: Napoleon initiates a blockade preventing Britain from trading with the European continent.

  • Berlin decree (Nov. 21, 1806) and Milan decree (Dec. 17, 1807)

  • Continental System didn't hurt Britain too badly

  • Britain had a strong navy that could trade with colonies and non-European countries.

  • A lot of smuggling made the Continental System less effective.

  • Portugal refused to join Blockade.

  • Britain issued a reciprocal blockade against France.

  • Orders in Council (Nov. 11, 1807)

  • Attempts to stop U.S. trade with Europe resulted in American embargoes on Br. and Fr. trade

  • And eventually U.S. war with Britain (War of 1812)


  • June 14, 1807: Napoleon defeats Russians at the Battle of Friedland

  • July 7, 1807: Czar Alexander I makes peace with Napoleon in the Treaty of Tilsit


  • July 22, 1807: Napoleon creates the Duchy of Warsaw (Poland)

  • To be overseen by France

IBERIAN PENINSULA (Spain and Portugal)

  • November 30, 1807: ·Beginning of French occupation of Portugal

  • February 20, 1808: ·Napoleon sends the French marshal Joachim Murat to lead an army in Spain

  • May 2, 1808: ·Unsuccessful Spanish revolt against French army under Murat

  • Called "Peninsular War"

  • June 4, 1808: ·Napoleon names his brother, Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain

  • And Murat King of Naples


  • December 15, 1809: ·Divorces Josephine

  • April 2, 1810: ·Marries Marie-Louise, Archduchess of Austria

  • March 20, 1811: ·Napoleon's son born, referred to as the "King of Rome"


  • June 24, 1812: Russian Campaign begins

  • ​Russian peasants burn their farms before French arrive ("scorched-earth" policy) to deprive them of food and housing.

  • September 7, 1812: French Grand Army defeats Russians at Borodino

  • Bloodiest battle of the war, 80,000 casualties

  • September 14, 1812: Grand Army enters Moscow

  • But Moscow had been destroyed by fire leaving French with no shelter or supplies.

  • French army retreats in the middle of winter

  • Only 100,000 troops of the original 600,000 make it home

  • Rest died from cold, starvation, disease or attacks from Russian Cossacks


  • December 18, 1812: Napoleon leaves troops behind and returns to Paris

  • Napoleon quickly puts together a new army.

  • Russia, Britain, Prussia and Austria join together in Sixth Coalition (1812-1814)

  • October 16-19, 1813: Allied armies defeat Napoleon's new army at Leipzig.

  • January 1814: ·Anti-French coalition army enters France

  • March 30-31, 1814: ·Paris falls

  • April 2, 1814: ·Senate proclaims end of the Empire; Napoleon's wife and son flee Paris.


  • April 4, 1814: ·Napoleon is forced to abdicate

  • Louis XVIII, Bourbon brother of Louis XVI, becomes King of France

  • ​(Title of "Louis XVII" was reserved for Louis XVI's son who died in prison during revolution)


  • May 4, 1814: Napoleon is exiled to Elba

  • His wife and son take refuge in Vienna


  • March 1, 1815: Napoleon escapes from Elba and returns to France

  • March 7, 1815: Napoleon rallies the French army

  • March 20, 1815: Louis XVIII flees

  • Napoleon takes control, begins "Hundred Days" campaign


  • June 18, 1815: Napoleon Defeated in the Battle of Waterloo by the British and Prussians, led by Wellington and Blucher

  • June 22, 1815: ·Abdicates for the second time


  • October 16, 1815: ·Napoleon is exiled to Saint Helena

  • March 5, 1821: ·Napoleon dies

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