Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was a Corsican-born French general and politician who reigned as Emperor of the French with the regnal name Napoleon I from 1804 to 1814 and then again briefly in 1815. He established the largest continental European empire since Charlemagne and brought liberal reforms to the lands he conquered at the cost of the destructive Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

More about: Napoleon Bonaparte


  • 1769
    Following the French victory at the Battle of Ponte Novu, Corsica is annexed by France.
  • 15 Aug 1769
    Napoleon Bonaparte is born in Ajaccio, Corsica.
  • 1779
    At the age of 10, Napoleon Bonaparte begins his education in Brienne, northern France. Here, he learns French and excels in mathematics.
  • 1784
    Napoleon Bonaparte is admitted into the École Militaire, where he trains to become an artillery officer.
  • Jan 1790
    The National Assembly passes a decree making Corsica a department of France; Corsican hero Pasquale Paoli is invited back from exile after 22 years.
  • Mar 1792
    Napoleon Bonaparte is elected lieutenant colonel of the Corsican National Guard; weeks later, he suppresses an Easter Sunday uprising in Ajaccio.
  • Jul 1793
    Napoleon publishes his pro-Jacobin pamphlet Le Souper de Beaucaire, gaining the notice of Jacobin leader Augustin Robespierre.
  • 11 Jul 1793
    After falling out with Corsican politician Pasquale Paoli, the Bonaparte family flees Corsica, landing in Toulon 2 days later.
  • 29 Aug 1793 - 19 Dec 1793
    Siege of Toulon.
  • 22 Dec 1793
    Napoleon Bonaparte is promoted to brigadier-general following the Siege of Toulon; he is just 24 years old.
  • 9 Aug 1794 - 20 Aug 1794
    Following the Thermidorian Reaction, Napoleon Bonaparte is arrested in connection to the Robespierres; he is eventually released.
  • 5 Oct 1795
    During the French Revolution, the royalist revolt of 13 Vendemiaire is crushed by Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • 27 Feb 1796
    General Bonaparte closes the Pantheon Club.
  • 11 Mar 1796
    Napoleon leaves Paris to take command of the Army of Italy.
  • 27 Mar 1796
    General Napoleon Bonaparte takes command of the Army of Italy.
  • 10 Apr 1796 - 2 Apr 1797
    Napoleon Bonaparte's Italian Campaign.
  • 19 May 1798
    The French fleet carrying Napoleon Bonaparte and the Armée d'Orient sets out for Egypt.
  • 20 Mar 1799 - 21 May 1799
    The French unsuccessfully lay siege to Acre, and are forced to retreat; Napoleon Bonaparte's Syrian campaign is ended.
  • 23 Aug 1799
    Napoleon Bonaparte leaves Egypt for France, abandoning his army in Alexandria.
  • 9 Nov 1799
    Napoleon Bonaparte takes control of the government in the Coup of 18 Brumaire; both the Directory and the French Revolution are ended.
  • 14 Jun 1800
    First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte narrowly defeats an Austrian army at the Battle of Marengo.
  • 17 Aug 1801 - 2 Sep 1801
    The Siege of Alexandria results in a French defeat and an inglorious end to Napoleon's Campaign in Egypt and Syria.
  • 2 May 1804
    Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French.
  • 2 Dec 1804
    Emperor Napoleon I and Empress Joséphine are coronated in a sacred ceremony in the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.
  • 25 Jun 1807
    Emperor Napoleon I of France and Tsar Alexander I of Russia meet on a raft in the Niemen River to discuss terms of peace.
  • 28 Jul 1809 - 29 Jul 1809
    The French suffer a major defeat at the Battle of Talavera.
  • 1 Apr 1810
    Emperor Napoleon I is married to Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.
  • 1812
    Napoleon Bonaparte takes up residence in the Kremlin and then destroys it when he leaves.
  • 7 Sep 1812
    Napoleon's Grande Armée clashes with the Kutuzov's Russian army at the Battle of Borodino.
  • 5 Dec 1812
    Napoleon heads to Paris, gives control of the Grande Armée to Joachim Murat; the disastrous Russian campaign is over.
  • 16 Oct 1813 - 19 Oct 1813
    Napoleon suffers a decisive defeat at the Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of the Nations.
  • 6 Apr 1814
    First abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte leading to his exile in Elba.
  • 11 Apr 1814
    Napoleon abdicates, goes into exile on the island of Elba.
  • 20 Apr 1814
    Napoleon leaves Fontainebleau for his exile on the island of Elba.
  • 3 May 1814 - 26 Feb 1815
    Duration of Napoleon's first exile on Elba.
  • 29 May 1814
    Joséphine de Beauharnais dies at the Château de Malmaison, age 50.
  • 1 Mar 1815
    Napoleon lands in southern France with his staff and 1,000 soldiers.
  • 13 Mar 1815
    The great powers of Europe declare Napoleon an outlaw; the War of the Seventh Coalition begins.
  • 20 Mar 1815
    Napoleon enters Paris and begins his second reign; the official start of the Hundred Days period.
  • 18 Jun 1815
    The Battle of Waterloo is fought in Belgium; Napoleon is decisively defeated by the forces of Wellington and Blücher.
  • 22 Jun 1815
    Napoleon abdicates his imperial throne for the second time.
  • 8 Jul 1815
    King Louis XVIII is restored to the French throne; end of both the Hundred Days period and the Napoleonic Era.
  • 15 Jul 1815
    At Rochefort, Napoleon surrenders to British Captain Frederick Maitland of the HMS Bellerophon.
  • Oct 1815 - May 1821
    Duration of Napoleon's second and final exile on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
  • 5 May 1821
    Death of Napoleon Bonaparte on the island of St. Helena, aged 51.