Napoleon Bonaparte

Timeline created by kevin.gilchrist.8
  • The Birth of Napoleon

    Napoleon is born in the town of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. The island was transferred to France from the Republic of Genoa.
  • Entrance into Brienne Military Academy

    Napoleon won a scholarship to study at a military academy in France at Brienne-le-Chateau near the town of Troyes.
  • Ecole Militaire

    Napoleon gained entrance to the Ecole Militarie in Paris. He was interested in a naval assignment, but he was assigned to the artillery upon graduation.
  • Napoleon Becomes an Officer

    Upon graduation from Ecole Militaire, Napoleon is given a commission.
  • Siege of Toulon

    Napoleon first made his name here as a young Captain of Artillery, by spotting an ideal place for his guns to be set up in such a way that they dominated the city's harbour. The British forces were repelled, and Napoleon was made an artillery commander.
  • Defending the National Convention

    Bonaparte was serving in Paris when royalists and counter-revolutionaries organized an armed protest against the National Convention on 3 October 1795. Bonaparte was given command of the improvised forces defending the Convention in the Tuileries Palace. Using the "whiff of grapeshot" Napoleon was able to drive the mob away from the National Convention.
  • Napoleon Marries Josephine

    Within weeks of driving the royalists from the National Convention with the "whiff of grapeshot", Napoleon was romantically linked to Josphine de Beauharnais, who he married on March 9, 1796.
  • First Italian Campaign

    First Italian Campaign
    Two days after the marriage, Bonaparte left Paris to take command of the Army of Italy leading it on a successful invasion of Italy. At the battles of Montenotte and Lodi, he defeated Austrian forces, then drove them out of Lombardy and defeated the army of the Papal States.
  • Egyptian Campaign

    Egyptian Campaign
    In March 1798, Bonaparte proposed a military expedition to seize Egypt, then a province of the Ottoman Empire, seeking to protect French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to India. The Directory, though troubled by the scope and cost of the enterprise, readily agreed so the popular general would be away from the center of power. The land battles were a success, but the British Navy continued to control the seas. Napoleon returns to France.
  • Napoleon's Coup d'etat

    Napoleon's Coup d'etat
    Upon returning from Egypt, Napoleon took advantage of the political turmoil in France plaguing the Directory. Napoleon was able to overthrow the Directory in a bloodless coup d'etat. He became First Consul at this time.
  • The Napoleonic Code

    Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the principles of the French Revolution because the old feudal and royal laws seemed to be confusing and contradictory to the people. Before the Code, France did not have a single set of laws. Napoleon set out to create a set of laws that were easily accessible, easy to understand. The Napoleonic Code forms the basis of many legal systems in Europe today, and is the basis of civil law in the province of Quebec.
  • Napoleon Becomes Emperor

    Napoleon Becomes Emperor
    The coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France was preceded by a vote on the issue of whether or not Napoleon should be appointed "First Consul for Life", which he won. Napoleon put the crown on his own head at his coronation.
  • Battle of Austerlitz

    Battle of Austerlitz
    The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, effectively brought to an end on Third Coalition against France. It is one of Napoleon's greatest victories.
  • The Continental System

    The Continental System was the foreign policy of Napoleon Bonaparte's in his struggle against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars. It was inaugurated on November 21, 1806 and lasted until 1814. It was an attempt to prevent the British from trading on the European continent.
  • Battle of Friedland

    Battle of Friedland
    The Battle of Friedland saw the French Army's defeat of Russian forces effectively bringing to an end the Fourth Coalition against France.
  • Napoleon Divorces Josephine

    Napoleon Bonaparte divorced his wife, Josephine because she was unable to have any more children. Napoleon desperately wanted to have an heir. He would marry in March 1810 to Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria. They would have one child together, who would become Napoleon II.
  • Napoleon Invades Russia

    Napoleon Invades Russia
    Napoleon's attempted invasion of Russia began on June 15, 1812. Eventually the Russians "scorched earth policy" and the Russian winter took its toll on the Grand Armee. Napoleon left Russia, of the 600,000 troops he had at the beginning of the invasion 500,000 were either killed, captured or deserted along the way.
  • Battle of Borodino

    Battle of Borodino
    The Battle of Borodino fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 total casualties. Napoleon was unable to destroy the Russian forces completely.
  • The Battle of Leipzig

    The Battle of Leipzig
    The Battle of the Nations (or Battle of Leipzig) which occurred on October 16-19, 1813 was one of the most decisive defeats suffered by Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte Abdicates

    On April 6, 1814, Napoleon abdicates in favor of his son, but the Allies of the Sixth Coalition refuse. Napoleon abdicates unconditionally on April 11, and is sent into exile on the island of Elba. The Allies allow him to keep his title of Emperor, and 1,000 men go into exile with him on Elba.
  • The Congress of Vienna Begins

    The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of the major powers of Europe, chaired by the Austrian statesman Clemens Wenzel von Metternich and held in Vienna from November 1, 1814, to June 8, 1815. The Congress of Vienna was an attempt to turn back the clock in Europe, to a time before the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, to return France to its pre-revolutionary size. The legitimate monarchs of Europe were returned to their thrones, including Louis XVIII to France.
  • Napoleon Escapes From Elba

    Napoleon saw an opportunity to escape from Elba when the commander went to visit Italy. Napoleon left Elba by sea and arrived in France on March 1, 1815.
  • Napoleon Arrives Back In France

    Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba and returns to France on March 1, 1815. Marching through the Alps, Napoleon gains support along the way, even turning the troops that Louis XVIII sent out to destroy him to his side.
  • Hundred Days

    Napoleon's arrival in Paris on March 20, 1815 marks the beginning of the "Hundred Days".
  • Battle of Waterloo

    Battle of Waterloo
    Napoleon's forces were defeated near the village of Waterloo in Belgium by the British and Prussian forces. It was the first time that Napoleon had met the Duke of Wellington on the field of battle, and Wellington (who had studied Napoleon's techniques) anticipated his every move, and was able to defeat him. The Duke of Wellington is depicted in the painting on the left.
  • Napoleon Surrenders

    After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon took a few days to formally surrender to the Allies. When he does, he will be sent into exile for the second time.
  • Napoleon Sent Into Exile on St. Helena

    After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon was sent into exile for a second time, this time to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
  • Napoleon Dies

    Napoleon Dies
    Napoleon dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.