Napoleon I


October 28, 2021

Napoleon Bonaparte, born August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio and died May 5, 1821 on Île Sainte-Hélène, was a French soldier and statesman, first Emperor of the French from May 18, 1804 to April 6, 1814 and from March 20 to June 22, 1815, under the name of Napoleon I. Second child of Charles Bonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1793 became general in the armies of the First French Republic, born of the Revolution, where he was notably Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Italy and then of the Army of East. Coming to power in 1799 by the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire, he was First consul - consul for life from August 2, 1802 - until May 18, 1804, when the Empire was proclaimed by a senatus-consulte followed by a plebiscite. He was crowned emperor, in Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, on December 2, 1804, by Pope Pius VII, at the same time as his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. As general-in-chief and head of state, Napoleon tried to break the coalitions set up and financed by the Kingdom of Great Britain and which united, from 1792, the European monarchies against France and its regime born of the Revolution. . He led the French armies from Italy to the Nile and from Austria to Prussia and Poland: the many and brilliant victories of Bonaparte (Arcole, Rivoli, Pyramides, Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland), in rapid military campaigns , dislocate the first four coalitions. Successive peace, which put an end to each of these coalitions, strengthened France and gave Napoleon a degree of power which had hitherto rarely been equaled in Europe, during the peace of Tilsit (1807). Napoleon permanently reformed the State, restoring its authority and its primacy. France is undergoing major reforms, which make Napoleon one of the founding fathers of contemporary French institutions. In this sense, the Napoleonic codifications, including the Civil Code of 1804, made it possible to reinforce individual freedoms or the equality of citizens before the law, by operating a synthesis by the guarantee of certain revolutionary gains and the resumption of traditional principles resulting from the old regime. The French administration is reorganized, with the creation of prefects in the departments. Likewise, a new currency emerged, the franc, while the Banque de France was established. The Council of State is also created, just like the high schools. Napoleon also tried to strengthen the French colonial empire of the Ancien Régime overseas. As the Haitian revolution turned to secession in this colony, Napoleon reestablished slavery in 1802, a restoration he wanted provisional, in particular to prevent the independence of the island proclaimed by General Toussaint Louverture. Still for political reasons, Napoleon paradoxically sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803. However, he lost most of the colonies that interested him against the British, and lost Saint-Domingue following the failure of the expedition. prior military (1802-1803), aimed at fighting the separatists. Napoleon brought the French territory to its maximum extension in Europe, with 134 departments in 1812, transforming Rome, Hamburg, Barcelona or Amsterdam into chief towns of French departments. He was also President of the Italian Republic from 1802 to 1805, King of Italy from 1805 to 1814, mediator of the Swiss Confederation from 1803 to 1813 and protector of the Confederation of the Rhine from 1806 to 1813. His victories enabled him to annex to France of vast territories and to govern most of continental Europe by placing the members of his family on the thrones of several kingdoms: Joseph in Naples then in Spain, Louis in Holland, Jérôme in Westphalia and his brother-in-law Joachim Murat in Naples. I

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