The Napoleonic Era


Napoleon was born

August 15, 1769

Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica on August 15, 1769

Command of the French Army

March 2, 1796

Napoleon is given command of the French Army in Italy

Coup of Brumaire

November 9 1799 - November 10 1799

Napoleon overthrows the Directory

Napoleon elected First Consul

December 12, 1799

Napoleon was elected First Consul of the Consulate

Battle of Marengo

June 14, 1800

A battle between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame General Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy, and enhancing Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November

Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise

December 24, 1800

Also known as the Machine infernal plot, the plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise was an attempted, and failed, assassination of Napoleon. It was one of many Royalist and Catholic plots

Treaty of Luneville

February 9, 1801

It was a treaty with Austria that was signed at Luneville. It stated that "there shall be, henceforth and forever, peace, amity, and good understanding" among the parties.

Battle of Algeciras

July 8, 1801

An attempt by a French naval squadron from Toulon under Contre-Admiral Charles Linois to join a French and Spanish fleet at Cadiz during June and July 1801 during the French Revolutionary War prior to a planned operation against either Egypt or Portugal

Concordat of 1801

July 15, 1801 - Approx. 1905

An agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, signed on 15 July 1801 in Paris. It remained in effect until 1905. It sought national reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, with most of its civil status restored. The hostility of devout Catholics against the state had now largely been resolved. It did not restore the vast church lands and endowments that had been seized upon during the revolution and sold off. Catholic clergy returned from exile, or from hiding, and resumed their traditional positions in their traditional churches. Very few parishes continued to employ the priests who had accepted the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy." While the Concordat restored much power to the papacy, the balance of church-state relations tilted firmly in Napoleon's favour. He selected the bishops and supervised church finances

Treaty of Amiens

March 25 1802 - May 18, 1803

The Treaty of Amiens was a treaty that temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and Great Britain during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis in the city of Amiens. Together with the Treaty of Luneville, the Treaty of Amiens marked the end of the Second Coalition.

French Educational System

May 1, 1802

Napoleon restructures the French educational system

Legion of Honor

May 19, 1802

The Legion of Honor was established

A New Constitution

August 2, 1802

A new Constitution was adopted, and the plebiscite (the direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution.) confirms Napoleon as First Consul for life.

Louisiana Purchase

May 3, 1803

Napoleon sells the Louisiana territory to the U.S.A. cheap in an effort to improve France's economy

Britain declares war on France

May 18, 1803

France invades Hanover

May 26, 1803

Napoleonic Code

March 21, 1804

Introduction to the Napoleonic Code, otherwise known as the Civil Code. It was enacted in 1804 after only a few years of preparation, but it was a child of the French Revolution, which is strongly reflected by its content.

Napoleon is proclaimed Emperor by the Senate

Approx. May 1804

Crowning of Napoleon

December 2, 1804

Napoleon crowns himself Emperor, in the company of the Pope

Battle of Ulm

October 16, 1805 - October 19, 1805

The Battle of Ulm was a series of skirmishes, at the end of the Ulm Campaign, which allowed Napoleon I to trap an entire Austrian army under the command of Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich with minimal losses and to force its surrender near Ulm in the Electorate of Bavaria.

Lord Admiral Nelson dies

October 21, 1805

Admiral Lord Nelson, a British flag officer in the Royal Navy noted for his inspirational leadership, superb grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics which led to many victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars, was shot and killed during his final victory at the battle of Trafalgar.

Battle of Trafalgar

October 21, 1805

The battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies. It took place during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Caldiero

October 30, 1805

The Battle of Caldiero pitted the French Armée d'Italie under Marshal André Masséna against an Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. The French engaged only a part of their forces, around 33,000 men, whilst Archduke Charles engaged the bulk of his army, 49,000 men, leaving out only a few corps to defend against any flanking maneuvers. The fighting took place at Caldiero, 15 kilometers east of Verona, in the War of the Third Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Austerlitz

December 2, 1805

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. The Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the town of Austerlitz in the Austrian Empire. Austerlitz brought the War of the Third Coalition to a rapid end, with the Treaty of Pressburg signed by the Austrians later in the month. The battle is often cited as a tactical masterpiece.

Napoleon appoints his family to various posts

March 30, 1806

Napoleon names his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples, and appoints his other family members to various posts.

Joseph's arrival in Naples was warmly greeted with cheers and he was eager to be a monarch well liked by his subjects. Seeking to win the favor of the local elites, he let the vast majority of those who had held office and position under the Bourbons keep their posts and was anxious to not in any way appear a foreign oppressor.