Full Name: Napoleone di Buonaparte
Profession: French Emperor
Why Famous: One of the most controversial, influential and celebrated figures in human history, Napoleon seized upon the opportunities created by the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 and became a general at age 29.
After the French Directory gave him control of the armed forces, his early military victories established him as a national hero, and he engineered a coup in 1799 that made him First Consul of the Republic. He went further and declared himself Emperor of the French in 1804.
Napoleon's stunning military victories over his European enemies - at Austerlitz in 1805, Friedland in 1807 and Wagram in 1809 - solidified his dominance of virtually the entire continent, and confirmed the rapid spread of his empire.
After launching the Peninsular War in Spain, Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, which ended in disaster and the collapse of his Grand Army. A Sixth Coalition defeated him at Leipzig, invaded France and forced him to abdicate in 1814. He was exiled to Elba, where he escaped and took control of France. He was finally defeated by a Seventh Coalition at Waterloo and exiled to St Helena in the South Atlantic where he died in 1821.
Napoleon's foreign and domestic achievements, particularly the Napoleonic Code, greatly influenced the foundations of most of the modern Western world.
A Salute to the Military Genius, Napoleon Bonaparte
Dutch Fleet Captured
Coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Meets the Tsar
Great Fire of Moscow
Battle of Waterloo
- 1796-03-09 French Leader Napoléon Bonaparte (26) marries 1st wife Joséphine de Beauharnais (32), changing her name from Rose
- 1809-12-16 Napoleon Bonaparte divorces Empress Joséphine by French Senate
- 1810-01-10 French church annuls marriage of Napoleon I and Empress Joséphine
- 1810-02-11 French leader Napoleon I marries 2nd wife Marie-Louise of Austria
- 1784-10-30 Napoléon Bonaparte admitted to the elite École Militaire in Paris, the start of his military career
- 1785-09-28 Napoléon Bonaparte, aged 16, graduates from the elite École Militaire in Paris (42nd in a class of 51)
- 1796-03-02 Napoléon Bonaparte is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the French Army in Italy
- 1796-04-13 Battle of Millesimo, Italy: Napoleon's forces defeat allied armies of Austria and of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont.
- 1796-04-21 Napoleon and the French defeat the Piedmontese at Battle of Mondovi
- 1796-04-28 Cease fire of Cherasco between Sardinia and Napoleon Bonaparte
- 1796-05-10 Napoleon defeats Austria in Battle of Lodi Bridge
- 1796-05-15 First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph with French troops
- 1796-11-17 Battle of Arcole ends in Venice: French forces, under Brigadier General Napoleon Bonaparte defeat an Austrian force led by József Alvinczi after a 3 day battle
- 1797-05-12 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice
- 1797-06-14 Napoleon forms Ligurian Republic
- 1798-07-01 Napoleon's fleet reaches Alexandria, Egypt
- 1798-07-21 Napoleon Bonaparte wins Battle of Pyramids in Egypt (Battle of Embabeh) against Mamluk rulers, wiping out most of the Egyptian army
- 1798-07-23 Napoleon captures Alexandria, Egypt
- 1799-01-09 British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon
- 1799-03-06 Napoleon Bonaparte captures city of Jaffa, Palestine, after a 5 day siege, defeating the Ottoman Empire
- 1799-03-26 Napoleon captures Jaffa, Palestine
- 1799-04-16 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor - Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre
- 1799-05-22 Napoleon makes statement in support of re-establishing Jerusalem for Jews
- 1799-07-15 The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign
- 1799-07-25 French-Egyptian forces under Napoleon I beat Turks at Battle of Abukir
- 1799-08-23 Napoleon leaves Egypt for France en route to seize power.
- 1799-11-09 Napoleon Bonaparte pulls off a coup and becomes the dictator of France under the title of First Consul
- 1799-12-24 Jacobin plot against Napoleon uncovered
- 1801-04-02 Napoleonic Wars: The British led by Horatio Nelson destroy the Danish fleet in the naval Battle of Copenhagen
- 1801-07-16 Pope Pius VII & 1st consul Napoleon sign concord
- 1802-01-25 Napoleon Bonaparte elected president of Italian (Cisalpine) Republic
- 1802-08-02 Napoleon declared "Consul for Life"
- 1802-08-07 Napoleon orders re-instatement of slavery on St Domingue (Haiti)
- 1803-05-18 Britain declares war on France after Napoleon Bonaparte continues interfering in Italy and Switzerland
- 1804-02-23 Conspirators against Napoleon, for restoration of Louis XVIII
- 1804-05-18 Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate
- 1804-12-02 General Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of the French at the Notre Dame de Paris in a ceremony officiated by Pope Pius VII
- 1805-05-26 Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy
- 1805-09-30 Napoleon Bonaparte's army draws into the Rhine
- 1805-11-11 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Dürenstein - 8000 French troops attempted to slow the retreat of a vastly superior Russian and Austrian force.
- 1806-11-21 Decree of Berlin: Emperor Napoleon I bans all trade with Britain
- 1807-01-20 Napoleon convenes great Sanhedrin, Paris
- 1807-02-08 Battle of Eylau ends inconclusively between Napoleon's forces and Russian Empire - 1st battle Napoleon isn't victorious
- 1807-02-09 The Grand Sanhedrin (Jewish high court) is convened by Napoleon Bonaparte to give legal sanction to the principles in the Assembly of Notables
- 1807-06-14 Emperor Napoleon I's French Grande Armee defeats the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland in Prussia (modern Russian Kaliningrad Oblast) ending War of the Fourth Coalition
- 1807-07-07 First Treaty of Tilsit signed by Napoleon I of France, and Alexander I of Russia
- 1807-07-09 Second Treaty of Tilsit signed by France, Russia and Prussia
- 1807-09-02 The Royal Navy bombards Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon.
- 1807-11-27 Portuguese Royal Family and its court of nearly 15,000 people leave Lisbon for their colony of Brazil to escape invading Napoleonic troops
- 1808-03-23 Napoleon's brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain
- 1808-04-17 Bayonne Decree by Napoleon I of France orders seizure of US ships
- 1808-05-30 Napoleon Bonaparte annexes Tuscany & gave it seats in French Senate
- 1808-07-20 Napoleon decrees all French Jews adopt family names
- 1808-08-17 Napoleon asks King Louis for Holland brigade towards Spain
- 1809-01-06 Napoleonic Wars: Invasion of Cayenne, by combined British, Portuguese and colonial Brazilian forces, begins
- 1809-04-20 Napoleon I and French forces defeat Austria at Battle of Abensberg, Bavaria
- 1809-04-22 Battle at Eckmuhl - Napoleon beats Austria Archduke Karl
- 1809-05-21 Battle of Aspern-Essling: Austrian archduke Karl beats Napoleon
- 1809-07-05 -6) Battle of Wagram - Napoleon beats archduke Charles
- 1810-02-20 Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon's forces, executed.
- 1810-07-09 Napoleon annexes the Kingdom of Holland as part of the First French Empire
- 1810-08-09 Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.
- 1811-10-06 French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte visits Utrecht
- 1812-01-09 Swedish Pomerania (Germany) seized by Napoleon
- 1812-06-24 Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armée numbering half a million begin their invasion of Russia by crossing the Nieman River
- 1812-07-23 Battle of Mogilev Russia-Napoleon fights Tsar Alexander I
- 1812-09-07 Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Bonapartre wins a pyrrhic victory against Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov, most ferocious battle of the Napoleonic era with 70,000 killed
- 1812-09-14 Great Fire of Moscow begins as Napoleon approaches the city and retreating Russians burn it - fire continues to burn for five days
- 1812-09-15 French army under Napoleon Bonaparte reaches the Kremlin in Moscow
- 1812-10-19 Napoleon Bonaparte and his Grande Armée begin their retreat from Moscow numbering just 100,000 (started campaign with 500,000)
- 1812-10-23 Failed coup against French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
- 1812-10-24 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets takes place near Moscow, French army then forced to retreat through the snow towards Smolensk
- 1812-11-03 Napoleonic armies defeated at Vyazma
- 1812-11-17 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Krasnoi during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow
- 1812-11-29 Napoleon's Grand Army crosses Berezina River in retreat from Russia
- 1812-12-14 The French invasion of Russia, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, officially ends with the French having lost as many as 530,000 people
- 1813-08-27 Battle of Dresden; Napoleon defeats Austrians
- 1813-10-16 Battle of Leipzig, largest battle in Europe prior to WWI, Napoleon's forces defeated by Prussia, Austria and Russia
- 1814-02-10 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Champaubert, the French beat the Russians
- 1814-02-18 The Battle of Montereau; victory of French under Napoleon Bonaparte against Austrians and Württembergers under the King of Württemberg.
- 1814-03-07 Napoleon I of France wins the Battle of Craonne against combined Russian and Prussian force in northern France
- 1814-03-30 Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces march into Paris after defeating Napoleon
- 1814-03-31 Forces allied against Napoleon capture Paris
- 1814-04-04 Napoleon abdicates for the first time in favour of his son
- 1814-04-11 Napoleon abdicates unconditionally; he is exiled to Elba
- 1814-05-30 Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition - the Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent.
- 1814-10-01 Opening of the Congress of Vienna, which redrew Europe's political map after the defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte
- 1814-11-01 Congress of Vienna opens to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars
- 1815-02-26 Napoleon Bonaparte and his supporters leave Elba to start a 100 day re-conquest of France
- 1815-03-20 Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule
- 1815-06-01 Napoleon Bonaparte swears fidelity to the Constitution of France
- 1815-06-16 Battle at Ligny: French army under Napoleon beats Prussia
- 1815-06-18 Battle of Waterloo; Napoleon and France defeated by British forces under Wellington and Prussian troops under Blucher
- 1815-06-22 2nd abdication of Napoleon (after Waterloo)
- 1815-07-15 Napoleon surrenders to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon at Rochefort after his earlier defeat at the Battle of Waterloo
- 1815-08-09 Napoleon Bonaparte sets sail for exile on St Helena on board British ship the Northumberland
- 1815-10-15 Napoleon Bonaparte arrives on island of St Helena to begin his exile
- 1815-11-20 Second Treaty of Paris: France and her allies agree France will pay indemnities after Battle of Waterloo, ending the Napoleonic Wars
- 1816-02-27 Dutch regain Suriname from the French after the defeat of Napoleon
- 1818-04-20 Napoleon Bonaparte bids emotional farewell to his old guard at Palace of Fontainebleau
- 1840-12-15 Napoleon Bonaparte receives a French state funeral in Paris 19 years after his death