Talk:First French Empire

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Former featured article candidate First French Empire is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 17, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted

older comments[edit]

Is this original work? -- Zoe

No, it's from 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica -- Taku 00:21 Apr 25, 2003 (UTC)

OK, thanks. -- Zoe


I found this article quite stirring, quite lyrical — and quite unlike an NPOV encyclopedia entry. If this truly is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, then its author must have been just a little too infused with the passion of a British Imperial, extolling the virtues and follies of the great Napoleon Bonaparte largely as an indirect way of basking in the glow of his defeat. I respectfully suggest that it need serious, dispassionate rewriting. — Jeff Q 04:08, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I kept getting lost in the sentences. They're awfully long. Art LaPella 00:37, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)
This article glosses over nearly every factual event in order to wax poetic about Napoleon. There seems to be very little actual content. - jhf 23:08, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

the spoliations of 1763?[edit]

Isn't the spoliations of 1793? Marc Venot 05:26, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Another oddball Wikipedia title[edit]

...this isn't very idiomatic, though of course it is technically the first. I notice that Napoleonic Empire doesn't evenb redirect to this . I'll fix it. Has everyone discovered that the Restauration can only be found as "Bourbon Dynasty, Restored" with capital R?...

Yes, a lot of the French history is a mess. Last winter I intensely worked on the events of roughly spring 1789 – September 1792, because they are so crucial. Some time I'd love to continue forward from there. I'm pretty happy with what I did with that one span of time, although I may have leaned a little heavily on Mignet (readable and public domain, so I could grab whole sentences when it suited my purposes). We just need, oh, a hundred other people to put in comparable effort on other periods... -- Jmabel | Talk 01:30, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)


This article is based on Britannica 1911. As anybody can see, it's written in a very strong and lyrical style, with a lot of judgments passed here and there. I also spotted a factual inaccuracy about the dates of constitutions, so it may not even be accurate. One must also take into account the fact that Britannica was, at the time, a British encyclopedia, and the British tend to have very strong views against Napoleon. For instance, the article also makes frequent remarks as to Napoleon's "dictatorial" behavior — but, in fact, Napoleon, as far as I know, had less power or than most of the monarchs of Europe at the time, and also less than more recent dictators (Mussolini, Franco, not to mention Hitler...). For instance, Napoleon is credited with a series of codes of laws — but it seems that these codes were established after considerable legislative debate. In a true classical dictatorship, these codes would have been adopted as part of rule by decree, without discussion. One would, for instance, have to make a fair and balanced assessment of his rule. I'm not an expert on the era though, so I'd prefer somebody more knowledgeable than me to write on this. David.Monniaux 06:40, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

- While I do agree with you that the Encyclopedia Britannica should be taken with a grain of salt in this particular case, many of the points you have made are false. There was for example, at the time the infamous "Senatus Consultum" where Napoleon (Even during the Consulate) had the right to summon up draft "classes" (In any given class, the number could vary greatly). Not only that, but he could call for classes years ahead of schedule, that is to say, that he summoned the class of 1810 in 1808. Senatus Consultum could be used for a variety of things, including legislation. With all this said though, Napoleonic France was a "benevolent' dictatorship, that is to say, the state reserved the right to censor the press and things of that sort as it saw fit. All that being said, Napoleon was vigilant about making sure that he was kept up to date on the affairs that were taking place in the country (there are anecdotal stories of him raging about his camp in the Wagram campaign when he did not recieve the mail he was supposed to have recieved that day, calling it "Criminal Negligence") --Forgive my poor spelling, I'm in a rush. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveSmithIIV (talkcontribs) 08:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


User:Beland has slapped an NPOV notice on this without stating his/her issues at all. I assume it is the 1911 Britannica POV material referred to above.

Beland: as I understand it, the NPOV notice indicates a dispute. I am unaware of anyone actively defending the maintenance of the 1911 Britannica POV; it's just that no one has taken on the task of de-POVing this article. Are you saying that someone is resisting this, or are you perhaps escalating a bit far? Or is something else going on here that I am missing? -- Jmabel | Talk 23:44, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

My intent is simply to tag the article as non-neutral for the edification of readers and so that editors with knowledge or interest in the subject will notice that it needs attention. Would there be a better template to indicate this? -- Beland 13:43, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Y'know, there doesn't seem to be one. I've just never seen this tag put on an article where there wasn't an actual dispute. I guess it's OK; still, this use of it is unusual. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:20, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

By the way, if there is vivid but POV writing that we want to preserve, we can use it as long as we attribute it correctly, such as "The 1911 Britannica wrote 'Blah'." Just make sure you check back to a reliable copy of Britannica: content currently in the article may be edited to some degree. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:24, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

I "defend... the maintenance of the 1911 Britannica POV", and agree w jmabel that it should be clarified in its source. 1911 britanica is a particularly notable, valid, verifiable POV! Sam Spade 16:09, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I did some minor clipping of some of the "Ego" description and stuff that seemed a little POV. I may be wrong, revert it if you think so. But I don't see why this article can't be worked into something good. I just think there's waaay too much dwelling on Napoleon's personality and desires. Move some of that to the biography article. I think it just needs to NOT be centered on Napoleon so much but more on the events of the period. --DanielCD 21:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

It'd probably be better to rewrite this from scratch, and thus get this article out permanently from under the EB shadow. Alas, this isn't really my area. Ambi 03:02, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Old Cleanup Archive[edit]

Taken from the old Cleanup entry…Archived by HopeSeekr of xMule (Talk) 01:10, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
  • First French Empire is heavily laden with 1911 Britannica POV, and maybe some factual errors as well. There's been some discussion on the talk page. We all seem to agree it's a problem, but no one involved has considered themselves expert enough to really take it on. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:27, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

--I would be willing to take it on, but I would need someone to tell me about editing procedures and things of that Sort on Wikipedia. I've edited articles on stuff before, but it's always changed back on some technicality (not citation) if someone would send me a PM with anything I should know, I could wip this article into shape from memory... not that I would. My account is SteveSmithIIV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveSmithIIV (talkcontribs) 08:08, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Silly notices[edit]

I cut these notices from the top of the article. Yes, the article is in 1911EB style. Yes, it needs to be improved. But sticking silly notices won't make it magically fix itself: someone actually has to do the work. Until then, let's leave the article looking a bit nicer. Gdr 10:39:04, 2005-08-13 (UTC)

{{cleanup-date|April 2005}}{{cleanup-tone}}{{NPOV}}

"The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article." -- for an article copy-pasted from the Britannica, this is a harsh criticism ! :D Rama 07:37, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I no wikied the tags because this talk page was showing up in the NPOV disputes category, and probably the other categories as well. I suggest at least putting back the first cleanup tag so people are aware that it needs work. -- Kjkolb 07:55, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

And now it has {{POV}} + {{inappropriate tone}}. The latter seems particularly bizarre, for the reasons given above. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:47, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


The {{legend}} in the map doesn't seem to work, at least not on my Firefox browser. The blocks render in black, not in the appropriate colors. Given that picture captions also function as "alt" text, which exists mainly for the blind and for search engines, the whole approach seems to me to be off kilter. I would be inclined to revert to the earlier version, which used text to refer to "dark blue" and "light blue". - Jmabel | Talk 05:46, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

It's been 5 days, no one has responded, I am going back to the old way of doing this. - Jmabel | Talk 17:02, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Napoleonic Code revert[edit]

Correct me if I'm mistaken but I do believe that the Napoleonic Code "made everyone equal before the law" except Napoleon himself. -- 19:55, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

NO, not in theory. In practice, things were different.

What is disputed?[edit]

User:UberCryxic added the "disputed" tag to this without explaining what is disputed. I'll drop a note on his talk page asking for clarification. - Jmabel | Talk 02:32, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Among some of the many ridiculous statements in this article:

Napoleon made a desperate effort in 1812 against a country as invincible as Russia - ?????

Napoleon had hardly succeeded in putting down the revolt in Germany when the tsar of Russia himself headed a European insurrection against the ruinous tyranny of the continental blockade - weird......

Napoleon himself was no longer the 'General Bonaparte' of his campaign in Italy. He was already showing signs of physical decay; the Roman medallion profile had coarsened, the obese body was often lymphatic. Mental degeneration, too, betrayed itself in an unwonted irresolution. - I almost don't want to continue. The entire article is horrible and outdated. I was going to completely rewrite it (that's what was behind my major additions to the lead), but unfortunately I haven't continued my work here too thoroughly. Maybe some other time...UberCryxic 02:40, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Since we have a section here, let's make sure we discuss any wishes about wanting to remove the disputed tag. I am disputing right now because of the statements listed above and many others that I don't feel like listing. Unless these get corrected, and for that matter unless this entire gets a reconstruction, that disputed tag should be there.UberCryxic 18:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

This whole article shows a quite appalling lack of objectivity. White Guard 00:52, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that the article is written from a very British perspective, and a rather outdated, at that. Hence the lyrical style and shameless instrumentalisation of the narration. This article is basically an ode to the British Empire. Which is fine for the Britannica of 1908, but is not really appropriate by contemporary standards (I mean outside of some USAyan right-wingers), not to speak of to the standards to which Wikipedia abides. Rama 08:38, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


Should there be an infobox to the side, detailing the specifics of the country? Other nations of this period have sidebar infoboxes in their articles, such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. -Alex The Gonz 10:49, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Mmmm....this was just a different administration ruling over the nation of France and wishing to call itself an 'empire.' I doubt that represents a separate country.UberCryxic 22:52, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
For one, it wasn't just wishing to call itself an empire. It had an Emperor as head-of-state, and was by definition an Empire. Second of all, Wiki has done the same thing with other regions, making seperate articles for different administrations, such as Yugoslavia and Germany. Third, the historical significance of the first French Empire cannot be understated, and seeing as its system of government was very different from either the Republic or Bourbon Monarchy, this article deserves an infobox. Unfortunately, I don't know how to make one. So, if someone knows how to, please do as soon as possible. -The Gonz 15:09, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Ehh...perhaps. I'm not really that keen on it, but you do have a point in the larger Wikipedia context (the Third Reich, for one, as you mentioned).UberCryxic 03:04, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Republic of Connaught[edit]

In 1798 France brief held a portion of the west of Ireland known as Connaught. However, there is no mention of this in the article. Vintagekits 13:34, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

That was 1798; First Empire existed from 1804 to 1815 (with an interruption in 1814 to 1815).UberCryxic 16:31, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

You probably need to alter this article then - Republic of Connaught as its state it was a client state of the First French Empire Vintagekits 11:42, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Better map?[edit]

This shows alliances also. - Leonard G. 01:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Um. No image. - Jmabel | Talk 20:23, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

From Consulate to Empire[edit]

This section doesn't make any sense. It seems like every other sentence is missing. I can't follow its development at all. 09:19, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

It was a mess. I've just put in 40 minutes or so reorganizing, rewriting, & sorting out. I hope this helps. Someone could probably put several more hours just into cleanup on this article, let alone citations, etc. - Jmabel | Talk 23:13, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Empire and Republic?[edit]

Between l'An 12 and 1808, French coins bore the inscription "Napoleon Empereur" on the obverse and "Republique Française" on the reverse. Only in 1809 did the revere inscription change to "Empire Française". Was this a foul up at the mint or did the Republic really continue to exist until 1808/9?
Dove1950 23:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon was named "Emperor" in 1804, but he was proclaimed such (at least in theory and government declaration) by the "Constitution of the Republic." Whether or not this may be why it was written as "Republic" or not, I am unsure, but it may be why. Mnmazur (talk) 23:45, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Flag of the Kingdom[edit]

The French article about the flag of France (fr:Drapeau de la France) says explicitely that the de facto national flag of the Kingdom of France was a simple white flag - the lily banner was only used in presence of members of the royal family except the King: When he was present, the white flag had been hoised. To cut a long story short: Please do not insert the lily banner (Pavillon royale de France.svg) anymore, it's the wrong flag here. Louis88 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Map Misleading[edit]

I believe the map of Europe, of Napoleon's empire is misleading. In Napoleon Bonapatre by Alan Schom, he has a map of Europe and the status of each country. There are three catagories; Conqured "vassal" states, Conquered "allied" states and Conquered "rebellious" states. Under "vassal" there is Belgium, Holland, Savoy, Piedmont, tuscany and Corsica. Under "allied" there is Denmark, Prussia and Austria. Under "rebellious" there is Spain,the Kingdom of Naples, Kingdom of Italy, Switzerland and the Confederation of the Rhine. In addition, Schom says that Prussia, Denmark, Austria and Portugal were under military occupation by France. I think a new map should be drawn up showing the territory occupied by Napoleon's French forces before his downfall in Russia. Thoughts? Objections?-Kieran4 (talk) 22:45, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I've read Alan Schom's book, and it should not be considered a sholarly work on any level. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveSmithIIV (talkcontribs) 08:15, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

About the new map, if it shows Europe in 1789, then Finland sould still be a part of the Russian Empire if I am correct.--SelfQ (talk) 21:24, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Catalonia was part of France during this time, and the map doesn't show that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why one would call the Kingdom of Italy, Switzerland, or the Rheinbund "rebellious." And the territories you list as "vassal" were not vassal states, but actually part of the French Empire.~ john k (talk) 16:43, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I think we do need a new map, or atleast an info box.

Infobox Preceded by / Succeeded by[edit]

I find the content given in the info box under this topic as rather misleading. For instance it is said that the First French Empire was, amongst others, preceded by the Holy Roman Empire but then when you look at the successors the only successor from the former Holy Roman Empire listed is the Austrian Empire which made up less than half of the Holy Roman Empire. What about Prussia? What about the other German countries? Now I could understand the argument saying that only big successors are listed, but wasn't Prussia big? Also why then list tiny Neutral Moresnet? IMO this list should be redone. Hadoriel (talk) 12:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The successors thing is weird - surely at least the Confederation of the Rhine ought to be listed as a successor of the Empire. john k (talk) 22:49, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

How could this article have possibly been featured for a featured (SP) article?[edit]

I was just combing through this article, and I looked at the map of the first French Empire. It says that that is what the First French Empire looked like in 1814... I do know a lot about France during this time, but I will confess that I don't know what the Empire looked like in 1814, but I know it did not look anything like that..... That's the empire in 1808-1812. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SteveSmithIIV (talkcontribs) 07:52, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

From a descendant of a victim of Napoleon's Genocides[edit]

File:Partida Defuncion Manuel Joseph López de Prado.jpg
Transcript of the death certificate of Don Manuel Joseph Martin López de Prado, preserved at the Archives of the Bishop of Lugo.

Please respect the memory of the dead. My ancestor was executed by Michel Ney's 6th Corps on April 20th 1809, in Monforte de Lemos. He had 6 small children, all younger than 10 years old, one to be born less than 3 weeks later. He was assassinated in the most cruel and grotesque manner, in front of his entire family. His wife pleaded he could be administered the Catholic Ritual of extreme unction, but the French prevented it and killed him like an animal. She gave birth prematurely his posthumous son less than 3 weeks later. We know all this because the priest who buried him wrote it down in the book of defuncts of the parish. I have enclosed a transcript here. That very same day, 1,100 innocent civilians of the same village were assassinated in a similar manner. Napoleon murdered millions of innocent civilians all over Europe, and France should be ashamed of this as much as Germany is of the Jewish Holocaust. I do not ask anything from France or the descendants of Napoleon, or those building monuments and celebrating the memory of that genocide. Just respect for the dead and historical truth. ( (talk) 16:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC))

As much as we sympathise with you you must understand that this is a talk page for improving the article only, if atrocities are not mentioned in the article than perphaps a sentence/paragraph could be added. You have posted this same comment on the Peninsular War article, the Napoleon article and the Napoleonic Wars article (and perphaps more). You have my condolences but Wikipedia cannot just put these things on articles randomly.Willski72 (talk) 13:56, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your message, Willski72. Following your advice, I have added a very short and neutral comment remembering the millions of European civilians who were taken from their families and murdered like animals. Innocent people like you and me who committed no crime. Please, let's not glorify mass murderers, for the sake of historical truth. Not mentioning the genocides committed by Napoleon is as perverse as writing an article on Adolf Hitler without mentioning the Holocaust (Niaps (talk) 20:39, 16 May 2009 (UTC)).

I removed the newly added paragraph on genocide etc:
  • Undue weight (WP:DUE) is given to a minority view (seemingly Claude Ribbe's, full stop) regarding comparisons with Hitler and genocide in WWII, even more so to the paragraph on descendants of "victims" requesting a memorial, which is also original research on a primary source (and a blog at that).
  • Reliable sources are needed. While the Daily Mail article is not the worse they have published, the Daily Mail is a tabloid, and not just in format, besides the reference does not actually support the sentence (article does not mention descendants of victims at all). The second reference is a random web page, I can't read much spanish, but it also appears to be anecdotal, and used as a primary source. As noted above, the memorial request is out of a blog.
  • Phrasing was not neutral, "genocide" has a very definite meaning inappropiate for the whole section, "murdered" is not an appropriate term for civilian casualties of war.
More generally, I have to point out atrocities are commited in time of war, by all sides. Napoleon was no saint at all, but neither were the ennemies of the empire, and besides, the historical context was not that of the 20th century. We shouldn't be moralising history in the first place, we certainly shouldn't do so selectively, which is what the IP was requesting.
Finally, and as some kind of side note, while some atrocities commited during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars might be noteworthy, they would unlikely belong to overview articles such as this. Equendil Talk 03:30, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
PS: The IP's message above has been posted on the talk pages of several articles (Talk:The Crime of Napoleon, Talk:Napoleon I of France, Talk:Peninsular War, Talk:First French Empire, Talk:Napoleonic Wars, so this discussion is all over the place, someone suggested to centralise on Talk:Napoleon I of France which seems sensible. Equendil Talk 03:39, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

French Empire[edit]

I corrected the official name of the State, Franch Empire, as we can see on coins [1] and in treaties. I added the interesting fact that until 1808 the State was still styled, for domestic affairs, as French Republic. The previous source, Sheperd's Historical Atlas, is not correct about this matter. Indeed, it contains many errors in its pages: for example, the border between France and Italy on the Atlas is erroneous.--Cusio (talk) 12:33, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

This is incorrect. The name "Empire of the French" was used, and Napoleon's title, as seen on many treaties, is "Emperor of the French", which would further indicate such. The term "Empire of the French" is used in Shepherd's Historical Atlas, widely considered a reliable source for historical data. The border you mention was later changed - the map in question was from the early days of the Empire. The Oxford Family Encyclopedia and the Funk & Wagnall's Revised Encyclopedia, both of wich I possess and, barring copyright restrictions, get you scanned images of their pages, also back up the reference on Napoleon's title, and one backs up the name of the state. mnmazur  voicemail 
Pay attention: many kings' titles were "His Most Christian Majesty....", but their States weren't "The Most Christian Kingdom of...". The French form "Empire des Français" doesn't exist in treaties or laws, and also yahoo gives us very poor results ( [2] against [3] ). I repeat: Shepherd's Historical Atlas contains a lot of errors, and the border between France and Italy was never put where in the Atlas' pages is, not even during the early days of the Empire. The Treaty of Tilsit officially use the term "French Empire" (article XXVII [4]), not "Empire of the French". More, coins and banknotes are usually sure sources [5], and also uses "Empire français".--Cusio (talk) 23:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
However, popular monarchies, including the July Monarchy (Kingdom of the French) all used ruler titles and state titles that were compatible. The atlas in question does show the correct border, I assure you - I have done extensive research into the First French Empire. Now, with regard to the French name, I understand your point of view on the currency. Despite this, currency does not provide the same historical value as the numerous peace treaties do. Now, recognizing that there is a dispute, I am going to maintain Empire of the French, as well as the reference, but I will insert a note regarding French Empire and the continued use of French Republic. mnmazur  voicemail 
Napoleon's title was certainly "Emperor of the French". I have never heard that the country was called the "Empire of the French". The King of the Belgians rules over the Kingdom of Belgium. The King of the Hellenees ruled over the Kingdom of Greece. Nor have I have ever heard that France was called the "Kingdom of the French" under the July monarchy, even though Louis Philippe's title was "King of the French." Could you provide any evidence for either the term "Kingdom of the French" or "Empire of the French." My understanding was that under the July Monarchy, the state was still known as the Kingdom of France, and that under both the first and second empire, France was known as the French Empire. The borders of the map are problematic - Lucca and Piombino were not part of France, which means there should be two breaks in Italy - France didn't control the whole coastline from Nice to Rome. Compare this map and [6]. john k (talk) 05:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I provided six sources of the official name of the State. I'd like to underline one of them, the imperial decree fixing the borders with France and Italy (with the official signature of Napoleon, which cancels every doubt about the name of the Empire), which confirms that Shepherd's atlas is incorrect and erroneous: the border between the two states was the Sesia River, not the Ticino River as Shepherd shows.--Cusio (talk) 11:38, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The presence of all those reference notes in the infobox is very aesthetically unpleasant. john k (talk) 13:45, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we can put them in the text proper: do you think it could be better?--Cusio (talk) 14:19, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be better to do that. I also think we don't need six references. One or two good ones should be sufficient. john k (talk) 14:20, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I edited in this sense. Do you think it's better now?--Cusio (talk) 14:29, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

New départements[edit]

Were there any assimilationist trends or policies in the newly annexed départements of France? Would some of them become French like Corsica and Alsace did had Napoleon ultimately won the conflict? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 1 October 2009 (UTC)


Chant du départ or Veillons au Salut de l'Empire is anthem of First French Empire? Newone (talk) 02:27, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

That is, from what we know, incorrect. Altough "Chant du depart" was used almost in the same way as an anthem, officially it was not (there was none), according to "". Because of that, I suggest 2 possible decisions :

1. Either change the actual text from "Chant du départ" to "Chant du depart (de facto)" OR 2. Change "Chant du depart" to "None (de jure)" (talk) 11:26, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Two Coats of arms[edit]

I’ve noticed their seem to be two different coats of arms for the First French Empire for some reason the one on the left i recognise from various historical books and pictures etc. However, the one on the right looks different. Does anyone know where the second coat of arms comes from? Mackay 86 (talk) 19:30, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Coat of arms i recognise Coat of arms i don't recognise

There is never any such thing as an "official image" of a coat of arms. Any visual representation that matches the "blazon," or description, of a coat of arms is acceptable- in other words, different pictures that show the same coat of arms do not have to look the same as long as the symbols are all there. In fact, if the color of something isn't specified in the blazon, I believe it doesn't even matter what color that thing is in the visual representation. Swarm X 18:44, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Constitutional Monarchy or an Absolute Monarchy[edit]

Was the Napoleonic Empire really Constitutional Monarchy or could it be considered an Absolute Monarchy given the nature of Napoleons rule. Mackay 86 (talk) 09:21, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Unwieldy sentence[edit]

Pushed back, as he had been in Spain, from bastion to bastion, after the action on the Berezina, Napoleon had to fall back upon the frontiers of 1809, and then—having refused the peace offered him by Austria at the Congress of Prague, from a dread of losing Italy, where each of his victories had marked a stage in the accomplishment of his dream—on those of 1805, despite Lützen and Bautzen, and on those of 1802 after his defeat at Leipzig, when Bernadotte – now Crown Prince of Sweden – turned upon him, Jean Victor Moreau also joined the Allies, and the Saxons and Bavarians forsook him as well.

Can someone who knows about this period please reword this sentence, which has more complex sub-clauses and internal references than a Joyce novel. I'd do it myself, except that the reason for my posting this request is that I find it utterly incomprehensible. Lordrosemount (talk) 12:59, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Dear Wikipedia: After adding the Principality of Andorra to the info box under the "Today part of" heading some asshole Wikipedia mod not only reverted the changes more than once, but sent me a message threatening to report me. About me: I had no intention of vandalizing Wikipedia, but only to update with correct information. Is that not the entire purpose of Wikipedia? Also, when I edit Wikipedia, I tend to focus on very specific topics, as I think that is more effective than concentrating on a broad range of facts. Right now my interest may be Napoleonic history, for instance, but I am currently focusing not so much on military history, biographical details about Napoleon Bonaparte, or the internal politics of France from 1789-1814, but more specifically on the territorial constitution and administrative division of France and French client states during the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon I.

For the record, Andorra was annexed as part of Catalonia during the period of 1812-1814. There is no question that Andorra, along with the rest of Catalonia, was administered by the French Empire (albeit briefly), but the question is whether said annexation should count. All of Catalonia was administered by France even if it was never fully integrated in the French state. Case in point, the article 130 departments of the First French Empire lists 130 departements, when a more complete total was more like 141 because the article omits both the Illyrian Provinces and the four Catalonian departements of the French Empire from the list. The latter article contains the claim that: "As with the other foreign departments of the Empire, their annexation by France was never officially validated even by France itself..." Such a statement is, on face value, patently absurd and ridiculous! It may be true about the four departements in question, but I can guarantee it is NOT the case that the French annexation of the other "foreign departments" was never validated even by France itself. After all, by definition annexation of a territory must be officially recognized by the one doing the annexation! The inclusion of such a ridiculously absurd statement without a "Citation Needed" tag (which I added) or even clarification (i.e., what is meant by the "other foreign departments," all territory annexed after 1792? after 1804? just the non-contiguous departements?) reveals the inferior quality of Wikipedian scholarship.

Granted, whether or not the Catalonian annexation should count in the territorial definition of the First French Empire is another question. However, the "Today part of" info box includes present-day nation-states overlapping with the Adriatic territory. Granted, the annexation of Catalonia was in practice, more akin to military rule than civil administration, and Napoleon Bonaparte as well as others in the French government were distracted by other concerns from "completing the paperwork" on the annexation of Catalonia, so it is understandable why the territory is sometimes neglected or deliberately omitted. (Many maps of Europe during 1812 show the French-Spanish border at the Pyrenees, and more detailed maps even show the outline of Andorra.) But I think we should review the list of states in the "Today part of" box.

(In reverse alphabetical order)

  Vatican City

Papal States, annexed 1809.


Throughout the course of the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon I, the boundaries of France extended well into Switzerland. For instance, the Jura was annexed to the French Republic early in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars. Likewise, the city of Geneva and its vicinity and the territory of the Rhodanic Republic were annexed to France. (The Principality of Neuchatel, now a Swiss canton was made a French vassal and practically part of France, but the French never actually got around to annex it.) The territory of Switzerland was considerably smaller during the period.


Territory of the Kingdom of Spain annexed in 1812.


Part of the Illyrian Provinces (annexed 1809).


Kingdom of Holland, annexed 1810.


Annexed early in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars.


Hapsburg territory west of the Rhine, annexed 1795.


Three non-contiguous areas of Italy directly administered/ruled by France: Duchy of Savoy (annexed 1792 from Kingdom of Sardinia), County of Nice (annexed 1793 from Kingdom of Sardinia), Subalpine Republic (French client republic annexed 1802), Ligurian Republic (French client republic annexed 1805), Duchy of Parma (annexed 1808); Tuscany & the Papal States (annexed 1807 and 1809 respectively); Italian territory within the Illyrian Provinces (Istria).


German territory west of the Rhine, mostly within the Cisrhenian Republic, annexed 1802. Also, the "North Sea Strip" annexed in 1810, which included Holland and the territory of German states along the North Sea shore east of Holland and south of (then Danish) Schleswig-Holstein all the way to the Baltic Sea.


I think this one is so obvious, it goes without saying! ;)


Illyrian Provinces, annexed 1809.


Hapsburg territories west of the Rhine, including states of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Netherlands, annexed 1795-1801.


Territory of what is now Austria included in Illyrian Provinces (annexed 1806).


The only entry excluded from your list. It was annexed with the rest of Catalonia in 1812 as part of the departement of Segre.

In conclusion, unless you allow the addition of Andorra to the list, you must delete Spain from your list as well. After all, if you can justify excluding the principality from your list, then that same reason for omission applies equally to Spain (unless you can provide another reason why Spain should be included).

If you need evidence that Andorra was ever territorially part of the French Empire, then I submit the following. This highly detailed <a href=>map of the First French Empire</a> shows the Empire and its internal administrative divisions plus all other states in its vicinity. The map includes such tiny states as the Principality of Neuchatel, or minor Italian states including the principalities of Benevento, Lucca, Piombino, Pontecorvino, and the Republic of San Marino, but no Andorra! Bottomline: either you must add Andorra to your list, or else delete the map (if you can not update it) because you believe that Andorra was never included, but the map says otherwise. Either you are wrong or the creators of the map were mistaken.

This whole experience may be my final straw with Wikipedia! I did not wish to "vandalize" your precious encyclopedia, only to improve it. However, this refusal to correct a very simple, and relatively trivial factual issue calls into question your credibility. This persuades me that Wikipedia is nothing more than a top-down totalitarian organization with more interest in promoting orthodoxies than with factual accuracy. I was hoping to address other possible errors later on, but since you all prefer to "spy" on editors by tracking their IP address and harassing them with empty threats on their talk pages to constructive improvement, I have given up hope.

Case in point, despite Wikipedia's pretensions of being "NPOV" you still seem to retain some of the old anti-Napoleon bias endemic in the Anglophone world. For instance, your claim that, "As with the other foreign departments of the Empire, their annexation by France was never officially validated even by France itself..." reveals a belief that the French are a nation of incompetents, and your description of the Government type as a "Dictatorship" in your info box is not only unfairly biased, but vague. In all honesty, I have read less biased encyclopedia articles on the French Revolution, Napoleon, and related topics from encyclopedias without the pretension of being NPOV. Also, how the hell was the First French Empire a republic until 1808 if Napoleon I was emperor by 1804? That makes no sense!

I am sorry for the negative experience you have had. I understand that you may want some anonymity, but in the future please sign your posts with four tildes (~~-~~, without the dash in the middle). In regard to the angry message for adding Andorra to the list: I am sorry that this guy was reverting it. In the future, you should have added a source to prove your point. In regards to the article itself: Yes, it's a low point for Wikipedia. The entire article was copied from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica years ago, and nobody has completely fixed it. I am working on it, but it takes an awfully long time to do so. I hope your negative experience here did not ruin any potential edits you may make to Wikipedia. PS: The guy's threat of reporting you was empty; he could have reported the case itself for arbitration and fact checking, but there was nothing wrong with your edits unless you began to edit war. Marechal Ney (talk) 22:49, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Population density in infobox[edit]

The population density specified in the 'infobox' appears to have an 'expression error', as indicated by the red text. Derfel73 (talk) 17:32, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

NPOV language[edit]

I have added a NPOV tag to this article due to the apparent anti-Napoleonic, and to some degree anti-French, bias. I have started to rewrite about half of it, but until my work is completed it should still be tagged as NPOV. Marechal Ney (talk) 20:46, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Today part of[edit]

The infobox rubric "Today part of" would be misleading if it were not so ludicrously cart-before-the-horse! The First French Empire is not today part of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, etc. Rather, all or part of today's Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, etc. were once part of the First French Empire. The Empire now part of the Vatican City? What part is that? And in which drawer have they put it?

In my view it would be far better to expand the list of preceding and following entities to 10 and 17 respectively (as in the French Wikipedia article) and dispense with the muddle-headed "Today part of" section altogether. --Picapica (talk) 11:32, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

What about the colonies?[edit]

Why does the map only show the European territories? what about the different colonies of the French Empire? Kintaro (talk) 08:45, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Expansion of Topics[edit]

Currently this article reads as a poorly written description of French military and foreign policy moves during the Napoleonic Era. This article, instead, should be discussing the nature of France between 1804 and 1815. While acquiring adequate sources will take a while, a section should be added on domestic affairs and the economy. Marechal Ney (talk) 21:37, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Confirming Statistics[edit]

I was wondering if anybody knew the source for the following statistics. One only has a vague footnote, and the other has no reference at all.

• 1812 Area, 2,100,000 km2 (810,815 sq mi), (vaguely footnoted as 'Taagepera1997.' To my knowledge, Rein Taagepera didn't author any books in 1997. Does anyone else know where else this is from?)

• 1812 Population est. 44,000,000 (no footnote)

Cheers Danielpwn93 (talk) 11:19, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Wrong Flag of the Netherlands[edit]

The flag of the united kingdom of the netherlands in the "preceded by, succeeded by" box is wrong. It should be the flag of the kingdom of the Netherlands which is red white and blue and not the orange white and blue flag of the dutch republic (prinsevlag). Id change it myself, but im not sure how.-- (talk) 01:14, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Nvm it seems that both flags were accepted as national flag at the time.-- (talk) 16:38, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Absolute monarchy?[edit]

This article calls the French Empire an absolute monarchy, but wasn't it a de jure constitutional monarchy since it had a constitution? (talk) 23:26, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Correct. I am not convinced by arguments that the First French Empire was an absolute monarchy since that has more negative connotations. It's more an Elective Monarchy which is what I've put in place as the government; however, the First French Empire was unique at its time because it had a system that was neither a monarchy nor republic in a conventional sense since in the former monarchy is hereditary and in the latter it is elected. Here we have a combination whereby anyone could rightfully be elected emperor. Professed Reason 16:23, 11 August 2015 (UTC) I challenge those who view the FFE as an absolute monarchy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vormeph (talkcontribs)


The second map of the infobox is wrong, Josefino Spain never controlled much more than the hinterland of the peninsula, and how could be the Rhine Confederacy a Satellite of France if it changed sides in 1813? And certain Denmark wasn't in the Sphere of Influence of France if entered the war after the British Attack and fought until the bitter end, much on the contrary of Prussia and Austria that were in it just for their convenience, the French hadn't much influence on it, no wonder they changed sides in the first opportunity in 1812. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yamakkusa (talkcontribs) 18:13, 21 September 2016 (UTC)