Timeline of the Napoleonic era

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Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

Early years[edit]

  • October 28: Napoleon graduates from Ecole Militaire with the rank of second lieutenant in the artillery.
  • November 3: Stationed in Valence
  • December 22: For his brilliant tactical command (although a subordinate officer, he was widely credited for the victory) at an internal French battle at Toulon, Napoleon receives the new rank of brigadier general
  • August 9–20: Napoleon is imprisoned under suspicion of being a Jacobin and a supporter of Robespierre.
  • October: Royalist 13 Vendémiaire rising put down by Napoleon. Barras helps Napoleon win promotion to Commander of the Interior
  • October 15: At the home of Paul Barras, a Directory member, Napoleon meets Rose de Beauharnais (Josephine)
  • 2 November: Directory established
  • March 2: Napoleon is given command of the French army in Italy
  • March 11: Italian campaign against Austria begins
  • May 10: Napoleon wins the Battle of Lodi
  • November 17: Napoleon wins the Battle of Arcole
  • May 19: Napoleon begins his Egyptian campaign with an army of 38,000
  • July 21: Wins Battle of the Pyramids against Mamelukes in Egypt
  • July 24: Fall of Cairo
  • August 3: Under the command of Admiral Nelson, the British fleet destroys the French navy in the Battle of the Nile. Napoleon's army is cut off from supplies and communication.

Napoleonic era[edit]

  • August 23: Receiving news of turmoil in France, Napoleon relinquishes command in Egypt and returns to Paris, a so-called Coup d’état
  • November 9–10: Coup of Brumaire Napoleon overthrows the Directory
  • December 12: Napoleon elected First Consul of the Consulate
  • March 25: Treaty of Amiens
  • May 1: Napoleon restructures French educational system
  • May 19: Legion of Honour established
  • August 2: New constitution adopted, plebiscite confirms Napoleon as First Consul for life
  • May 3: Napoleon sells the Louisiana territory to the U.S.
  • May 18: Britain declares war on France
  • May 26: France invades Hanover
  • March 21: Introduction of the Civil Code (also known as Napoleon Code)
  • May 18: Napoleon proclaimed emperor by the Senate
  • December 2: Napoleon crowns himself emperor, in the company of the Pope
Admiral Lord Nelson killed
  • March 30: Napoleon names his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, king of Naples, and appoints other family members to various other posts
  • July 12: Confederation of the Rhine, Napoleon as ‘protector’. Initially had 16 member states, later others added, including kingdoms of Saxony and Westphalia.
  • August 6: Holy Roman Empire abolished
  • September 15: Prussia joins Britain and Russia against Napoleon
  • October 14: Battle of Jena and Battle of Auerstadt
  • November 21: The Berlin Decree (1806), which initiated the Continental System was issued
  • March 17: Imperial University established
  • May 2: Spanish people rise up against France. Often referred to as Dos de Mayo Uprising
  • May 3: Napoleon's soldiers retaliate for uprising by brutally executing Spanish citizens (famously depicted in Goya's The Third of May 1808)
  • July 7: Joseph crowned King of Spain, after Portugal revolts against the Continental System/Blockade Napoleon had put in place. Napoleon collected five armies to advance into Portugal and 'bullied' the Spanish royal family into resigning.
  • Peninsular War
  • July 16-19: Battle of Bailén
  • March 20: Napoleon II, Napoleon's son born, referred to as the "King of Rome"
Main: Hundred Days: Timeline
See also: Diplomatic timeline for 1815
  • February 26: Napoleon escapes from Elba
  • March 20: Napoleon arrives in Paris
Beginning of the Hundred Days
  • May 5: Napoleon dies


  • Jack Allen Meyer (1987). An Annotated Bibliography of the Napoleonic Era: Recent Publications, 1945-1985 ISBN 0-313-24901-6

Further reading[edit]

  • William Leonard Langer & Peter N. Stearns. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically, Edition: 6, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 ISBN 0-395-65237-5, ISBN 978-0-395-65237-4 Chapter "The Napoleonic Period, 1799-1815", pp. 435–441

External links[edit]