Timeline of the Napoleonic era

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Timeline of the Napoleonic era (1799–1815). The Napoleonic era began in 1799 with Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état, that overthrew the Directory and established the French Consulate. It ended in 1815 during the Hundred Days with his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo or a few days later when he abdicated for the second time.

Napoleon Bonaparte[edit]

Napoleon Bonaparte (French: Napoléon Bonaparte [napoleɔ̃ bɔnɑpaʁt], Italian: Napoleone Buonaparte; 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 its associated wars in Europe.

Early years[edit]

  • August 15: Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, Corsica
  • 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.A.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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 5 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".
  • July 22: Battle of Salamanca.
  • August 4–6: Battle of Smolensk.
  • September 1: Moscow evacuated.
  • September 7: Battle of Borodino.
  • September 14: Napoleon arrives in Moscow to find the city abandoned and set alight by the inhabitants; retreating in the midst of a frigid winter, the army suffers great losses.
  • October 19: Beginning of the Great Retreat.
  • October 24: Battle of Maloyaroslavets.
  • November: Crossing of the River Berezina.
  • December: Grande Armée expelled from Russia.
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