Only a few people in the history of the world have made an impact quite like Napoleon Bonaparte. His image and name have become famous and often stir up any number of emotions. So who was Napoleon? He was trained as an artillery officer in France and eventually crowned himself the Emperor of France. He was born into a family of seven children in 1769, with dreams of becoming a strong military powerhouse, and started off in military school in 1779, with a goal of becoming a naval captain or gaining some other important post within the French Navy.
In 1789, the French Revolution began. Napoleon created a real sense of togetherness for the French people and was determined to protect his nation. Something called the Napoleonic Code was established, in which the citizens were willing to give up personal freedoms in order to be guaranteed some sort of law and order. In 1815, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821. For almost 200 years, it was rumored that he was poisoned with arsenic, but recent research shows it was due to stomach bleeding or cancer. There have been many stories and books written about this famous military man, and his legend still lives on today.
Timeline of the Life of Napoleon Bonaparte
August 5, 1769: Napoleon Bonaparte is born on Corsica.
January 1, 1779: Napoleon and Joseph go to the college d’Autun.
May 15, 1779: Napoleon enters the Brienne military school.
September 15, 1786: Napoleon receives a leave of absence from the military and returns to Corsica.
September 12, 1787: Napoleon returns from Corsica, knowing he overstayed his leave of absence for five and a half months.
June 1788: Bonaparte meets with his regiment in Auxonne.
September 1789: Napoleon has his third visit to Corsica.
February 12, 1791: Finally returns to Auxonne.
May 1792: Napoleon returns to Paris from Corsica.
October 1792: Goes to Corsica for the fifth time.
June 11, 1793: A quarrel with Paoli, the mayor of Corsica, starts and the Bonapartes are forced to leave the island.
June 13, 1793: The Bonapartes successfully arrive in Toulon.
December 1793: Napoleon successfully defeats the British ships at Toulon and is promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
August 9, 1794: Bonaparte is arrested.
August 20, 1794: He is cleared on all counts.
June 13, 1795: Napoleon is promoted to General of the army de l’Ouest.
September 15, 1795: Napoleon is struck off the list of generals employed by the Comity de Salut public. Period of financial difficulty.
October 5, 1795: After being asked by Barras, he plays a part in the suppression of the Royalist insurrection against the Convention.
October 15, 1795: Napoleon meets Josephine.
October 26, 1795: Bonaparte becomes commander in chief.
March 9, 1796: Napoleon and Josephine get married.
April 1796: Napoleon scores victories at Montenotte and Mondovi, and an armistice of Cherasco.
May 1796: Napoleon scores another victory at Lodi and enters Milan.
August 1796: Yet another victory at Castiglione.
January 1797: Victory at Rivoli.
February 1797: Capitulation of Mantua.
October 17, 1797: The Treaty of Campo-Formio is signed between France and Italy.
December 5, 1797: Bonaparte returns to Paris.
June 11, 1798: Napoleon captures Malta.
July 1798: Bonaparte takes Alexandria, wins the Battle of the Pyramids, and enters Cairo.
March 7, 1799: Napoleon takes Jaffa.
March 1799: The siege of Saint John d’Acre begins.
May 1799: After eighth unsuccessful attacks on Saint John d’Acre, Bonaparte decides to lift the siege.
July 25, 1799: Bonaparte is victorious at Aboukir.
August 1799: Napoleon leaves Egypt for Paris.
October 16, 1799: Bonaparte arrives in Paris.
November 9-10, 1799: Napoleon participates in a coup d’Etat that overthrows the government.
February 13, 1800: The Bank of France is created by Napoleon.
May 20, 1800: Napoleon Bonaparte crosses the Saint Bernard pass.
June 14, 1800: Napoleon scores a victory at Marengo.
February 9, 1801: Treaty of Lunéville signed.
July 15, 1801: The Concordat is signed with the Pope.
March 25, 1802: Treaty of Amiens is signed with England.
May 3, 1803: Louisiana is sold to the United States.
May 18, 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed the French Emperor.
December 2, 1804: Napoleon’s coronation takes place.
September 10, 1805: Austria attacks Bavaria.
October 19, 1805: Victory at Ulm.
October 21, 1805: The Franco-Spanish invasion fleet is destroyed at Trafalgar.
December 2, 1805: Victory at Austerlitz.
December 26, 1805: Treaty of Presbourg is signed.
July 12, 1806: Confederation of the Rhine is established under French protection.
October 27, 1806: Napoleon enters Berlin.
November 21, 1806: Napoleon declares the Continental Blockade.
June 1807: Victory at Friedland and meeting of Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I on the Niemen.
July 7, 1807: The Treaty of Tilsit is signed between Napoleon and Alexander I in a boat in the middle of a lake.
July 1807: The Grand Duchy of Warsaw is created.
August 16, 1807: Jerome is made king of Westphalia.
February 1808: Murat is appointed as Napoleon’s lieutenant-general in Spain.
May 1808: An uprising in Madrid against the French presence occurs. Charles IV of Spain abdicates.
June 1808: Joseph is made king of Spain and Murat replaced him as king of Naples.
June 20, 1808: Joseph enters Madrid.
December 4, 1808: Madrid surrenders before Napoleon.
April 8, 1809: Austria attacks Bavaria.
April 22, 1809: Victory at Eckmehl.
May 22, 1809: Victory at Essling.
July 6, 1809: Victory at Wagram.
October 14, 1809: Treaty of Schonbrunn is signed.
December 15, 1809: Napoleon divorces Josephine due to her inability to produce a son.
April 2, 1810: Napoleon and Marie-Louise get married.
October 1812: Napoleon decides to leave Moscow.
December 5, 1812: Napoleon leaves the retreating army so he could get to Paris faster.
March 1813: Encouraged by Napoleon’s recent disaster, Prussia declares war on France.
May 1813: Victories at Lutzen and Bautzen.
June 21, 1813: Wellington wins at Vitoria. As a result, Napoleon loses Spain.
July 29, 1813: Congress of Prague takes place.
August 1813: Austria declares war on France.
October 19, 1813: French armies lose the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig.
October 1813: Victory at Hanau.
November 1813: Holland is occupied by the Fourth Coalition and is lost to the French Empire.
December 1813: The Austrians occupy French Switzerland.
January 1814: Because French General Murat disserted, Italy is compromised.
January 29, 1814: Victory of Napoleon at Brienne.
February 1814: Things seem to be looking up as victories are scored at Champaubert, Montmirail, and Montereau.
March 13, 1814: Victory at Rheims.
March 30-31, 1814: Paris falls as Napoleon goes for a desperate gamble.
April 4, 1814: Napoleon abdicates.
April 6, 1814: Napoleon’s unconditional abdication takes place.
May 1814: Napoleon sets sail for the island of Elba.
June 30, 1814: Treaty of Paris is signed between France and the Coalition.
November 1, 1814: Congress of Vienna assembles to redraw the map of Europe.
February 26, 1815: Napoleon succeeds in a daring escape from Elba.
March 20, 1815: Ready to start another empire, Napoleon arrives in Paris.
June 16, 1815: Victory at Ligny.
June 18, 1815: Napoleon loses at the Battle of Waterloo.
June 22, 1815: Napoleon abdicates for the second time.
October 16, 1815: Napoleon arrives on the island of Saint Helena.
November 20, 1815: A second Treaty of Paris is signed between France and the Coalition.
May 5, 1821: Napoleon dies.