Timeline of Napoleon's Empire (1798-1821)


19 May: Napoleon begins his Egyptian Campaign
2 July: Fall of Alexandria
21 July: The French defeat the Mamelukes at the Battle of the Pyramids in Egypt
24 July: Fall of Cairo
1 August: Under the command of the Admiral Nelson, the British fleet destroys the French navy Battle of Aboukir. 29 December: Second Coalition formed against France. The Second Coalition included Austria, Russia, and Britain, but not Prussia.


20 February: Napoleon invades Syria towards the end of his Egyptian Campaign
18 June: Purge of Directory; Napoleon's ally, Paul Barras, consolidates his power.
July: The Rosetta Stone is discovered by Napoleon's troops.
24 August: Receiving news of turmoil in France, Napoleon leaves Egypt and sets sail for France.
16 October: Napoleon arrives in Paris.
9-10 November: Coup de Brumaire. Napoleon and Sieyes overthrow the Directory, and form the three-person consulate. Sieyes and Ducos are appointed as the other two consuls.
12 December: Constitution of Year VIII. Napoleon is appointed First Consul.


7 February: New Constitution approved by the French through a plebiscite.
19 February: Napoleon establishes his residence in the Tuileries Palace, the location where Louis XVI was held under house-arrest between the period of his attempted escape from Paris and his execution.
15-23 May: Napoleon leads his army across the Alps in the Second Italian Campaign.
14 June: Napoleon's army handily defeats the Austrian army, for Russia by 1799 had removed itself from the Second Coalition, at Marengo. End of Second Italian Campaign.
5 November: Negotiations for Concordat open with the Papacy.
24 December: "Opera Plot" attempt to assassinate Napoleon, organized by Cadoudal, a French royalist who also took part in the counter-revolutionary Vendee peasant rebellion in 1793.


9 February: Treaty of Luneville signed with Austria. This Treaty was a renewal of the earlier, Treaty of Campo Formio, which secured France's defeat of Austria and right to administer Italian lands independent of Austria's will. This treaty also ends the Second Coalition.
15 July: Napoleon signs the Concordat with Pope Pius VII. The Concordat ends the schism between the French government and the Catholic Church, by returning lands to the clergy that were confiscated from the Church during the anti-clerical periods of the French Revolution, and by assuring the Pope that France would remain a Catholic country.
30 August: French army still in Egypt surrenders to the British.


26 January: Napoleon becomes president of the Republic of Italy.
25 March: Treaty of Amiens signed with the British. This treaty was essentially a pact in which British and French forces agreed not to fight, and had no significant territorial provisions. With Austria defeated, a peace signed with the British, and Russia's withdrawal from the Second Coalition, for the first time in 10 years, Europe was at peace.
1 May: Napoleon begins his administrative and social reforms by instituting a new educational system in France with the creation of the lycees, the Ecole Normale Superieur, and the Polytechnique.
19 May: Napoleon establishes the Legion of Honor as a reward for loyal service to the nation under the consulate of 1802. The creation of such an institution was in line with Napoleon's emphasis on the creation of a meritocracy that awards those who serve the nation most courageously and loyally.
2 August: Napoleon named Consul for Life through a plebiscite.
4 August: Constitution of Year X is also approved through a plebiscite.


11 March: Camps established at Boulogne to train army for invasion of England.
3 May: Napoleon sells Louisiana territory to the U.S.
18 May: Rupture of Treaty of Amiens due to England's breach of the treaty leads to resumption of war between France and Britain.


February-March: Royalist plot to kidnap Napoleon leads to arrest of Generals Moreau and Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal.
21 March: Civil Code, also known as the Napoleonic Code, is promulgated. The Civil Code sought to abolish the privileges and inequalities embodied in the customs of the Ancien Regime. The principles of personal liberty, freedom of conscience, and equality before the law were consecrated by the Code. It protected property, but made women into second-class citizens.
18 May: Proclamation of the French Empire, and the declaration of Napoleon as the Emperor.
19 May: Marshals of the empire created.
2 December: Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of the French Empire in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.


26 May: Napoleon is crowned king of Italy in Milan.
7 June: Eugene de Beauharnais, relative to Josephine, Napoleon's wife, is named viceroy of Italy.
9 August: Third Coalition is formed. Austria joins British and Russian Alliance to fight France.
25 August: The Grande Armee, Napoleon's International Army comprised mostly of French and Italians, leaves Boulogne for Germany.
21 October: Battle of Trafalgar marks another French naval defeat at the hands of the British under the command of Admiral Nelson.
14 November: Napoleon enters Vienna.
2 December: Napoleon defeats Russian and Austrian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz.
26 December: Napoleon signs the Treaty of Pressburg with Austria. In this treaty the defeated Austrians surrender their Italian territory of the region of Veneto in Northern Italy to the French.


30 March: Napoleon appoints his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, king of Naples. Napoleon also appoints other members of his family to rule conquered lands such as Spain.
May-June: Creation of Kingdom of Holland with Louis Bonaparte as king.
12 July: Napoleon establishes the Confederation of the Rhine, effectively ending the Holy Roman Empire which was established by Charlemagne in 800.
July: Formation of Fourth Coalition led by Prussia, Russia, and Britain.
25 September: Prussian army invades the Confederation of the Rhine.
14 October: Napoleon, after having taken command of the Grande Armee in Germany, defeats Prussia at the Battles of Jena-Auerstadt.
27 October: Napoleon enters Berlin.
21 November: Continental System inaugurated by Berlin Decrees. The Continental System was Napoleon's plan to stop all shipping of British goods into Europe. The Continental System resulted in a British blockade of all European shipping, and ended up hurting France more than Britain. By trying to spread the Continental System into Spain, Napoleon and France had to endure the constant harassment of the disastrous Peninsular War.
18 December: Napoleon enters Warsaw, setting the stage for the establishment of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.


14 June: Napoleon defeats the Russians at the Battle of Friedland.
7-9 July: Treaty of Tilsit between France, Russia, and Prussia. The Treaty required Russia and Prussia to abide by the Continental System.
22 July: Napoleon creates the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Poland), to be overseen by France. The creation of this state angers Tsar Alexander I, who saw this land as part of Greater Russia.
30 November: With the help of Spain, Napoleon begins the French occupation of Portugal under the command of General Junot, which marks the beginning of the Peninular War.


February: J.G. Fichte, a German Romantic philosopher and nationalist, delivers 'Address to the German Nation' in Berlin hoping to inspire anti-Napoleonic and pro-German Nationalistic movements.
1 March: Organization of the imperial nobility.
18 March: Ferdinand VII proclaimed king of Spain.
2 May: Revolt in Madrid against Murat's troops marks beginning of Spanish revolt against French rule, which were immortalized in Goya's set of paintings 'The Disasters of War.'
7 July: Joseph Bonaparte crowned king of Spain; Murat and Caroline Bonaparte become king and queen of Naples.
30 July: Joseph evacuates Madrid after growing resistance to France's occupation.
8 October: Napoleon's allies, including Alexander I of Russia, meet at Erfurt, Saxony.
5 November: Napoleon assumes command of the army of Spain.
13 December: Napoleon recaptures Madrid.


16 January: Battle of Corunna; Napoleon leaves Spain.
6 April: Fifth Coalition formed by Britain, Austria, and rebel Spain, after Austria declares a 'War of Liberation' against the Napoleonic Empire.
26 April: British army under Arthur Wellesley (later duke of Wellington) lands at Lisbon.
17 May: France annexes the Papal States.
5-6 July: Napoleon defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Wagram.
14 October: Treaty of Schonbrunn between France and Austria, in which Austria lost some of its northern land, which was added to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
15 December: Napoleon divorces Josephine because she does not beget him a male heir.


17 February: Rome annexed to French Empire
1 April: Napoleon marries Marie-Louise of Austria.
1 July: Holland annexed to France; Louis abdicates as king.
13 December: North German territories annexed to French Empire.
31 December: Tsar Alexander I breaks with Continental System because Britain was a major importer of Russian grain.


January-December: Preparations for Russian Campaign
20 March: Birth of Napoleon II, referred to as the king of Rome.


30 May: Sixth Coalition formed by Russia and Sweden with support from Britain and rebel Spain; Napoleon takes command of the Grande Armee in East Prussia and Poland.
24-25 June: The Grande Armee crosses the Niemen river, beginning the Russian campaign.
22 July: Battle of Salamanca in Spain
7 September: Battle of Borodino in Russia. Napoleon defeated the Russians making important territorial gains, but suffered significant losses.
14 September: Napoleon's Grand Armee enters Moscow to find the city abandoned and set aflame by the inhabitants; retreating in the midst of a frigid winter, the army suffers devastating losses.
October: Duke of Wellington made allied commander in Spain.
19 October: French begin retreat from Moscow.
19 December: Napoleon, after leaving his army under the command of Murat in early December, reaches Paris.


26 February: Treaty of Kalisch between Prussia and Russia in which Russia commits to assist Prussia regain the territory lost in the Treaty of Tilsit (1806).
16 March: Prussia declares war on France, leading to two battles of Prusso-Russian forces against French forces, namely the Battle of Lutzen and Bautzen, both in May of 1813.
21 June: Wellington, leader of Spanish forces, defeats French forces under the command of Joseph Bonaparte at Vitoria.
16-19 October: Battle of Leipzig: also known as the 'Battle of the Nations;' Austrian, Prussian, Russian, Swedish, and Bohemian forces defeat Napoleon's Grande Armee in this town in Saxony. One of the many civilian casualties in this battle was that of Friedrich Wagner, survived by his wife and six-year old son Richard.
October-November: Collapse of the Confederation of the Rhine and Napoleon's power in Germany.
November: Metternich offers Napoleon the 'Frankfurt Proposals,' a provision which gave Napoleon the opportunity to surrender and remain 'Emperor of France.' Napoleon soon refuses this deal.


January: Castlereagh, British diplomat, goes to Europe to negotiate the post-Napoleonic peace.
January-March: Campaign of France. Allied army enters France.
11 January: Murat defects to the Allied forces.
9 March: Treaty of Chaumont-the four powers that defeated Napoleon (Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia) all agreed to ally for 20 years, promising to fight together to stop France if it ever got too powerful again.
12 March: Wellington's Allied Army enters Bordeaux.
31 March: French Marshals Marmont and Mortier surrender Paris to the Allies.
2-3 April: The Senate and the Legislative Body proclaim the deposition of Napoleon.
6 April: Napoleon abdicates in favor of his son, and, according to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, agrees to go into exile on the island of Elba, where he will receive a stipend of 2 million francs a year (which was never paid) and he could keep the title Emperor.
11 April: Napoleon abdicates unconditionally.
1 May: Treaty of Paris-Louis XVIII proclaimed king of France, and France reverts to her 1792 borders.
4 May: Napoleon begins his exile on Elba, his wife and son take refuge in Vienna.
September: Congress of Vienna begins.


1 March: Napoleon lands in Southern France, near Cannes, after setting sail from Elba a few days earlier.
20 March: Napoleon arrives in Paris and takes control, Louis XVIII flees, marking the beginning of the Hundred Days campaign.
18 June: Napoleon is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by British and Prussians, led by Wellington.
22 June: Napoleon's second abdication.
7 July: Allies enter Paris
16 October: Napoleon is exiled to St. Helena, an island in the remote South Atlantic, in which escape would be virtually impossible.
20 November: Second Treaty of Paris signed, whose provisions are essentially the same as the first.


5 May: Napoleon dies on St. Helena

(adapted from the Napoleonic Satires site.)