I have cut short the story of Napoleon’s timeline into three Chevron lists for my convenience, thought it would be useful to you guys as well, Click on them to Zoom in. I hope it helps.
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For a much shorter version you may watch the video here.
Read in detail below.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica which belonged to Italy was later acquired by French.
As a boy, Napoleon attended school in mainland France, where he learned the French language, and went on to graduate from a French military academy in 1785 at the age of 16. He then became a second lieutenant in an artillery regiment of the French army.
The French Revolution began in 1789, and within three years revolutionaries had overthrown the monarchy and proclaimed a French republic.
He became affiliated with the Jacobins, a pro-democracy political group.
In France, Napoleon became associated with Augustin Robespierre (1763-1794), the brother of revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794), a Jacobin who was a key force behind the Reign of Terror (1793-1794), a period of violence against enemies of the revolution.
During this time, Napoleon was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the army. However, after Robespierre fell from power and was killed (along with Augustin) in July 1794.
In 1795, Napoleon helped suppress a royalist insurrection against the revolutionary government in Paris and was promoted to major general.
Since 1792, France’s revolutionary government had been engaged in military conflicts with various European nations. In 1796, Napoleon commanded a French army that defeated the larger armies of Austria.
In 1796, Napoleon married Josephine de Beauharnais, a stylish widow six years his senior who had two teenage children who had important contacts in the French political circles which helped Napoleon rise to power and his affair with her also gave him the promotion to major general.
In 1797, France and Austria signed the Treaty of Campo Formio, resulting in territorial gains for the French.
The following year, the Directory, the five-person group that had governed France since 1795, offered to let Napoleon lead an invasion of England. Napoleon determined that France’s naval forces were not yet ready to go up against the superior British Royal Navy. Instead, he proposed an invasion of Egypt in an effort to wipe out British trade routes with India.
Napoleon defeated Egypt and subsequently Syria, siege of modern-day Israel led to panic among English rulers. However, that summer, with the political situation in France marked by uncertainty, the ever-ambitious and cunning Napoleon opted to abandon his army in Egypt and return to France.
THE COUP OF 18 BRUMAIRE
In November 1799, in an event known as the coup of 18 Brumaire, Napoleon was part of a group that successfully overthrew the French Directory.
The Directory was replaced with a three-member Consulate, and Napoleon became first consul
Battle of Marengo, Napoleon’s forces defeated one of France’s perennial enemies, the Austrians, and drove them out of Italy. The victory helped cement Napoleon’s power as first consul. Additionally, with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, the war-weary British agreed to peace with the French.
Napoleon worked to restore stability to post-revolutionary France. He centralized the government; instituted reforms in such areas as banking and education; supported science and the arts; one of his most significant accomplishments was the Napoleonic Code, which streamlined the French legal system and continues to form the foundation of French civil law to this day.
In 1802, a constitutional amendment made Napoleon first consul for life.
Two years later, in 1804, he crowned himself emperor of France in a lavish ceremony at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
THE REIGN OF NAPOLEON I
From 1803 to 1815, France was engaged in the Napoleonic Wars, a series of major conflicts with various coalitions of European nations. In 1803, partly as a means to raise funds for future wars, Napoleon sold France’s Louisiana Territory in North America to the newly independent United States for $15 million, a transaction that later became known as the Louisiana Purchase.
In October 1805, the British wiped out Napoleon’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. However, in December of that same year, Napoleon achieved what is considered to be one of his greatest victories at the Battle of Austerlitz, in which his army defeated the Austrians and Russians. The victory resulted in the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Beginning in 1806, Napoleon sought to wage large-scale economic warfare against Britain with the establishment of the so-called Continental System of European port blockades against British trade.
In 1807, defeated the Russians’ Tsar Alexander and signed a treaty of Tilsit in which there was clause to follow the Continental System
During these years, Napoleon reestablished a French aristocracy (eliminated in the French Revolution) and began handing out titles of nobility to his loyal friends and family as his empire continued to expand across much of western and central continental Europe.
He made his elder brother King of Spain, his 2 year old kid Prince of Rome.
NAPOLEON’S DOWNFALL AND FIRST ABDICATION
In 1810, Napoleon proposed a marriage with Tsar Alexander’s daughter which was rejected by Russian king, Russia withdrew from the Continental System. In retaliation, Napoleon led a massive army into Russia in the summer of 1812.
Russians played a trick, instead of a full-scale war they adopted a strategy of retreat and dragged the army of Napoleon till Moscow and had the city evacuated. With winter at peak Napoleon’s army was ill-equipped, and couldn’t survive the retaliation from Russian army and more than 5 Lac army men died.
At the same time as the catastrophic Russian invasion, French forces were engaged in the Peninsular War (1808-1814), which resulted in the Spanish and Portuguese, with assistance from the British, driving the French from the Iberian Peninsula. This loss was followed in 1813 by the Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of Nations, in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated by a coalition that included Austrian, Prussian, Russian and Swedish troops. Napoleon then retreated to France, and in March 1814 coalition forces captured Paris.
On April 6, 1814, Napoleon, then in his mid-40s, was forced to abdicate the throne. With the Treaty of Fontainebleau, he was exiled to Elba with full privileges, a Mediterranean island off the coast of Italy. He was given sovereignty over the small island, while his wife and son went to Austria.
HUNDRED DAYS CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF WATERLOO
On February 26, 1815, after less than a year in exile, Napoleon escaped Elba and sailed to the French mainland with a group of more than 1,000 supporters. On March 20, he returned to Paris, where he was welcomed by cheering crowds. Napoleon began what came to be known as his Hundred Days campaign.
Upon Napoleon’s return to France, a coalition of allies–the Austrians, British, Prussians and Russians–began to prepare for war. Napoleon raised a new army and planned to strike preemptively, defeating the allied forces one by one before they could launch a united attack against him.
In June 1815, his forces invaded Belgium, where British and Prussian troops were stationed. On June 16, Napoleon’s troops defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny. However, two days later, on June 18, at the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels, the French were crushed by the British, with assistance from the Prussians.
On June 22, 1815, Napoleon was once again forced to abdicate.
In October 1815, Napoleon was exiled to the remote, British-held island of Saint Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean. He died there on May 5, 1821, at age 51, most likely from stomach cancer.