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Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a military and political leader of France whose actions shaped European politics in the early 19th century. Bonaparte rose to prominance under the First French Republic. In 1799, he staged a coup d'état and later crowned himself Emperor of the French. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, he turned the armies of the French Empire against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories.
The French invasion of Russia in 1812 marked a turning point in Napoleon's fortunes. His Grande Armée was badly damaged in the campaign and never fully recovered. In 1814, the Sixth Coalition invaded France, forced Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him to the island of Elba. Less than a year later, he escaped Elba and returned to power, but was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Napoleon spent the last six years of his life under British supervision on the island of Saint Helena.