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Napoleon I of France (French Trafalgar, British Waterloo)

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Napoleon I
Napoleon portrait.jpg
King of Italy
Reign December 2, 1804 - January 16, 1830
Coronation December 2, 1804
Predecessor Empire established, himself as First Consul of French Republic
Successor Napoleon II
King of Italy
Reign February 15, 1806 - January 16, 1830
Coronation September 17, 1806
Predecessor N/A
Successor Napoleon II
Spouse Joséphine de Beauharnais

Marie Louise of Austria

Issue
Napoleon II of the French Empire
Full name
Napoleon Bonaparte
House House of Bonaparte
Father Carlo Buonaparte
Mother Letizia Ramolino
Born August 15, 1769
Ajaccio, Corsica
Died January 16, 1830
Paris, France
Religion Catholic


Napoleon Bonaparte (French: Napoléon Bonaparte French pronunciation: [napoleɔ̃ bɔnɑpaʁt], Italian: Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 16 January 1830), a military and political leader of Revolutionary France, and the first Emperor of the French Empire, whose actions have shaped the world to this present day.

Biography

511px-Napoleon4

"Napoleon Crossing the Alps," by Jacques-Louis David, 1800.

Born on the island of Corsica to a minor Italian noble family, Napoleon was sent to France to train as an artillery officer in the French Army, and was considered a capable and intelligent officer, who gained prominence in the French Republican Army, and led very successful campaigns against the First and Second Coalitions that were fighting then against France. In 1799, he staged a Coup d'etat and installed himself as the First Consul of the Republic, and in 1804, was crowned the Emperor of the French. He managed to defeat every other power on the continent, and humbled England in the Battle of Trafalgar, and Austria and Russia in the Battle of Austerlitz, and Prussia in the Rhineland Conflict.
Nap1807

Napoleon granting the Duchy of Warsaw its independence, 1807

For the next 24 years, Napoleon continued to work to consolidate the new French Empire, creating the French Imperial Plans to help him along to further his goal. By bringing stability to the Empire, which had been racked by revolutionary strife and war for almost twenty years contantly, he brought forth a "New Golden Age" of France. Napoleon was also instrumental in expanding the colonial empire, creating colonies in Africa and Asia, bringing new markets and sources of raw material under French control. However the colonial policy started by Napoleon and continued by his predecessors, to not only exploit the land but to improve the standard of living with new schools, roads, and industries. Unbenowest to Napoleon in the early 1800's, this would prevent the collapse of France in both the Second and Third Global War, as with an industrial base not only based in France itself but throughout the colonial empire helped to ensure the survival of the Empire in its darkest hour.

After the end of the First Great European War, Napoleon was restless and was almost wishing for another outbreak of war so he may be able to lead an army again. However, despite the numerous chances offered, diplomacy and talking down by advisers and ministers all prevented the possibility of another war. Therefore, Napoleon pushed himself in internal matters, rewriting the law code (the Code Napoleon), as well as helping a growing economy, expanding industry, a new network of roads that helped to expedite trade and military manoeuvres, and bustling ports. Politics in France became increasingly centralized in the Emperor's hands, with his closest advisors and minister exercising great power, with the National Assembly passed over or simply ignored as it's powers that were established in the French Revolution where stripped away.

657px-Napoleon sur son lit de mort Horace Vernet 1826

Napoleon on his death bed, 1830.

Napoleon died on January 16, 1830 of a massive heart attack. He was laid to rest in a mausoleum under the Arc de Triomphe he commissioned, and his son, Napoleon II was thrust upon the world stage, at the time of increasing tensions that lead to the Prussian Expansion War was beginning. Under Napoleon II, a more liberal and democratic opening of France was allowed, but Napoleon II, much like his father, still held vast powers.

Legacy

Retour des Cendres - 1

Napoleon's Burial under the Arc de Triomphe, 1831.

, Napoleon is considered both one of the greatest military strategists of his time, as well as the epitome of an "enlightened" monarchy, with policies and rules that was copied by many others around the world. As the Sorelist's rose to power in France in the 1920s and 30s, Napoleon became their symbol and idol. Even in Russia and the United States, despite the hostile tensions with the French, Napoleon is commended as a good ruler for fostering good relations with both that last for over 130 years until the Third Global War destroyed them. However, in areas of Europe that was annexed or occupied by French troops during the Third Global War, Tri-Powers Conflict and Dual Powers Conflict, Napoleon was seen as a brutal megalomanic and the precursor to the death and destruction that has happened since. During the Grand Gesture on September 10, 1999, agents of the European Liberation League detonated bombs near the Arc de Triomphe, severely damaging the structure, and causing a public outrage in France, and leading to the European Liberation War.

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