During the French Revolution, France was at war with its neighbors in Europe. These wars resumed in 1800 under the leadership of Napoleon, who was crowned French emperor in 1804. A series of great victories soon brought much of Europe under his control.


1805 French victory at Austerlitz
1805 British victory at Trafalgar
1808–1814 Peninsular War
1812 France invades Russia
1815 Napoleon defeated


Napoleon was a brilliant soldier. He defeated Austria. He invaded Spain in 1808 and his armies reached Moscow in 1812, only to be beaten back by the harsh winter weather. He made his relatives rulers in Spain, Italy, and Westphalia. He was finally defeated by Britain and Prussia at Waterloo, Belgium, in 1815.


Napoleon (1769–1821) died in exile. He is remembered as the man who brought the French Revolution to a close and as a military genius. He was a skilled administrator whose system of law, the Code Napoléon, gave the poor people of France some of the rights they had demanded in the revolution. The Code was also welcomed in many of the lands he invaded.


French Revolution

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley


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