Ancient history

First Empire

The First Empire is the regime established in France by Napoleon Bonaparte to replace the Consulate. It began on May 18, 1804 (senatus consultum proclaiming Napoleon Bonaparte “Emperor of the French”) and ended in April 1814 (abdication of Napoleon and departure for the island of Elba). It will be followed by the first Restoration, interrupted by the episode of the Hundred Days, from March 20 to June 22, 1815.

The plebiscite of November 6, 1804 legitimizes the transition to the First Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor at Notre-Dame de Paris on December 2, 1804 under the name of Napoleon I.

Key dates of the First Empire

* May 18, 1804:Proclamation of Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of the French[1]
* July 15, 1804:First award ceremony for the Legion of Honor
* December 2 1804:Coronation of Napoleon by Pope Pius VII
* December 2, 1805:Battle of Austerlitz
* October 14, 1806:Battle of Jena and Auerstedt
* November 21, 1806:Establishment of the continental blockade
* July 7, 1807:Treaty of Tilsit with Russia
* 1808:Spanish Civil War
* April 2, 1810:Marriage of Napoleon to Marie-Louise of Austria
* March 20, 1811:Birth of the King of Rome, heir to the throne
* June 24 to December 30, 1812:Campaign in Russia
* January to March 1814:Campaign in France, Austrians, Prussians and Russians occupy the country.
* April 6 1814:First abdication of Napoleon.
* May 30, 1814:First Treaty of Paris
* March 20 to June 22, 1815:Hundred Days
* November 20, 1815:Second Treaty of Paris

The coronation of December 2, 1804

Napoleon I was consecrated at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris by Pope Pius VII.
However, he did not take communion during mass, not being religious. He would have crowned himself with his back to the pope, then crowned the empress. This scene is represented by the painting by Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon.

Institutional work

In 1801, the Concordat was signed between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII. On March 21, 1804, the French Civil Code was promulgated. In 1806, the industrial tribunal was created. In 1808, Napoleon created the University, a state institution.


* The Code Napoleon (French Civil Code).

Great works

* Road works:road to the Mont-Cenis, Simplon, Mont-Genèvre passes, continuation of road construction started in the 18th century
* Port works:Antwerp, Dunkirk
* Waterways:Canal de l'Ourcq
* Town planning:Slaughterhouses including those of La Villette, cemeteries, Morgue of Paris, Ponts des Arts, of Iéna, of Austerlitz, Bourse, Quai d'Orsay in Paris; Place Bellecour in Lyon

Previous Post