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Two Napoleons, two Empires

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Sunday, 21 November 2010

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picture, Napoleon Bonaparte, Battle of Waterloo

Napoleon Bonaparte reviews his plans ahead of the Battle of Waterloo. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

2 December marks the anniversary marks the declarations of two Empires by two Napoleons. Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France, saying “To be a king is to inherit old ideas and genealogy. I don’t want to descend from anyone.” The coronation took place on this day in 1804 and he ruled for ten years before being forced into exile; he briefly returned in 1815, only to be defeated at Waterloo and exiled again.

In 1851 his nephew, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, voted president in 1848, staged a coup d’etat and overthrew the Second Republic and, in 1852, became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. He was deposed whilst held captive during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, thus becoming both first president and last monarch of France.

Many more pictures relating the the Napoleon dynasty can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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