The Age of Napoleon
W Studies Chapter 11
Section 3
Napoleon’s Rise
• Born on Corsica island; became
a lieutenant in 1785 (16 yrs old)
– Became Brigadier General at 24;
became commander of French
forces in Italy 4 yrs later
• Extremely effective strategist –
speed, deception & surprise
• Led force to invade Egypt (Great
Britain)  failed due to GB’s
• Returned home & took part in
the coup d'état against the
– Set up the Consulate – new
“republic” in France where
Napoleon had complete control
• Crowned himself Emperor in 1804
Napoleon’s Rule
• Napoleon made an agreement with the
Church: Napoleon officially recognizes
Catholicism as the religion of France;
Pope agreed to let France keep the land
it seized
– Church became an ally of the consulate;
French people who bought church land
loved Napoleon
• Civil Code – established, written laws
for French people
– Equality under the law, individual choice in
careers, religious tolerance, abolishment
of serfdom
• Inequality of men and women
• Bureaucracy – organization that runs
– Job assignments were based on ability,
not nobility or rank in the old gov’t
• France’s liberty was slowly replaced with
– Napoleon shut down 60 newspapers,
banned books, exiled dissidents like
Anne-Louise-Germaine de Stael
• Criticized Napoleon & called him a tyrant
Napoleon’s Empire
• Napoleon took over most of
– French empire = directly
controlled by Napoleon;
Dependent States = controlled
by his relatives; Allied States =
conquered by Napoleon
– Napoleon encouraged the spread
of Revolution ideals: legal
equality, religious tolerance,
economic freedom
• Destroyed the old order (nobility
lost their privileges)  led to
democratic traditions in all of
Europe’s Response
• Britain survived against Napoleon &
defeated his navy
– Created the Continental System to prohibit
Europe from trading with GB
• Some of Europe still traded; GB also got goods
from overseas
• Nationalism began to rise in all parts of
– Cultural identity of a people based on
common language, traditions, and principles
– Countries conquered by Napoleon resented
the French and wanted to rule themselves
Russia didn’t follow the Continental System 
Napoleon invaded with 600,000
– Russia refused to fight  retreated all the way to
Moscow, burning everything as they went
• “Great Retreat” back to France was devastating due to harsh
• Only 40,000 returned
• Rest of Europe rose up against Napoleon,
defeated him, reestablished a monarchy, exiled
Napoleon to Elba
– Snuck back into France, took control, and went to
war against Europe again
• Battle of Waterloo = Napoleon’s final defeat
– Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon’s army, Napoleon was
exiled to St. Helena where he died

The Age of Napoleon