The First French Empire

The Empire was the regime established in France by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 to replace the Consulate. Following a series of military victories, including Austerlitz, Iéna, Friedland and Wagram, he reached the peak of his expansion in 1811, covering half of Europe. Promoting the ideas of the French Revolution, namely the abolition of servitude and privileges and imposing the civil code, he established a governmental system that was nevertheless despotic and controversial. As from 1811, several social, economic and political events combined to provoke the fall of the Empire which was completed after the defeat at Waterloo in 1815.