ABSTRACT

This chapter explains the differences between the Napoleonic Consulate and the Empire. It describes the attitudes of major social groups toward the Empire. The chapter explores the major events that led to Napoleon’s defeat and the replacement of the Empire by a restored Bourbon monarchy. The brief period of peace inaugurated by the treaty of Amiens with Britain in 1802 had ended even before the proclamation of the Empire. The resumption of the war helped convince Napoleon to proclaim himself Emperor. After the collapse of the peace of Amiens, French royalist émigrés, backed by the British, had launched a conspiracy to assassinate Napoleon. The counterpart to Napoleon’s bid for control over Europe was a steady expansion of government authority in France itself. Napoleon intended to make art and culture serve the purposes of the state.