The House of Bonaparte is an imperial and royal European dynasty founded by Napoleon I of France in 1804, a French military leader who rose to notability out of the French Revolution and transformed the French Republic into the First French Empire within five years of his coup d'état. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories. He installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, founding the dynasty.
In addition to holding the title of Emperor of France, the Bonaparte dynasty held various other titles and territories during the Napoleonic Wars, including their ancestral Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Westphalia, the Kingdom of Holland and the Kingdom of Naples. The dynasty was in a position of power for around a decade until the Napoleonic Wars began to take their toll. Making very powerful enemies such as Austria, United Kingdom, Russia and Prussia, as well as royalist (particularly Bourbon) restorational movements in France, Spain, the Two Sicilies and Sardinia, the dynasty eventually collapsed under its own weight.
Between the years 1852 and 1870 there was a Second French Empire, again a member of the Bonaparte dynasty would rule; Napoleon III of France the son of Louis Bonaparte. However after the Franco-Prussian War, the dynasty was again ousted from the imperial throne. Since that time there has been a series of pretenders, supporters of the Bonaparte family's claim to the throne of France are known as Bonapartists. Current head Jean-Christophe Napoléon is ironically from a Bourbon mother.
Famous quotes containing the words bonaparte and/or family:
“Very ingenious, Captain. You make me suspect your Cochise has studied under Alexander the Great, or Bonaparte at the least.”
—Frank S. Nugent (19081965)
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—Stella Chess (20th century)