V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 3. The Napoleonic Period, 1799–1815 > b. The First Empire
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
b. The First Empire
1804, May 18
 
Napoleon I was proclaimed emperor of the French by the Senate and Tribunate; his rule was consecrated at Paris by Pope Pius VII on Dec. 2 and ratified by plebiscite (3,572,329 in favor, 2,569 opposed). The imperial office was made hereditary by male line, with the emperor having the right to adopt the children of his brothers; if without heir, the crown would pass to his brothers. Napoleon immediately established a court and began the development of a new nobility, with many of the privileges of the old, but based on achievement instead of birth. Napoleon really revived the absolute monarchy but made it more modern and efficient. However, Napoleon concentrated his efforts on expanding and consolidating his empire through warfare and foreign policy.  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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