Obverse legend : NAPOLEON - EMPEREUR..
Obverse description : Tête laurée de Napoléon Ier à gauche ; signé DROZ F sur la tranche du cou ; au-dessous Tr. cursif.
Reverse legend : EMPIRE FRANCAIS./ 20/ FRANCS./ (MM) 1811. W.
Reverse description : dans une couronne formée de deux branches de laurier.
Reinforced by the conspiracy Cadoudal March 1804 the idea of hereditary power culminates May 18, 1804 when Napoleon became Emperor of the French under the name of Napoleon. Ratified by plebiscite, the Empire is dedicated Dec. 2, 1804 during the coronation of Our Lady. The Constitution of the Year XII is still in force, the First Empire seems to work as a continuation of the French Republic headed by an emperor. It is actually a personal dictatorship where the emperor appoints and dismisses the Ministers, the legislative initiative and control the legislative body. In departments, prefects inform the Ministry of the Interior. Positions, the press, printing are controlled by censorship. The great body of the State reorganized and Justice with the Penal Code which completes the Civil Code completed under the Consulate. Universities and schools are framed. In 1805, Napoleon becomes king of Italy while form coalitions against the Empire. Despite the naval defeat of Trafalgar, the imperial armies won many victories as land Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau or that provide control of continental Europe. Dismembered, it is attributed to the Bonaparte family seems to triumph over. Fortified by the continental blockade, the industry is thriving but trade suffers. In 1808, the continental blockade is reinforced by a second decree in Milan dated December 17, 1807. The Spanish Civil War begins after Junot conquered Portugal, which refused to enforce the blockade. Quickly, Madrid rose up against the French occupation of Murat. 1st and 2nd May, French ferociously repress guerrilla. Mass executions took place. They are immortalized by Goya in his famous Primer y Dos de Mayo. Joseph, King of Naples, was appointed king of Spain reluctantly. Murat replaces him on the throne of Naples with his wife Caroline. Despite forced Charles IV and Ferdinand VII to Bayonne, in the presence abdication of Napoleon, the French attend a general uprising in Spain and fought in Bailen 22 July: they lose Madrid. Wellington and a British expeditionary force landed in Portugal on 1 August. Junot at Cintra must surrender on August 30. The French show Madrid December 4, 1808. In April 1809, Pius VII excommunicated Napoleon who does sequester in retaliation. The allies are the fifth coalition, but the Austrians were defeated at Eckmühl April 12, Essling and Wagram 21 May 6 July 1809. The Treaty of Vienna, Austria gives Carniola, Carinthia and Croatia which will form the Illyrian provinces, which are incorporated into the Empire. The Vendôme Column was inaugurated in 1810. That year, Napoleon was at the height of its power and the 130 departments of France Tiber to the Elbe. After divorced Josephine in December 1809, he married Marie Louise of Austria April 2, 1810. Louis abdicated the throne of Holland, July 9, 1810, refusing to apply the Continental Blockade and the kingdom is annexed to France. In 1811, the Emperor, who dissolved his marriage with Josephine, wife Archduchess Marie-Louise, who gave him a son, the king of Rome who was born at the Tuileries March 20, 1811. Franco-Russian relations deteriorated after the Austrian marriage. Finally, Napoleon crossed the Niemen June 24, 1812. This is the beginning of the Russian campaign. At the head of the Grand Army, he took Vilna (June 28), wins Smolensk (August 18), then the uphill battle of the Moskva (5-7 September). Moscow it takes between 15 and 18 September. The city was burned by the Russians and the French should evacuate. The Grand Army was forced to retreat with the Russian winter starts early and an enemy who practice a scorched earth policy. This is the Battle of Berezina 27-29 November 1812. 600. 000 men, less than 30. 000 repass the Russian border. General Malet attempting a coup in Paris October 23. He was shot 29. The Russians occupied Warsaw, Hamburg and Dresden. The Prussians won the victories of Lutzen and Bautzen on 2 and 21 May 1813. Across Europe league against Napoleon during the Sixth Coalition and was defeated at the Battle of Nations on 16-19 October 1813. The campaign began in France in January 1814. Despite the victories of Montmirail and Montereau on 10 and 18 February, Napoleon could not prevent the surrender of Paris on March 31. He was forced to abdicate 6 April 1814 and went on Elba.