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  • The First French Empire, also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France. It was the dominant power of much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Napoleon became Emperor of the French on 18 May 1804 and crowned Emperor on 2 December 1804, ending the period of the French Consulate, and won early military victories in the War of the Third Coalition against Austria, Prussia, Russia, Portugal, and allied nations, notably at the Battle of Austerlitz and the Battle of Friedland. The Treaty of Tilsit in July 1807 ended two years of bloodshed on the European continent. The subsequent series of wars known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. At its height in 1812, the French Empire had 130 départements, ruled over 44 million subjects, maintained an extensive military presence in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Duchy of Warsaw, and could count Prussia and Austria as nominal allies. Early French victories exported many ideological features of the French Revolution throughout Europe. Seigneurial dues and seigneurial justice were abolished, aristocratic privileges were eliminated in all places except Poland, and the introduction of the Napoleonic Code throughout the continent increased legal equality, established jury systems, and legalized divorce. However Napoleon also placed relatives on the thrones of several European countries and granted many noble titles, most of which were not recognized after the empire fell. Wikipedia

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