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Hundred Days

hundred days, hundred days french revolution
Coalition victory, Second Treaty of Paris

  • End of Napoleonic Wars
  • Second exile of Napoleon and second Bourbon Restoration
  • Beginning of the Concert of Europe
Belligerents  United Kingdom
 Austrian Empire
 Russian Empire
 Kingdom of Hanover
 Duchy of Brunswick
 United Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Kingdom of Sicily
French Kingdom
  •  France
  • Naples
Commanders and leaders
  • Duke of Wellington Anglo-allied
  • Prince Blücher
  • Prince of Schwarzenberg Upper Rhine
  • Duke of Casalanza Upper Italy
  • Johann Frimont Naples
  • Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
L'Armée du Nord Interior Armies of Observation Naples Strength 800,000–1,000,0001 280,0001

The Hundred Days French: les Cent-Jours IPA: le sɑ̃ ʒuʁ marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815 a period of 111 daysa This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign,2 the Neapolitan War as well as several other minor campaigns The phrase les Cent Jours the hundred days was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 Julyb

Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting On 13 March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, and on 25 March Austria, Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule5 This set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the restoration of the French monarchy for the second time and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821


  • 1 Background
    • 11 Napoleon's rise and fall
    • 12 Exile in Elba
    • 13 Congress of Vienna
  • 2 Return to France
    • 21 Napoleon's health
    • 22 Constitutional reform
  • 3 Military mobilisation
  • 4 War begins
  • 5 Waterloo Campaign
    • 51 Start of hostilities 15 June
    • 52 Battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny 16 June
    • 53 Interlude 17 June
    • 54 Battle of Waterloo 18 June
    • 55 Invasion of France
    • 56 Abdication of Napoleon 22 June
    • 57 French Provisional Government
    • 58 Coalition forces enter Paris 7 July
  • 6 Restoration of Louis XVIII 8 July
  • 7 Surrender of Napoleon 15 July
  • 8 Other campaigns and wars
    • 81 Neapolitan War
    • 82 Civil war
    • 83 Austrian campaign
      • 831 Rhine frontier
      • 832 Italian frontier
    • 84 Russian campaign
  • 9 Treaty of Paris
  • 10 Timeline
  • 11 See also
  • 12 Notes
  • 13 References
  • 14 Further reading


Napoleon's rise and falledit

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward The overthrow and subsequent public execution of Louis XVI in France had greatly disturbed other European leaders, who vowed to crush the French Republic Rather than leading to France's defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics The success of the French forces made a hero out of their best commander, Napoleon Bonaparte In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup d'état and became First Consul of the new French Consulate Five years later, he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I

The rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the earlier revolutionary regime had Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleon's forces continued to conquer much of Europe The tide of war began to turn after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that resulted in the loss of much of Napoleon's army The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig

Following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to press on to Paris and depose Napoleon In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher advanced on Paris After multiple attacks, manoeuvring, and reinforcements on both sides,6 Blücher won the Battle of Laon in early March 1814; this victory prevented the Allied army from being pushed north out of France The Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from increasingly overwhelming odds Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on 30 March 1814

On 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later The defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, while the victorious Coalition sought to redraw the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna

Exile in Elbaedit

The journey of a modern hero, to the island of Elba Print shows Napoleon seated backwards on a donkey on the road "to Elba" from Fontainebleau; he holds a broken sword in one hand and the donkey's tail in the other while two drummers follow him playing a farewell march Napoleon with the Elba Squadron of volunteers from the 1st Polish Light Cavalry of his Imperial Guard

Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba 1814–1815, watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gradually gathered7 He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in residence there while performing other duties in Italy, but was not Napoleon's jailer8 As he foresaw, the shrinkage of the great Empire into the realm of old France caused intense dissatisfaction among the French, a feeling fed by stories of the tactless way in which the Bourbon princes treated veterans of the Grande Armée and the returning royalist nobility treated the people at large Equally threatening was the general situation in Europe which had been stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare7

The conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other9 Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he correctly reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached He also reasoned that the return of French prisoners from Russia, Germany, Britain and Spain would furnish him instantly with a trained, veteran and patriotic army far larger than that which had won renown in the years before 1814 So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, while others hinted at assassination710

Congress of Viennaedit

At the Congress of Vienna November 1814 – June 1815 the various participating nations had very different and conflicting goals Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the Duchy of Warsaw, as a buffer against further invasion from Europe The renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony Austria wanted to allow neither of these things, while it expected to regain control of northern Italy Castlereagh, of the United Kingdom, supported France represented by Talleyrand and Austria and was at variance with his own Parliament This almost caused a war to break out, when the Tsar pointed out to Castlereagh that Russia had 450,000 men near Poland and Saxony and he was welcome to try to remove them Indeed, Alexander stated "I shall be the King of Poland and the King of Prussia will be the King of Saxony"11 Castlereagh approached King Frederick William III of Prussia to offer him British and Austrian support for Prussia's annexation of Saxony in return for Prussia's support of an independent Poland The Prussian king repeated this offer in public, offending Alexander so deeply that he challenged Metternich of Austria to a duel Only the intervention of the Austrian crown stopped it A breach between the Great Powers was avoided when members of Britain's Parliament sent word to the Russian ambassador that Castlereagh had exceeded his authority, and Britain would not support an independent Poland12 The affair left Prussia deeply suspicious of any British involvement

Return to Franceedit

Napoleon leaving Elba, painted by Joseph Beaume The brig Inconstant, under Captain Taillade and ferrying Napoleon to France, crosses the path of the brig Zéphir, under Captain Andrieux Inconstant flies the tricolour of the Empire, while Zéphir flies the white ensign of the Monarchy

While the Allies were distracted, Napoleon solved his problem in characteristic fashion On 26 February 1815, when the British and French guard ships were absent, he slipped away from Portoferraio on board the French brig Inconstant with some 1,000 men and landed at Golfe-Juan, between Cannes and Antibes, on 1 March 1815 Except in royalist Provence, he was warmly received7 He avoided much of Provence by taking a route through the Alps, marked today as the Route Napoléon13

Firing no shot in his defence, his troop numbers swelled until they became an army On 5 March, the nominally royalist 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble went over to Napoleon en masse The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who was executed for treason by the Bourbons after the campaign ended An anecdote illustrates Napoleon's charisma When royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon's force at Grenoble, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said "If any of you will shoot his Emperor, here I am" The men joined his cause14

Marshal Ney, now one of Louis XVIII's commanders, had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on 14 March, Ney joined Napoleon with 6,000 men Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and direct elections to an assembly, to the acclaim of gathered crowds, Napoleon entered the capital, from where Louis XVIII had recently fled7

The royalists did not pose a major threat: the duc d'Angoulême raised a small force in the south, but at Valence it did not provide resistance against Imperialists under Grouchy's command;7 and the duke, on 9 April 1815, signed a convention whereby the royalists received a free pardon from the Emperor The royalists of the Vendée moved later and caused more difficulty for the Imperialists7

Napoleon's healthedit

The evidence as to Napoleon's health is somewhat conflicting Carnot, Pasquier, Lavalette, Thiébault and others thought him prematurely aged and enfeebled7 At Elba, as Sir Neil Campbell noted, he became inactive and proportionately corpulentcitation needed There, too, as in 1815, he began to suffer intermittently from retention of urine, but to no serious extent7 For much of his public life, Napoleon was troubled by hemorrhoids, which made sitting on a horse for long periods of time difficult and painful This condition had disastrous results at Waterloo; during the battle, his inability to sit on his horse for other than very short periods of time interfered with his ability to survey his troops in combat and thus exercise command15 Others saw no marked change in him; while Mollien, who knew the emperor well, attributed the lassitude which now and then came over him to a feeling of perplexity caused by his changed circumstances7

Constitutional reformedit

Main article: Charter of 1815

At Lyon, on 13 March 1815, Napoleon issued an edict dissolving the existing chambers and ordering the convocation of a national mass meeting, or Champ de Mai, for the purpose of modifying the constitution of the Napoleonic empire16 He reportedly told Benjamin Constant, "I am growing old The repose of a constitutional king may suit me It will more surely suit my son"7

That work was carried out by Benjamin Constant in concert with the Emperor The resulting Acte additionel supplementary to the constitutions of the Empire bestowed on France a hereditary Chamber of Peers and a Chamber of Representatives elected by the "electoral colleges" of the empire7

According to Chateaubriand, in reference to Louis XVIII's constitutional charter, the new constitution – La Benjamine, it was dubbed – was merely a "slightly improved" version of the charter associated with Louis XVIII's administration;7 however, later historians, including Agatha Ramm, have pointed out that this constitution permitted the extension of the franchise and explicitly guaranteed press freedom16 In the Republican manner, the Constitution was put to the people of France in a plebiscite, but whether due to lack of enthusiasm, or because the nation was suddenly thrown into military preparation, only 1,532,527 votes were cast, less than half of the vote in the plebiscites of the Consulat; however, the benefit of a 'large majority' meant that Napoleon felt he had constitutional sanction716

Napoleon was with difficulty dissuaded from quashing the 3 June election of Jean Denis, comte Lanjuinais, the staunch liberal who had so often opposed the Emperor, as president of the Chamber of Representatives In his last communication to them, Napoleon warned them not to imitate the Greeks of the late Byzantine Empire, who engaged in subtle discussions when the ram was battering at their gates7

Military mobilisationedit

Main article: Military mobilisation during the Hundred Days Strategic situation in Western Europe in 1815: 250,000 Frenchmen faced a coalition of about 850,000 soldiers on four fronts In addition, Napoleon was forced to leave 20,000 men in Western France to reduce a royalist insurrection

During the Hundred Days both the Coalition nations and Napoleon I mobilised for war Upon re-assumption of the throne, Napoleon found that he was left with little by Louis XVIII There were 56,000 soldiers of which 46,000 were ready to campaign17 By the end of May the total armed forces available to Napoleon had reached 198,000 with 66,000 more in depots training up but not yet ready for deployment18 By the end of May Napoleon had formed L'Armée du Nord the "Army of the North" which, led by himself, would participate in the Waterloo Campaign

For the defence of France, Napoleon deployed his remaining forces within France with the intention of delaying his foreign enemies while he suppressed his domestic ones By June the forces were organised thus:

  • V Corps, – L'Armée du Rhin – commanded by Rapp, cantoned near Strasbourg;19
  • VII Corps – L'Armée des Alpes – commanded by Suchet,20 cantoned at Lyon;
  • I Corps of Observation – L'Armée du Jura – commanded by Lecourbe,19 cantoned at Belfort;
  • II Corps of Observation21 – L'Armée du Var – commanded by Brune, based at Toulon;22
  • III Corps of Observation21 – Army of the Pyrenees orientales23 – commanded by Decaen, based at Toulouse;
  • IV Corps of Observation21 – Army of the Pyrenees occidentales23 – commanded by Clauzel, based at Bordeaux;
  • Army of the West,21 – Armée de l'Ouest23 also known as the Army of the Vendee and the Army of the Loire – commanded by Lamarque, was formed to suppress the Royalist insurrection in the Vendée region of France which remained loyal to King Louis XVIII during the Hundred Days

Opposing Coalition forces:

Archduke Charles gathered Austrian and allied German states, while the Prince of Schwarzenberg formed another Austrian army King Ferdinand VII of Spain summoned British officers to lead his troops against France Tsar Alexander I of Russia mustered an army of 250,000 troops and sent these rolling toward the Rhine Prussia mustered two armies One under Blücher took post alongside Wellington's British army and its allies The other was the North German Corps under General Kleist24

  • Assessed as an immediate threat by Napoleon I:
    • Anglo-Allied, commanded by Wellington, cantoned south-west Brussels, headquartered at Brussels
    • Prussian Army commanded by Blücher, cantoned south-east of Brussels, headquartered at Namur
  • Close to the borders of France but assessed to be less of a threat by Napoleon I:
    • The German Corps North German Federal Army which was part of Blücher's army, but was acting independently south of the main Prussian army Blücher summoned it to join the main army once Napoleon's intentions became known
    • The Austrian Army of the Upper Rhine, commanded by Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg
    • The Swiss Army, commanded by Niklaus Franz von Bachmann
    • The Austrian Army of Upper Italy – Austro-Sardinian Army – commanded by Johann Maria Philipp Frimont
    • The Austrian Army of Naples, commanded by Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza
  • Other coalition forces which were either converging on France, mobilised to defend the homelands, or in the process of mobilisation included:
    • A Russian Army, commanded by Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, marching towards France
    • A Reserve Russian Army to support de Tolly if required
    • A Reserve Prussian Army stationed at home in order to defend its borders
    • An Anglo-Sicilian Army under General Sir Hudson Lowe, which was to be landed by the Royal Navy on the southern French coast
    • Two Spanish Armies were assembling and planning to invade over the Pyrenees
    • A Netherlands Corps, under Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, was not present at Waterloo but as a corps in Wellington's army it did take part in minor military actions during the Coalition's invasion of France
    • A Danish contingent known as the Royal Danish Auxiliary Corps commanded by General Prince Frederik of Hesse and a Hanseatic contingent from the free cities of Bremen, Lubeck and Hamburg later commanded by the British Colonel Sir Neil Campbell, were on their way to join Wellington;25 both however, joined the army in July having missed the conflict2627
    • A Portuguese contingent, which due to the speed of events never assembled

War beginsedit

Plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Vienna

At the Congress of Vienna, the Great Powers of Europe Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia and their allies declared Napoleon an outlaw,28 and with the signing of this declaration on 13 March 1815, so began the War of the Seventh Coalition The hopes of peace that Napoleon had entertained were gone – war was now inevitable

A further treaty the Treaty of Alliance against Napoleon was ratified on 25 March, in which each of the Great European Powers agreed to pledge 150,000 men for the coming conflict29 Such a number was not possible for Great Britain, as her standing army was smaller than those of her three peers30 Besides, her forces were scattered around the globe, with many units still in Canada, where the War of 1812 had recently ended31 With this in mind, she made up her numerical deficiencies by paying subsidies to the other Powers and to the other states of Europe who would contribute contingents30

Some time after the allies began mobilising, it was agreed that the planned invasion of France was to commence on 1 July 1815,32 much later than both Blücher and Wellington would have liked, as both their armies were ready in June, ahead of the Austrians and Russians; the latter were still some distance away33 The advantage of this later invasion date was that it allowed all the invading Coalition armies a chance to be ready at the same time They could deploy their combined, numerically superior forces against Napoleon's smaller, thinly spread forces, thus ensuring his defeat and avoiding a possible defeat within the borders of France Yet this postponed invasion date allowed Napoleon more time to strengthen his forces and defences, which would make defeating him harder and more costly in lives, time and money

Napoleon now had to decide whether to fight a defensive or offensive campaign34 Defence would entail repeating the 1814 campaign in France, but with much larger numbers of troops at his disposal France's chief cities Paris and Lyon would be fortified and two great French armies, the larger before Paris and the smaller before Lyon, would protect them; francs-tireurs would be encouraged, giving the Coalition armies their own taste of guerrilla warfare35

Napoleon chose to attack, which entailed a pre-emptive strike at his enemies before they were all fully assembled and able to co-operate By destroying some of the major Coalition armies, Napoleon believed he would then be able to bring the governments of the Seventh Coalition to the peace table35 to discuss terms favourable to himself: namely, peace for France, with himself remaining in power as its head If peace were rejected by the Coalition powers, despite any pre-emptive military success he might have achieved using the offensive military option available to him, then the war would continue and he could turn his attention to defeating the rest of the Coalition armies

Napoleon's decision to attack in Belgium was supported by several considerations First, he had learned that the British and Prussian armies were widely dispersed and might be defeated in detail36 Further, the British troops in Belgium were largely second-line troops; most of the veterans of the Peninsular War had been sent to America to fight the War of 181237 And, politically, a French victory might trigger a friendly revolution in French-speaking Brussels36

Waterloo Campaignedit

Main article: Waterloo Campaign A portion of Belgium with some places marked in colour to indicate the initial deployments of the armies just before the commencement of hostilities on 15 June 1815: red Anglo-allied, green Prussian, blue French

The Waterloo Campaign 15 June – 8 July 1815 was fought between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies: an Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army Initially the French army was commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, but he left for Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo Command then rested on Marshals Soult and Grouchy, who were in turn replaced by Marshal Davout, who took command at the request of the French Provisional Government The Anglo-Allied army was commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army by Prince Blücher

Start of hostilities 15 Juneedit

Main article: Waterloo Campaign: Start of hostilities 15 June

Hostilities started on 15 June when the French drove in the Prussian outposts and crossed the Sambre at Charleroi and secured Napoleon's favoured "central position" – at the junction between the cantonment areas of Wellington's army to the west and Blücher's army to the east38

Battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny 16 Juneedit

Main articles: Battle of Quatre Bras and Battle of Ligny Map of the Waterloo campaign

On 16 June, the French prevailed, with Marshal Ney commanding the left wing of the French army holding Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Napoleon defeating Blücher at the Battle of Ligny39

Interlude 17 Juneedit

Main article: Waterloo Campaign § Interlude 17 June

On 17 June, Napoleon left Grouchy with the right wing of the French army to pursue the Prussians, while he took the reserves and command of the left wing of the army to pursue Wellington towards Brussels On the night of 17 June, the Anglo-allied army turned and prepared for battle on a gentle escarpment, about 1 mile 16 km south of the village of Waterloo40

Battle of Waterloo 18 Juneedit

Main article: Battle of Waterloo

The next day, the Battle of Waterloo proved to be the decisive battle of the campaign The Anglo-Allied army stood fast against repeated French attacks, until with the aid of several Prussian corps that arrived on the east of the battlefield in the early evening, they managed to rout the French Army41 Grouchy, with the right wing of the army, engaged a Prussian rearguard at the simultaneous battle of Wavre, and although he won a tactical victory, his failure to prevent the Prussians marching to Waterloo meant that his actions contributed to the French defeat at Waterloo The next day 19 June, Grouchy left Wavre and started a long retreat back to Paris42

Invasion of Franceedit

Invasion of France by the Seventh Coalition armies in 1815 Main article: Waterloo Campaign § Invasion of France and the occupation of Paris 18 June – 7 July

After the defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon chose not to remain with the army and attempt to rally it, but returned to Paris to try to secure political support for further action This he failed to do and was forced to resign The two Coalition armies hotly pursued the French army to the gates of Paris, during which time the French, on occasion, turned and fought some delaying actions, in which thousands of men were killed43

Abdication of Napoleon 22 Juneedit

Main article: Abdication of Napoleon, 1815

On arriving at Paris, three days after Waterloo, Napoleon still clung to the hope of concerted national resistance, but the temper of the chambers and of the public generally forbade any such attempt Napoleon and his brother Lucien Bonaparte were almost alone in believing that, by dissolving the chambers and declaring Napoleon dictator, they could save France from the armies of the powers now converging on Paris Even Davout, minister of war, advised Napoleon that the destiny of France rested solely with the chambers Clearly, it was time to safeguard what remained; and that could best be done under Talleyrand's shield of legitimacy44 Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès was the minister of justice during this time and was a close confidant of Napoleon45

Napoleon himself at last recognised the truth When Lucien pressed him to "dare", he replied, "Alas, I have dared only too much already" On 22 June 1815 he abdicated in favour of his son, Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte, well knowing that it was a formality, as his four-year-old son was in Austria46

French Provisional Governmentedit

Main articles: French Provisional Government of 1815 and Waterloo Campaign: peace negotiations

With the abdication of Napoleon, a provisional government with Joseph Fouché as acting president was formed

Initially, the remnants of the French left wing and the reserves that were routed at Waterloo were commanded by Marshal Soult, while Grouchy kept command of the left wing However, on 25 June, Soult was relieved of his command by the Provisional Government and was replaced by Grouchy, who in turn was placed under the command of Marshal Davout47

The Château de Malmaison

On the same day, 25 June, Napoleon received from Fouché, the president of the newly appointed provisional government and Napoleon's former police chief, an intimation that he must leave Paris He retired to Malmaison, the former home of Joséphine, where she had died shortly after his first abdication46

On 29 June, the near approach of the Prussians, who had orders to seize Napoleon, dead or alive, caused him to retire westwards toward Rochefort, whence he hoped to reach the United States46 The presence of blockading Royal Navy warships under Vice Admiral Henry Hotham, with orders to prevent his escape, forestalled this plan48

Coalition forces enter Paris 7 Julyedit

Main article: Waterloo Campaign: Waterloo to Paris 2–7 July

French troops concentrated in Paris had as many soldiers as the invaders and more cannonscitation needed

There were two major skirmishes and a few minor ones near Paris during the first few days of July In the first major skirmish, the Battle of Rocquencourt, on 1 July, French dragoons, supported by infantry and commanded by General Exelmans, destroyed a Prussian brigade of hussars under the command of Colonel von Sohr who was severely wounded and taken prisoner during the skirmish, before retreating49

In the second skirmish, on 3 July, General Dominique Vandamme under Davout's command was decisively defeated by General Graf von Zieten under Blücher's command at the Battle of Issy, forcing the French to retreat into Paris50

With this defeat, all hope of holding Paris faded and the French Provisional Government authorised delegates to accept capitulation terms, which led to the Convention of St Cloud the surrender of Paris and the end of hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington51

On 4 July, under the terms of the Convention of St Cloud, the French army, commanded by Marshal Davout, left Paris and proceeded to cross the Loire River The Anglo-allied troops occupied Saint-Denis, Saint Ouen, Clichy and Neuilly On 5 July, the Anglo-allied army took possession of Montmartre52

On 6 July, the Anglo-allied troops occupied the Barriers of Paris, on the right of the Seine; while the Prussians occupied those upon the left bank52

On 7 July, the two Coalition armies, with Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps as the vanguard,53 entered Paris; the Chamber of Peers, having received from the Provisional Government a notification of the course of events, terminated its sittings; the Chamber of Representatives protested, but in vain Their President Lanjuinais resigned his Chair; and on the following day, the doors were closed and the approaches guarded by Coalition troops5254

Restoration of Louis XVIII 8 Julyedit

On 8 July, the French King, Louis XVIII, made his public entry into Paris, amidst the acclamations of the people, and again occupied the throne52

During Louis XVIII's entry into Paris, Count Chabrol, prefect of the department of the Seine, accompanied by the municipal body, addressed the King, in the name of his companions, in a speech that began "Sire,—One hundred days have passed away since your majesty, forced to tear yourself from your dearest affections, left your capital amidst tears and public consternation "4

Surrender of Napoleon 15 Julyedit

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, exhibited in 1880 by Sir William Quiller Orchardson Orchardson depicts the morning of 23 July 1815, as Napoleon watches the French shoreline recede

Unable to remain in France or escape from it, Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon in the early morning of 15 July and was transported to England Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in May 18215546

Other campaigns and warsedit

Main article: Minor campaigns of 1815

While Napoleon had assessed that the Coalition forces in and around Brussels on the borders of north-east France posed the greatest threat, because Tolly's Russian army of 150,000 were still not in the theatre, Spain was slow to mobilise, Prince Schwarzenberg's Austrian army of 210,000 were slow to cross the Rhine, and another Austrian force menacing the south-eastern frontier of France was still not a direct threat, Napoleon still had to place some badly needed forces in positions where they could defend France against other Coalition forces whatever the outcome of the Waterloo campaign5619

Neapolitan Waredit

The Neapolitan War between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire, started on 15 March 1815 when Marshal Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza

Napoleon had made his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, King of Naples on 1 August 1808 After Napoleon's defeat in 1813, Murat reached an agreement with Austria to save his own throne However, he realized that the European Powers, meeting as the Congress of Vienna, planned to remove him and return Naples to its Bourbon rulers So, after issuing the so-called Rimini Proclamation urging Italian patriots to fight for independence, Murat moved north to fight against the Austrians, who were the greatest threat to his rule

The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, after which Murat declared war on Austria on 15 March 1815, five days before Napoleon's return to Paris The Austrians were prepared for war Their suspicions were aroused weeks earlier, when Murat applied for permission to march through Austrian territory to attack the south of France Austria had reinforced her armies in Lombardy under the command of Bellegarde prior to war being declared

The war ended after a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples Ferdinand then sent Neapolitan troops under General Onasco to help the Austrian army in Italy attack southern France In the long term, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification

Civil waredit

Provence and Brittany, which were known to contain many royalist sympathisers, did not rise in open revolt, but La Vendée did The Vendée Royalists successfully took Bressuire and Cholet, before they were defeated by General Lamarque at the Battle of Rocheserviere on 20 June They signed the Treaty of Cholet six days later on 26 June2057

Austrian campaignedit

Rhine frontieredit

In early June, General Rapp's Army of the Rhine of about 23,000 men, with a leavening of experienced troops, advanced towards Germersheim to block Schwarzenberg's expected advance, but on hearing the news of the French defeat at Waterloo, Rapp withdrew towards Strasbourg turning on 28 June to check the 40,000 men of General Württemberg's Austrian III Corps at the battle of La Suffel – the last pitched battle of the Napoleonic Wars and a French victory The next day Rapp continued to retreat to Strasbourg and also sent a garrison to defend Colmar He and his men took no further active part in the campaign and eventually submitted to the Bourbons1958

To the north of Württenberg's III Corps, General Wrede's Austrian Bavarian IV Corps also crossed the French frontier, and then swung south and captured Nancy, against some local popular resistance on 27 June Attached to his command was a Russian detachment, under the command of General Count Lambert, that was charged with keeping Wrede's lines of communication open In early July, Schwarzenberg, having received a request from Wellington and Blücher, ordered Wrede to act as the Austrian vanguard and advance on Paris, and by 5 July, the main body of Wrede's IV Corps had reached Châlons On 6 July, the advance guard made contact with the Prussians, and on 7 July Wrede received intelligence of the Paris Convention and a request to move to the Loire By 10 July, Wrede's headquarters were at Ferté-sous-Jouarre and his corps positioned between the Seine and the Marne2059

Further south, General Colloredo's Austrian I Corps was hindered by General Lecourbe's Armée du Jura, which was largely made up of National Guardsmen and other reserves Lecourbe fought four delaying actions between 30 June and 8 July at Foussemagne, Bourogne, Chèvremont and Bavilliers before agreeing to an armistice on 11 July Archduke Ferdinand's Reserve Corps, together with Hohenzollern-Hechingen's II Corps, laid siege to the fortresses of Huningen and Muhlhausen, with two Swiss brigades60page needed from the Swiss Army of General Niklaus Franz von Bachmann, aiding with the siege of Huningen Like other Austrian forces, these too were pestered by francs-tireurs2061

Italian frontieredit

Like Rapp further north, Marshal Suchet, with the Armée des Alpes, took the initiative and on 14 June invaded Savoy Facing him was General Frimont, with an Austro-Sardinian army of 75,000 men based in Italy However, on hearing of the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Suchet negotiated an armistice and fell back to Lyons, where on 12 July he surrendered the city to Frimont's army62

The coast of Liguria was defended by French forces under Marshal Brune, who fell back slowly into the fortress city of Toulon, after retreating from Marseilles before the Austrian Army of Naples under the command of General Bianchi, the Anglo-Sicilian forces of Sir Hudson Lowe, supported by the British Mediterranean fleet of Lord Exmouth, and the Sardinian forces of the Sardinian General d'Osasco, the forces of the latter being drawn from the garrison of Nice Brune did not surrender the city and its naval arsenal until 31 July2063

Russian campaignedit

The main body of the Russian Army, commanded by Field Marshal Count Tolly and amounting to 167,950 men, crossed the Rhine at Mannheim on 25 June – after Napoleon had abdicated for the second time – and although there was light resistance around Mannheim, it was over by the time the vanguard had advanced as far as Landau The greater portion of Tolly's army reached Paris and its vicinity by the middle of July2064

Treaty of Parisedit

All the participants of the War of the Seventh Coalition Blue: The Coalition and their colonies and allies Green: The First French Empire, its protectorates, colonies and allies

Issy was the last field engagement of the Hundred Days There was a campaign against fortresses still commanded by Bonapartist governors that ended with the capitulation of Longwy on 13 September 1815 The Treaty of Paris was signed on 20 November 1815, bringing the Napoleonic Wars to a formal end

Under the 1815 Paris treaty, the previous year's Treaty of Paris and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, of 9 June 1815, were confirmed France was reduced to its 1790 boundaries; it lost the territorial gains of the Revolutionary armies in 1790–92, which the previous Paris treaty had allowed France to keep France was now also ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities, in five yearly instalments,c and to maintain at its own expense a Coalition army of occupation of 150,000 soldiers65 in the eastern border territories of France, from the English Channel to the border with Switzerland, for a maximum of five yearsd The two-fold purpose of the military occupation was made clear by the convention annexed to the treaty, outlining the incremental terms by which France would issue negotiable bonds covering the indemnity: in addition to safeguarding the neighbouring states from a revival of revolution in France, it guaranteed fulfilment of the treaty's financial clausese

On the same day, in a separate document, Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance The princes and free towns who were not signatories were invited to accede to its terms,68 whereby the treaty became a part of the public law according to which Europe, with the exception of Ottoman Turkey,f established "relations from which a system of real and permanent balance of power in Europe is to be derived"g


Further information: Diplomatic timeline for 1815 and Timeline of the Napoleonic era
Dates Synopsis of key events
26 February Napoleon slipped away from Elba
1 March Napoleon landed near Antibes
13 March The powers at the Congress of Vienna declared Napoleon an outlaw
14 March Marshal Ney, who had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, joined him with 6,000 men
15 March After he had received word of Napoleon's escape, Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law and the King of Naples, declared war on Austria in a bid to save his crown
19 March Louis XVIII fled Paris3
20 March Napoleon entered Paris – The start of the One Hundred Days
25 March The United Kingdom, Russia, Austria and Prussia, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end Napoleon's rule
9 April The high point for the Neapolitans as Murat attempted to force a crossing of the River Po However, he is defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello and for the remainder of the war, the Neapolitans would be in full retreat
3 May General Bianchi's Austrian I Corps decisively defeated Murat at the Battle of Tolentino
20 May The Neapolitans signed the Treaty of Casalanza with the Austrians after Murat had fled to Corsica and his generals had sued for peace
23 May Ferdinand IV was restored to the Neapolitan throne
15 June French Army of the North crossed the frontier into the United Netherlands in modern-day Belgium
16 June Napoleon I beat Field Marshal Blücher at the Battle of Ligny Simultaneously Marshal Ney and The Duke of Wellington fought the Battle of Quatre Bras at the end of which there was no clear victor
18 June After the close, hard-fought Battle of Waterloo, the combined armies of Wellington and Blücher decisively defeated Napoleon I's French Army of the North The concurrent Battle of Wavre continued until the next day when Marshal Grouchy won a hollow victory against General Johann von Thielmann
21 June Napoleon arrived back in Paris
22 June Napoleon abdicated in favour of his son Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte
26 June Napoleon's son is deposed when the French Provisional Government issued a public proclamation in the name of the French People
29 June Napoleon left Paris for the west of France
3 July French requested a ceasefire following the Battle of Issy The Convention of St Cloud the surrender of Paris ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington
7 July Graf von Zieten's Prussian I Corps entered Paris
8 July Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne – The end of the One Hundred Days
15 July Napoleon surrendered to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon
13 October Joachim Murat is executed in Pizzo after he had landed there five days earlier hoping to regain his kingdom
16 October Napoleon is exiled to St Helena
20 November Treaty of Paris signed
7 December After being condemned by the Chamber of Peers, Marshal Ney is executed by firing squad in Paris near the Luxembourg Garden

See alsoedit

  • Napoleonic Wars portal
  • Malplaquet proclamation issued to French by Wellington on 22 June 1815


  1. ^ Histories differ over the start and end dates of the Hundred Days; another popular period is from 1 March, when Napoleon I landed in France, to his defeat at Waterloo on 18 June
  2. ^ Louis XVIII fled Paris on 19 March3 When he entered Paris on 8 July, Count Chabrol, prefect of the department of the Seine, accompanied by the municipal body, addressed Louis XVIII in the name of his companions, in a speech that began "Sire,—One hundred days have passed away since your majesty, forced to tear yourself from your dearest affections, left you capital amidst tears and public consternation "4
  3. ^ Article 4 of the Definitive Treaty of 20 November 1815 The 1814 treaty had required only that France honour some public and private debts incurred by the Napoleonic regime Nicolle 1953, pp 343–354, see Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the 1814 Paris Peace Treaty
  4. ^ The army of occupation and the Duke of Wellington's moderating transformation from soldier to statesman are discussed by Thomas Dwight Veve66
  5. ^ A point made by Nicolle67
  6. ^ Turkey, which had been excluded from the Congress of Vienna by the express wish of Russia Strupp & 1960–1962, "Wiener Kongress"
  7. ^ The quote is from Article I of the Additional, Separate, and Secret Articles to the Paris Peace Treaty of 30th May, 1814 Hertslet 1875, p 18, it is quoted to support the sentence by Wood 1943, p 263 and note 6; Wood's main subject is the Treaty of Paris 1856, terminating the Crimean War
  1. ^ a b Chandler 1966, p 1015
  2. ^ Beck 1911, "Waterloo Campaign"
  3. ^ a b Townsend 1862, p 355
  4. ^ a b Gifford 1817, p 1511
  5. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p 59
  6. ^ Uffindell 2003, pp 198, 200
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Rose 1911, p 209
  8. ^ Stephens 1886, p 390
  9. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, pp 44, 45
  10. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p 43
  11. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p 45
  12. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p 48
  13. ^ Adams 2011
  14. ^ Hamilton-Williams 1996, p 42
  15. ^ Hibbert 1998, pp 143, 144
  16. ^ a b c Ramm 1984, pp 132–134
  17. ^ Chesney 1868, p 34
  18. ^ Chesney 1868, p 35
  19. ^ a b c d Chandler 1981, p 180
  20. ^ a b c d e f Chandler 1981, p 181
  21. ^ a b c d Chalfont 1979, p 205
  22. ^ Siborne 1895, pp 775,779
  23. ^ a b c Chandler 1981, p 30
  24. ^ Chesney 1868, p 36
  25. ^ Plotho 1818, pp 34,35 Appendix
  26. ^ Hofschroer 2006, pp 82,83
  27. ^ Sørensen 1871, pp 360–367
  28. ^ Baines 1818, p 433
  29. ^ Barbero 2006, p 2
  30. ^ a b Glover 1973, p 178
  31. ^ Chartrand 1998, pp 9,10
  32. ^ Houssaye 2005, p 327
  33. ^ Houssaye 2005, p 53
  34. ^ Chandler 1981, p 25
  35. ^ a b Houssaye 2005, pp 54–56
  36. ^ a b Chandler 1966, p 1016
  37. ^ Chandler 1966, p 1093
  38. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 111–128
  39. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 129–258
  40. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 159–323
  41. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 324–596
  42. ^ Siborne 1848, p 625
  43. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 597–754
  44. ^ Rose 1911, pp 209–210
  45. ^ Muel, Leon 1891 Gouvernements, ministères et constitutions de la France depuis cent ans Marchal et Billard p 100 ISBN 978-1249015024 
  46. ^ a b c d Rose 1911, p 210
  47. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 687, 717
  48. ^ Cordingly 2013, p 7
  49. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 741–745
  50. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 752–757
  51. ^ Siborne 1848, pp 754–756
  52. ^ a b c d Siborne 1848, p 757
  53. ^ Lipscombe 2014, p 32
  54. ^ Waln 1825, pp 482–483
  55. ^ Laughton 1893, p 354
  56. ^ Beck 1911, p 371
  57. ^ Gildea 2008, pp 112, 113
  58. ^ Siborne 1895, p 772
  59. ^ Siborne 1895, pp 768–771
  60. ^ Chapuisat 1921, Edouard Table III
  61. ^ Siborne 1895, pp 773, 774
  62. ^ Siborne 1895, pp 775–779
  63. ^ Siborne 1895, p 779
  64. ^ Siborne 1895, p 774
  65. ^ Article 5 of the Definitive Treaty of 20 November 1815
  66. ^ Veve 1992, pp ix, 4, 114, 120
  67. ^ Nicolle 1953, p 344
  68. ^ Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, Article 119


  • Adams, Keith November 2011 "Driven: Citroen SM" Classic and Performance Cars—Octane Dennis Publishing Archived from the original on 7 May 2013 
  • Baines, Edward 1818 History of the Wars of the French Revolution, from the breaking out of the wars in 1792, to, the restoration of general peace in 1815 in 2 volumes 2 Longman, Rees, Orme and Brown p 433 
  • Barbero, Alessandro 2006 The Battle: a new history of Waterloo Walker & Company ISBN 0-8027-1453-6 
  • Chandler, David 1966 The Campaigns of Napoleon New York: Macmillan 
  • Chandler, David 1981 1980 Waterloo: The Hundred Days Osprey Publishing 
  • Chalfont, Lord; et al 1979 Waterloo: Battle of Three Armies Sidgwick and Jackson 
  • Chapuisat, Édouard 1921 Der Weg zur Neutralität und Unabhängigkeit 1814 und 1815 Bern: Oberkriegskommissariat  also published as: Vers la neutralité et l'indépendance La Suisse en 1814 et 1815, Berne: Commissariat central des guerres
  • Chartrand, Rene 1998 British Forces in North America 1793–1815 Osprey Publishing 
  • Chesney, Charles Cornwallis 1868 Waterloo Lectures: a study of the Campaign of 1815 London: Longmans Green and Co 
  • Cordingly, David 2013 Billy Ruffian A&C Black p 7 ISBN 978-1-4088-4674-2 
  • Gildea, Robert 2008 Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799–1914 reprint ed Penguin UK pp 112, 113 ISBN 9780141918525 
  • Gifford, H 1817 History of the Wars Occasioned by the French Revolution: From the Commencement of Hostilities in 1792, to the End of 1816; Embracing a Complete History of the Revolution, with Biographical Sketches of Most of the Public Characters of Europe 2 W Lewis p 1511 
  • Glover, Michael 1973 Wellington as Military Commander London: Sphere Books 
  • Hamilton-Williams, David 1996 Waterloo New Perspectives: the Great Battle Reappraised Wiley ISBN 0-471-05225-6 
  • Hertslet, Edward, Sir, 1875 The map of Europe by treaty; showing the various political and territorial changes which have taken place since the general peace of 1814 London: Butterworths p 18 
  • Hibbert, Christopher 1998 Waterloo illustrated, reprint, revised ed Wordsworth Editions ISBN 1-85326-687-6 
  • Hofschroer, Peter 2006 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: Wellington, his German allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras 1 Greenhill Books 
  • Houssaye, Henri 2005 Napoleon and the Campaign of 1815: Waterloo Naval & Military Press Ltd 
  •  Laughton, John Knox 1893 "Maitland, Frederick Lewis" In Lee, Sidney Dictionary of National Biography 35 London: Smith, Elder & Co pp 353–355 
  • Lipscombe, Nick 2014 Waterloo – The Decisive Victory Osprey Publishing p 32 ISBN 978-1-4728-0104-3 
  • Nicolle, André December 1953 "The Problem of Reparations after the Hundred Days" The Journal of Modern History 25 4: 343–354 doi:101086/237635 
  • Plotho, Carl von 1818 Der Krieg des verbündeten Europa gegen Frankreich im Jahre 1815 Berlin: Karl Friedrich Umelang 
  • Ramm, Agatha 1984 Europe in the Nineteenth Century London: Longman 
  • Siborne, William 1848 The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 4th ed Westminster: A Constable 
  • Siborne, William 1895 "Supplement section" The Waterloo Campaign 1815 4th ed Birmingham, 34 Wheeleys Road pp 767–780 
  • Sørensen, Carl 1871 Kampen om Norge i Aarene 1813 og 1814 2 Kjøbenhavn 
  •  Stephens, Henry Morse 1886 "Campbell, Neil 1776-1827" In Stephen, Leslie Dictionary of National Biography 8 London: Smith, Elder & Co pp 389–390 
  • Strupp, K; et al 1960–1962 "Wiener Kongress" Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts in German Berlin full citation needed
  • Townsend, George Henry 1862 The Manual of Dates: A Dictionary of Reference to All the Most Important Events in the History of Mankind to be Found in Authentic Records Routledge, Warne, & Routledge p 355 
  • Uffindell, Andrew 2003 Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars Staplehurst: Spellmount ISBN 1-86227-177-1 
  • Veve, Thomas Dwight 1992 The Duke of Wellington and the British Army of Occupation in France, 1815–1818 illustrated ed Westport, CT: Greenwood Press pp ix, 4, 114, 120 ISBN 9780313279416 
  • Waln, Robert 1825 Life of the Marquis de La Fayette: Major General in the Service of the United States of America, in the War of the Revolution J P Ayres pp 482–483 
  • Woloch, Isser 2002 Napoleon and His Collaborators W W Norton & Company ISBN 978-0-393-32341-2 
  • Wood, Hugh McKinnon April 1943 "The Treaty of Paris and Turkey's Status in International Law" The American Journal of International Law 37 2: 262–274 doi:102307/2192416 
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Beck, Archibald Frank 1911 "Waterloo Campaign" In Chisholm, Hugh Encyclopædia Britannica 28 11th ed Cambridge University Press pp 371–381 
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Rose, John Holland 1911 "Napoleon I" In Chisholm, Hugh Encyclopædia Britannica 19 11th ed Cambridge University Press pp 190–211 

Further readingedit

  • Abbot, John SC 1902 "Chapter XI: Life in Exile, 1815–1832" Makers of History: Joseph Bonaparte New York and London: Harper & Brothers pp 320–324 
  • Alexander, Robert S 1991 Bonapartism and Revolutionary Tradition in France: The Federes of 1815 Cambridge University Press 
  • Bowden, Scott 1983 Armies at Waterloo: a detailed analysis of the armies that fought history's greatest Battle Empire Games Press ISBN 0-913037-02-8 
  • Gurwood, Lt Colonel 1838 The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington 12 J Murray 
  • Hofschroer, Peter 1999 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: The German victory, from Waterloo to the fall of Napoleon 2 Greenhill Books ISBN 1-85367-368-4 
  • Mackenzie, Norman 1984 The Escape from Elba Oxford University Press 
  • Lucas, F L 1965 "'Long Lives the Emperor', an essay on The Hundred Days" The Historical Journal Cambridge 8 1 JSTOR 3020309 
  • Schom, Alan 1992 One Hundred Days: Napoleon's road to Waterloo New York: Atheneum pp 19, 152 
  • Smith, Digby 1998 The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book London: Greenhill Books 
  • Wellesley, Arthur 1862 Supplementary Despatches, Correspondence and Memoranda of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington 10 London: United Services, John Murray 

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