An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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Dossier thématiques : A close-up on: the Mexican campaign, 1862-1867
Timelines : The Mexican Campaign, 1862-1867
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A timeline, an article or two, some biographies, a few images, and a bibliography, in short a close-up on a topic related to the First and Second French Empires. You can search for other close-ups either by keyword or by theme.

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A close-up on: Napoleon's "divorce"


Introduction | Documents | Timeline | Images | Bibliography


Napoleon's "divorce", in actual fact an annulment in two parts, was the culmination of more than two years of rumour, intrigue, discussion and negotiation which kept some of the major courts and governments in Europe occupied. Napoleon and Josephine both came under intense pressure to ensure the succession of the Bonaparte dynasty; as a result, their union, which had failed to produce an heir during their fifteen years together, was first dissolved in the Senate and finally annulled by the Diocesan and Metropolitan tribunals. The events during this period not only cover some of the major preoccupations of Napoleon and the French state - dynasty durability and stability, France's relationships, both with the major political powers on the continent and with the Catholic Church - but also touch on more social issues - the legal basis of marriage in the 19th century - and some of the more complicated aspects of Canon Law.

H.D.W. December 2009



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