The proclamation of Empire, 18 May 1804

Contrary to a widely held belief, it was not the coronation (Sacre) of 2 December, 1804, which “created” the Napoleonic Empire but rather a Sénatus-consulte adopted by the Sénat during its meeting of 18 May, 1804. The ensemble of documents presented on Napoleonica® les archives makes it possible to follow this apparently “parliamentary” inception to what was the denouement of a political manoeuvre on a large scale.

updated 7 March 2024.

First page of the Sénatus-consulte organique du 28 floréal an XII (18 May 1804)