THIS DAY IN HISTORY

MAY 23 2007 07:09h

Napoleon I. Bonaparte Crowned King of Italy

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Soldier, life-long First consul and French emperor Napoleon I. Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy on May 23, 1805 at the Milan cathedral.

Born as the son of a Corsica nobleman in 1769, he received education at the French Military Academy, combating in the French revolution with a general’s rank. At the turn of the century, French troops waged war under his command against most European counties, conquering them with combat or alliances. A year after the campaign on Egypt in 1799 he led a coup d`etat, pronouncing himself First consul, while in 1804 he crowned himself as the emperor of France.

Then at Milan's cathedral Napoleon was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy on May 23, 1805.

His brief and gory 11-year-long rule was full of controversies. He revolutionised the manner of war waging with military reform and modernisation, his foreign policy caused bloodshed throughout Europe, while on the other hand his economic reforms gradually changed the old feudal organisation of countries with modern capitalism, embodied in the so called Napoleonic code.

Banished to the Saint Helena island by eternal enemies Britons, he died there on May 5, 1821 of abdominal cancer. His remains were transferred to Paris on the insistence of King Loius-Philipe and entombed at the Invalids` Home, where they are still kept today.