The day of the Battle of Waterloo – level 2


In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became the emperor in France. He was only 35 years old.

Napoleon wanted to have a big empire. His empire covered a big part of Europe. It included Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, but Napoleon wanted more. He decided to go to Russia. It wasn’t a good decision.

The French army had 680,000 men when it entered Russia. The Russians were stronger and Napoleon lost the war. Only 27,000 men from the French army returned home to France.

After the defeat in Russia, Napoleon’s army was very weak, and in 1813 it was finally defeated in Leipzig, Germany. The armies of Austria, Germany, and Russia celebrated the victory. Napoleon had to abdicate and he was sent to a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1815, he escaped from the island and went to France. He started to control France again. He began to prepare for another war with the British and the Germans who united against him.

The final battle came soon. The two armies met near the village of Waterloo in Belgium on June 18, 1815. The battle ended in a horrible defeat of the French army. After that, Napoleon signed his second and last abdication. He was sent to the island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. He lived and died there as a prisoner.

Difficult words: emperor (the man who is the leader of an empire), defeat (when you lose a battle), abdicate (to give up the position of an emperor), escape (to run away).

What were the major events and consequences of Napoleon Bonaparte's quest for a big empire in Europe?


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