Page 182 - Auction84-Book1
P. 182

  Despite the Treaty of Amiens with the British, tensions between the French and British remained high as they competed for control
and influence both in Europe and beyond. As had been the case following the American Revolution, the British did not live up to their treaty obligations to remove their troops from ceded territory, and neither had the French. Thus, after a brief peace, the British again declared
war on France in May of 1803 and plotted with French royalists to create unrest in France, including the assassination of Napoleon. As the Reichstag Fire would later serve as a catalyst for Hitler to take power, Napoleon and his
allies used the assassination plot and renewed conflict with Britain as an opportunity to turn the republic into an empire. In the referendum, nearly 100% of the vote turned out in favor, and the empire was declared on May 18, 1804, with Napoleon as emperor of the French and his heirs in line to the French imperial throne. He received international recognition via a coronation by Pope Pius VII on December 2, 1804, and was also crowned king of Italy in May.
As laid out in the 1816 catalog, after becoming emperor, this set is reported
to have been presented to General Jean- Andoche Junot (1771-1813), an officer that had long been close to Napoleon. Junot’s story, like Napoleon’s own, includes serving in the military for most of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and includes a steady rise in power followed
by a downfall. He first became acquainted with Napoleon in 1793 during the Siege
of Toulon before Napoleon had become
a national hero. Napoleon is said to have made Junot his aide-de-camp after seeing Junot calmly jotting down orders as shots landed all around him, and the future emperor helped Junot get a promotion to sous-lieutenant. Junot then served under Napoleon during the Italian and Egyptian campaigns and steadily rose in rank alongside his commander. As Napoleon returned to France to participate in the coup that led to the establishment of the Consulate in the fall of 1799, Junot was captured by the British but ultimately was released and returned to France in
June of 1800.

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