House of Bonaparte
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The House of Bonaparte is an imperial and royal European dynasty founded by Napoleon I of France in 1804, a Corsican military leader who rose to notability out of the French Revolution and transformed the French Republic into the First French Empire within five years of his coup d'état. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories. He inserted members of his family on the thrones of client states, founding the dynasty.
Throughout its history, the dynasty, as well as being Emperors of the French, held various other titles and territories including; their ancestral nation the Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Westphalia, Kingdom of Holland and the Kingdom of Naples. The dynasty was in a position of power for around a decade until the Napoleonic Wars began to take their toll. Making very powerful enemies such as Austria, United Kingdom, Russia and Prussia, as well as royalist (particularly Bourbon) restorational movements in France, Spain, the Two Sicilies and Sardinia, the dynasty eventually collapsed under its own weight.
Between the years 1852 and 1870 there was a Second French Empire, again a member of the Bonaparte dynasty would rule; Napoleon III of France the son of Louis Bonaparte. However after tensions relating to Prussia, the dynasty was again ousted from the imperial throne. Since that time there has been a series of pretenders, supporters of the Bonaparte family's claim to the throne of France are known as Bonapartists. Current head Jean-Christophe Napoléon is ironically from a Bourbon mother.