Emperor of the French
The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David (1804)
1804 May 18

Emperor of the French

Notre-Dame de Paris
During the consulate, Napoleon faced several royalist and Jacobin assassination plots, including the Conspiration des poignards (Dagger plot) in October 1800 and the Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise two months later. In January 1804, his police uncovered an assassination plot against him that involved Moreau and which was ostensibly sponsored by the Bourbon family, the former rulers of France. On the advice of Talleyrand, Napoleon ordered the kidnapping of the Duke of Enghien, violating the sovereignty of Baden. The Duke was quickly executed after a secret military trial. To expand his power, Napoleon used these assassination plots to justify the creation of an imperial system based on the Roman model. He believed that a Bourbon restoration would be more difficult if his family's succession was entrenched in the constitution. Launching yet another referendum, Napoleon was elected as Emperor of the French by a tally exceeding 99%. Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the Senate and was crowned Emperor of the French on 2 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in Paris, with the Crown of Napoleon.