Eugène de Beauharnais

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Eugène de Beauharnais
French Prince, Prince of Venice, Grand Duke of Frankfurt, Duke of Leuchtenberg, Prince of Eichstätt
Eugene de Beauharnais, vice-roi d'Italie.jpg
Portrait of Eugène de Beauharnais
Viceroy of Italy
Term5 June 1805 – 11 April 1814
Monarch Napoleon I
Duke of Leuchtenberg
Prince of Eichstätt
Tenure14 November 1817 – 21 February 1824
Successor Auguste de Beauharnais
Born3 September 1781
Paris, France
Died21 February 1824(1824-02-21) (aged 42)
Munich, Bavaria
Burial
Spouse
Issue Josephine, Queen of Sweden
Eugénie, Princess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Auguste, Prince Consort of Portugal
Amélie, Empress of Brazil
Théodoline, Countess Wilhelm of Württemberg
Princess Carolina
Maximilian, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg
Full name
Eugène Rose de Beauharnais
House Beauharnais
Father Alexandre de Beauharnais
Mother Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie
Religion Roman Catholicism

Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg ( [ø.ʒɛn də‿bo.aʁ.nɛ] ; 3 September 1781 – 21 February 1824) was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

Alexandre de Beauharnais French general; president of the National Constituent Assembly in 1791

Alexandre François Marie, Viscount of Beauharnais was a French political figure and general during the French Revolution. He was the first husband of Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, who later married Napoleon Bonaparte and became Empress of the First Empire.

Napoleon 19th century French military leader and politician

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Contents

He was born in Paris, France, and became the stepson and adopted child (but not the heir to the imperial throne) of Napoleon I. His biological father was executed during the revolutionary Reign of Terror. He commanded the Army of Italy and was Viceroy of Italy under his stepfather.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Kingdom of France kingdom in Western Europe from 843 to 1791

The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.

Reign of Terror Period during the French Revolution

The Reign of Terror, or The Terror, refers to a period during the French Revolution after the First French Republic was established.

Historians consider him one of the ablest of Napoleon's relatives. [1]

Life and Career

Eugene c. 1800, Andrea Appiani. Andrea Appiani 003.jpg
Eugène c. 1800, Andrea Appiani.
Napoleonic Italy c. 1810. Italy c 1810.png
Napoleonic Italy c. 1810.

Eugène's first campaign was in the Vendée, where he fought at Quiberon. However, within a year his mother Joséphine had arranged his return to Paris. In the Italian campaigns of 1796–1797, Eugène served as aide-de-camp to his stepfather, whom he also accompanied to Egypt. In Egypt, Eugène was wounded during the Siege of Acre (1799) and returned to France with Napoleon in the autumn of 1799, helping to bring about the reconciliation of the General and his mother, who had become estranged due to the extramarital affairs of both. During the Coup of Brumaire, Eugène accompanied Napoleon to Saint-Cloud, where the legislative assemblies were brought into submission.

Vendée Department of France

The Vendée is a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west-central France, on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Vendée is taken from the Vendée river which runs through the southeastern part of the department.

<i>Aide-de-camp</i> personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank

An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

When Napoleon became First Consul following Brumaire, Eugène became a captain in the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Consular Guard. With his squadron took part in the Battle of Marengo where, though half his men fell, he led charge after charge. [2]

Battle of Marengo battle

The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame Gen. Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy and consolidating Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November.

By a decree of 1 February 1805 Eugène was created Arch-Chancellor of State the French Empire.

Grand Dignitaries of the French Empire

The Grand Dignitaries of the French Empire were created in 1804 by the Constitution of the Year XII, which established Napoleon Bonaparte, previously First Consul for Life, as Emperor of the French. The seven Grand Dignitaries broadly paralleled the Great Officers of the Crown which had existed under the Ancien Régime and were essentially honorific, although several limited functions were ascribed to them in the new constitution of the Empire. In the Imperial nobility the Grand Dignitaries ranked in status directly behind the Princes of France, although in practice, most Grand Dignitaries also held the title of Prince.

As commander of the Imperial Guard (successor to the Consular Guard), Eugène preceded his step-father to Milan ahead of Napoleon's coronation as King of Italy on 26 May 1805. Napoleon had originally intended to place his brother Joseph on the Italian throne and then, after Joseph's refusal, his nephew Napoléon Charles, the son of Louis Bonaparte and Eugène's sister, Hortense. However, both Joseph and Louis refused and so Napoleon instead placed the Iron Crown upon his own head. During the coronation Napoleon handed the royal ring and mantle to his stepson and on 7 June 1805 announced Eugène's appointment as Viceroy of Italy to the Italian Legislative Assembly.

During the War of the Fifth Coalition, Eugène was put in command of the Army of Italy, with General Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald as his military advisor. In April 1809 he fought and lost the Battle of Sacile against the Austrian army of the Archduke John, but Eugène's troops decisively won the rematch at the Battle of the Piave in May and the Battle of Raab in June. After the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon recalled the Army of Italy to Austria. After joining the main army on the island of Lobau in the Danube, Eugène took part in the Battle of Wagram.

During the Russian campaign, Eugène again commanded the Army of Italy (IV Corps) with which he fought in the Battle of Borodino and the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. After Napoleon and then Joachim Murat had left the retreating army, Eugène took command of the remnants and led it back to Germany in 1813.

During the campaign of 1813, Eugène fought in the Battle of Lützen. Napoleon then sent him back to Italy, where he organised the defence against the Austrians, holding out on the Mincio until the abdication in 1814. After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Eugène retired to Munich and at the behest of his father-in-law King Maximilian of Bavaria, did not get involved with Napoleon and France again.

Eugène de Beauharnais died on 21 February 1824 in Munich.

Status and titles

On 14 June 1804 he was made an official member of the imperial family as His Imperial Highness , French Prince (Prince français) Eugène de Beauharnais. By a statute of 5 June 1805 the Emperor added Viceroy of Italy to his titles.

Eugène was adopted by Napoleon on 12 January 1806, though excluded from succession to the French Empire. On 16 February 1806, Eugène was declared heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Italy, in the absence of a second son of Napoleon. On 20 December 1807 he was given the title of Prince de Venise ("Prince of Venice"), a title created on 30 March 1806, when the Venetian Province taken from Austria in 1805 was united to Bonaparte's Kingdom of Italy.

In 1810, Napoleon used his influence over Karl von Dalberg, Archbishop of Regensburg and Grand Duke of Frankfurt, to name Eugène as constitutional heir of the grand duchy. Von Dalberg abdicated on 26 October 1813 due to Frankfurt's imminent conquest by the allied armies, and Eugène became nominal grand duke until Frankfurt was occupied by the allies in December of that same year.

A further imperial sinecure was Archichancelier d'État de l'Empire de France ("Archchancellor of State of the Empire of France").

He was an active Freemason and was involved in setting up the Grand Orient of Italy and its Supreme Council. [3]

Heraldry

Family

On 14 January 1806, two days after his adoption by Napoleon, Eugène married Princess Augusta Amalia Ludovika Georgia of Bavaria (1788–1851), eldest daughter of Napoleon's ally, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. On 14 November 1817, his father-in-law made him Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstätt.

Eugène and Augusta had seven children:

A biography by Carola Oman, Napoleon's Viceroy, Eugène de Beauharnais, appeared in 1966.

Ancestry

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References

Citations
  1. Caulaincourt 1933, p. 403.
  2. Connelly, Napoleon's Satellite Kingdoms, 22.
  3. Le Premier Empire.
Bibliography
Eugène de Beauharnais
Born: 3 September 1781 Died: 21 February 1824
German nobility
New title Duke of Leuchtenberg
Prince of Eichstätt

14 November 1817 – 21 February 1824
Succeeded by
Auguste de Beauharnais