Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) seized power in France at the end of the French Revolution and turned his focus toward expanding his empire. In 1803, Napoleon sold the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States. Also in 1803, just before crowning himself emperor, Napoleon began waging wars for expansion, conquering most of Europe. Conflict between France and Great Britain complicated things for neutral America, with the warring countries placing restrictions on American trade. The United States responded to the restrictions with the Embargo of 1807, the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, and Macon’s Bill No. 2 in 1810. In response to Macon’s Bill No. 2, Napoleon falsely promised to end French interference with American shipping. England refused to lift its sanctions, and President James Madison ended trade and diplomacy with Great Britain, a move that helped lead to the War of 1812. Though the United States declared war against Great Britain, it was not allied with France, and Napoleon, stretched thin by the wars in Europe, was defeated in 1814. In 1815, he rose to power again briefly before being forced to abdicate. He was exiled to the island of St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

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