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George Rouget, The King of Rome at Les Tuileries. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch
George Rouget, The King of Rome at Les Tuileries. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch

On the Island of Elba, Napoleon secretly prepares his return to power. Toward this end, on 27 February 1815 he organizes a grandiose festival, inviting the entire population of the island. In the confusion unleashed by the event, Napoleon escapes and heads to France, arriving there on 1 March.
The French people give the emperor a triumphal welcome and the armies that had been sent against him switch to his side. Napoleon is thus able to easily re–enter Paris less than three weeks later, on 20 March. This is the beginning of the One Hundred Days, which will end on 18 June in the dramatic Battle of Waterloo, in which the French army is decisively defeated by the Prussian and English forces. On 15 July, after asking in vain for his son to be placed on the throne, Napoleon consigns himself to the English, who send him on 16 October to the small island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Here Napoleon writes his memoirs and, on 5 May 1821, dies from a stomach tumour.
A few days before the defeat at Waterloo, the Congress of Vienna had arranged for the redrawing of confines and the redistribution of power on the European continent. Italy was thus divided into around ten states, many of which strictly dependent on the Austrian Empire.

1815. The Congress of Vienna establishes the Duchy of Lucca, assigning it to Marie Louise of Bourbon.

1815. The territories of Sarzana and Savona, part of the Ligurian Republic, become part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, ruled by the Savoy.

1824. Charles Louise of Bourbon, the son of Marie Louise, becomes sovereign of the Duchy of Lucca at his mother’s death.