[1815] - Napoleon escapes from Elba (news of which reaches London on 10 March)

On 6 April 1814 Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to the island of Elba. As a result, the Bourbon monarchy was restored to France as Louis XVIII ascended to the throne. Meanwhile, the allied powers convened at the Congress of Vienna from September 1814 to the summer of 1815 to redraw the map of Europe following the Napoleonic Wars.

On 26 February 1815, however, Napoleon escaped from Elba with a force of around 600 men. He landed at Golfe-Juan on the French coast on 1 March 1815. As he proceeded through France he was welcomed by much of the populace, who were disenchanted by the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. His forces grew steadily as regiments joined his campaign. Consequently, Louis XVIII fled the country and Napoleon triumphantly entered Paris on 19 March. During the next three months Napoleon mobilized for war. On 25 March Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia signed a treaty of alliance against Napoleon, each power pledging troops to fight in the forthcoming conflict. By June 1815 the allied forces under the command of Wellington and Blücher had established headquarters at Brussels. Preliminary military encounters at Quatre Bas and Ligny were followed by the decisive defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June. Although he maintained hope that he could still lead French resistance against an allied invasion, Napoleon was compelled to acknowledge defeat. He abdicated on 22 June and, as the Prussian forces advanced upon him, he surrendered himself to Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland aboard the HMS Bellerophon. As a result, Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne for a second time and Napoleon was exiled to the island of St Helena, where he died in May 1821.

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