Napoleon's Marriages

By Ember Bechtel

Josephine De Beauharnais

Napoleon and Josephine got married in 1796. Before they did get married Josephine did not want to marry him. But Napoleon kind of blackmailed her into marriage. Josephine was a big spender and loved to spend money. So when Napoleon said if she didn't marry him that he would not support her and throw her out on the street she accepted the marriage proposal. They were married for a while but after a while Napoleon did not see all the beauty in her which he so desperately wanted and he also needed an heir. So in 1809 he divorced her hoping to find someone that met his needs. Josephine retreated to Malmaison, France after the divorce. Napoleon and Josephine did not have kids together but from a previous marriage Josephine did and Napoleon was a good stepfather to them. Josephine had various affairs and almost led to divorce sooner but Napoleon needed their marriage for political ambitions. After Josephine aided Napoleon's bid for power she stayed loyal to him as they became partners.

Marie Louise

Napoleon and Marie married the year after Napoleon divorced Josephine, 1810. Maria was the daughter of the Emperor of Austria. Maria was against the marriage at first. As she said, "The mere sight of him would be the worst form of torture." So obviously she did not want to marry him at all. She was disgusted by him and didn't want to be with him. But when Austrian diplomat Klemens Von Metternich brought up the idea of the marriage Marie's father agreed she had no choice but to accept the proposal. They thought it would be a wise tactical move.

Marie gave Napoleon the heir he so desired, in 1811 their son Napoleon ll was born and was named King of Rome. When an unsuccessful campaign cause Napoleon's powers in jeopardy, he had to continue into combat. Leaving Marie who was named regent (with limited power) as he was gone. When Napoleon was sent to Elba she, at first, wanted to join him but instead went to Austria with their son. Years passed and Marie had no contact with Napoleon. #Forgotten

The Overview of the Marriages

Napoleon and Josephine did not bring much importance but did give Napoleon some happiness in his life and he had fallen in love. But not forever as he lost interest in her. He also needed an heir and she could not provide that. #LostHerBeauty

On the other hand, Napoleon and Marie's marriage brought much more wealth and power. As the marriage was good for both of them, Marie Louise's family used their marriage to improve their own geopolitical situation. Napoleon and Marie had a son and Napoleon got the heir in which he needed to achieve strengthening his power and stabilizing European political landscape. So their marriage had benefited both of them.