the name of three rulers of France. Napoleon I (1769–1821), emperor 1804–14 and 1815; full name Napoleon Bonaparte; known as Napoleon. In 1799, he joined a conspiracy that overthrew the Directory, becoming the supreme ruler of France. He declared himself emperor in 1804 and established an empire stretching from Spain to Poland. After defeats at Trafalgar in 1805 and in Russia in 1812, he abdicated and was exiled to the island of Elba in 1814. He returned to power in 1815, but was defeated at Waterloo and exiled to the island of St. Helena. Napoleon II (1811–32), son of Napoleon I and Empress Marie-Louise; full name Napoleon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte. Napoleon III (1808–73), emperor 1852–70; full name Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte; known as Louis-Napoleon. A nephew of Napoleon I, Napoleon III was elected president of the Second Republic in 1848 and staged a coup in 1851.