"In the beginning was Napoleon!", a popular saying among many historians which demonstrates the extent of Napoleon's political and creative power. It also suggests that this man still has great relevance today. Most of us don't know, that many things we take for granted in everyday life were introduced by Napoleon. From the metric system to massive road construction projects, from the shape of the young United States to the roots of modern European legislation Napoleon's achievements live on.
Life Under Napoleon shows Napoleon's rise and fall exclusively from the point of view of the citizens of his time, including blacksmiths, soldiers, farmers, dissidents and housewives. In four episodes, we examine what life was like in Europe from 1799 until 1815, from the end of the French Revolution until Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig 1813 and Waterloo 1815, while keeping a global perspective in mind.
The central parts of each episode are first hand accounts of life changing events, based on authentic historical material, often surprising anecdotes that happened under Napoleon's reign. Our sources are diaries, letters and court documents. These don't speak of politics and alliances but about blood and tears, tyranny and hunger, about joy and freedom, and so does Life under Napoleon.