Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal consisting of an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Funchal. It was developed as a hub of sugar production in the fifteenth century, and slave labor from Africa was used to cultivate the sugar cane. Madeira was occupied by British troops during the Napoleonic Wars. Funchal suffered German bombing during the First World War. Madeira was granted political autonomy in 1976. The area is famous for its Madeira wine.

Timeline of Events Associated with Madeira

Date Event Manage
9 Nov 1799 to 18 Jun 1815

Napoleonic Wars

These are actually a set of individual wars that sometimes overlap, succeed, or run parallel to each other. Image: Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1800), Kunsthistorisches Museum. The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project (DVD-ROM, 2002). The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Historians do not agree on the exact beginning or end of the wars. November 9, 1799 is an early candidate since that is when Napoleon seized power in France. Hoping to ease the difficulty, historians date by isolated wars. They disarticulate the Napoleonic Wars in a linear series:

  • War of the Second Coalition 1798-1802
  • War of the Third Coalition 1805
  • War of the Fourth Coalition 1806-7
  • War of the Fifth Coalition 1809
  • War of the Sixth Coalition 1812-14
  • War of the Seventh Coalition 1815

The successive numerical coordinates for the Coalitions offer regularity, but that regularity is undercut by the shifting make-up of that Coalition (sometimes Prussia was in, sometimes not; sometimes Russia, sometimes not) and by the discontinuity and ambiguity of the dates.


Mary Favret, "The Napoleonic Wars"

18 Jun 1815

Battle of Waterloo

On 18 June 1815, Wellington led Allied troops to a final victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, ending Napoleon’s “Hundred Days” of rule after his escape from Elba on 26 February. The war is officially ended by the 1815 Treaty of Paris, and Napoleon is sentenced to permanent imprisonment at St. Helena, where he dies in 1821. Image: Richard Knötel, Print of English Life Guards (left) and Horse Guards (right) of 1815 charging (Band IV, Tafel 4, Uniformenkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Berlin, 1890). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Related Articles

Sean Grass, “On the Death of the Duke of Wellington, 14 September 1852″

Mary Favret, "The Napoleonic Wars"

Frederick Burwick, “18 June 1815: The Battle of Waterloo and the Literary Response”