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The end of Napoleon Bonaparte's rule over France began with the period called the Hundred Days. Four countries were sending men to destroy his empire after the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw.
Napoleon still held great respect over men; many sources tell the anecdote of his meeting Royalist troops alone and offering them his own life, only to have them join his cause. He returned from his exile to be once again accepted as Emperor, gathering men along the way, and determined to fight against the international powers that had rejected his authority over France. Even the standing army of Louis XVIII deserted their posts to join with Napoleon, and his authority in France was restored.
It was at this time that Napoleon ordered the creation of the Charter of 1815; in effect, a constitutional amendment to his earlier constitutions, each of which had been unprecedented in their move away from monarchical government structures. It also overruled the Charter of 1814 put in place by Louis XVIII, which still recognized a monarchy. Equality before the law and freedom of religion were major parts of this Charter.
However, the allied armies of Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Austria were all gathering to overpower France, and Napoleon was forced to wage another war before he was militarily able. Despite his small army, ailing health, and lack of time to prepare, Napoleon personally fought in the Battle of Waterloo and almost won; however, his army was outnumbered and his defeat ended the Napoleonic Era in France for good.
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