As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution. Like many others, both before and since, Napoleon found that the ability to confer titles was also a useful tool of patronage which cost the state little treasure. In all, about 2,200 titles were created by Napoleon:

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  • As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution. Like many others, both before and since, Napoleon found that the ability to confer titles was also a useful tool of patronage which cost the state little treasure. In all, about 2,200 titles were created by Napoleon: * Princes and Dukes: * Princes of the Imperial family * The Imperial Prince (Napoleon's son, Napoleon II) * Princes of France (8 close family members) * sovereign princes (3) * duchies grand fiefs (20) * victory princes (4) * victory dukedoms (10) * other dukedoms (3) * Counts (251) * Barons (1,516) * Knights (385) Napoleon also established a new knightly order in 1802, the Légion d'honneur, which is still in existence today. The Grand Dignitaries of the French Empire ranked, regardless of noble title, immediately behind the Princes of France. (en)
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  • As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution. Like many others, both before and since, Napoleon found that the ability to confer titles was also a useful tool of patronage which cost the state little treasure. In all, about 2,200 titles were created by Napoleon: (en)
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  • Nobility of the First French Empire (en)
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