This Belgian farm was the site of the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Photograph by Gordon Gahan, National Geographic

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  • On June 18, 1815, troops of the Seventh Coalition under the command of British Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, defeated Napoleon Bonaparte's Imperial French Army at the Battle of Waterloo, Belgium. The Seventh Coalition was a loose alliance of Prussian, German, Dutch, Belgian, and British interests. After the defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon was permanently exiled by France, and spent his final years on the small island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.


    Waterloo put a decisive end to the Napoleonic Wars that had spread throughout Europe in the early 19th century. Napoleon had essentially conquered much of mainland Europe years earlier, only to fall to the Russian winter in the disastrous invasion in 1812. After Waterloo, no major conflict broke out in Europe until the Crimean War, nearly 40 years later.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    alliance Noun

    people or groups united for a specific purpose.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    Crimean War Noun

    (1853-1856) conflict between the Allies (France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia) and Russia.

    decisive Adjective

    able to make decisions with certainty.

    disastrous Adjective

    very bad.

    essentially Adverb

    basically or in general terms.

    invasion Noun

    an attack or move to take possession.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    Napoleon Bonaparte Noun

    (1769-1821) military general and emperor of France.