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This paper examines the factors that explain the rise and downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte I in France. His goal was to conquer all of Europe and throughout his life he nearly succeeded. He rose through the confusion of the French revolution to become Emperor of the French. Napoleon had once said, “I am the Revolution,” and he never ceased to remind the French that they owed to him the preservation of all that was beneficial in the revolutionary program. (Spielvogel, 2007) Life of Napoleon Bonaparte Arguably one of the most brilliant individuals and greatest military leaders in history was the former French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He has also been portrayed as a power hungry conqueror (Chew, 1995). Napoleon dominated both French and European history from 1799 to 1815 (Spielvogel, 2007). He helped remake the map of Europe and established many government and legal reforms. In the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, created efficient governments, and fostered education, science, literature, and the arts. His campaigns are studied at military academies all over the world and he is widely regarded as one of history's greatest commanders. The events of his life fired the imaginations of great writers, film makers, and playwrights whose works have done much to create the Napoleonic legend (Schom, 1998). Napoleon’s relative short life is a story of many successes and disastrous failures. The French Revolution had made it possible for his rise as both a military leader and emperor of France. As a military commander Napoleon lead the French Republican Army to several victories over royal forces and rose to power as France’s leader, but ultimately in his quest for absolute p... ... middle of paper ... ...leon’s memory would continue to haunt French political life (Spielvogel, 2007). Works Cited Chew, R. (1995). Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of the French. Retrieved September 15, 2008, from Lucidcafe: Landau, E. (2006). Napoleon Bonaparte. Twenty-First Century Books (CT). Schom, A. (1998). Napoleon Bonaparte: A Life. Harper Perennial. Spielvogel, J. J. (2007). Western Civilization A Brief History (4th Edition ed., Vol. II). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. U*X*L Encyclopedia of World Biography. (2003). Napoleon Bonaparte. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from High Beam Encyclopedia: Wilde, R. (2008). Napoleon Bonaparte. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from About.Com European History:
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