Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon Bonaparte

The most famous Frenchman in history - Napoleon Bonaparte wasn't born a Frenchman. Napoleon was born at Ajaccio, Corsica on 15 August 1769. Napoleon's parents Carlo Buonaparte and Litizia Ramalono Buonaparte were both of Corsican - Italian blood. When France ceded with Corsica Napoleons father entered the French aristocracy as a count. Napoleon was educated first at Brienne and then at the ècole Militaire, in Paris. Napoleon graduated in 1785, age 16 and enlisted in the artillery as a second lieutenant.

Napoleon became a lieutenant colonel in 1791 in the Corsican National Guard. Corsica declared its independence in 1793 and Bonaparte, a French patriot, fled to France with his family. In 1796 Napoleon was made commander of the army of Italy. In quick succession Napoleon achieved victories all over Europe. When Napoleon returned to France he was triumphant. He was only 28 years old and had become the greatest French general of all time.

Bonaparte decided to leave his army in Italy and set his sights higher - Napoleon wanted to save France. Napoleon joined a conspiracy against the government and on November 10 he and his colleagues seized power and established their own government - The Consulate. Napoleon reformed all government, education and legislation, which proved he was a magnificent statesman and administrator. Napoleon proved a patriotic loyal Frenchman who wanted to improve life for his fellow French people. Napoleon was crowned Emperor of the French in 1804 - he was now a great Frenchmen and heroic General and destined to become the greatest leader France had ever had.

Napoleon introduced 'The Continental System' which forbade all European nations trading with France's enemy Britain. In 1810 the Russians proclaimed they wouldn't abide by this system and France retaliated by invaded Russia but ended up retreating to Paris. Europe now believed that France could be beaten. The allied force of the Prussia, Austria and Russia attacked France and Napoleon was forced to abdicate and was exiled to the island of Elba with 1000 men. Less than a year later Napoleon returned to the almost instant embracement of his people and his troops. The allies marched once more on France. Britain backed up by Prussia met and defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Napoleon had fought his last battle. Napoleon was exiled once more this time for good to St Helena where he died at just 51 years of age.
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