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Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon Bonaparte is regarded as one of the greatest military and political masterminds in the history of man. Napoleon’s brilliance led him through extremely successful Italian campaigns, major battles against the Third Coalition and helped him rule politically to keep the gains of the revolution. Napoleon, through his military conquests and political alterations, made France a great nation.

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15th, 1769 in small town of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica. He had seven siblings, and his father was a lawyer whose family stemmed from the Florentine nobility. In 1779, Napoleon went to school at Brienne in France. There he took a great interest in history, especially in the lives of great ancient generals. Napoleon was often badly treated at Brienne because he was not as wealthy as his fellow classmates were, and being short for his age did not help. Along with those shortcomings he did not speak French well, because mainly Italian was spoken in Corsica. He studied very hard so that he could do better than those who mocked him. Napoleon attended the Ecole Military School in Paris in 1784. This is where he received his military training to become an artilleryman and an officer. Napoleon finished his training and joined the French army at the age of sixteen years old. He was appointed to an artillery regiment, and commissioned as a lieutenant. Napoleon spent the next seven years reading the works of the philosophers, and educating himself in military matters by studying the campaigns of great military leaders of the past.

The French Revolution and the European wars broadened Napoleon’s sights and presented him with new opportunities. Napoleon was a supporter of the French Revolution; he went back and forth between Paris and Ajaccio, working for the Republic. Napoleon rose quickly through the ranks and became a captain in 1792. At the age of 25, only one year after becoming captain, Napoleon performed so well that he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He was given command of the artillery at Toulon, and in December of that same year, the French forced the English out of Toulon. The commander in chief wrote: “I have no words to describe the merit of Bonaparte. Much science, as much intelligence, and too much bravery.”

In August of 1794 Napoleon was arrested because he had been a supporter of Robespierre, a radica...

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...aty of Pressburg Napoleon made himself king of Italy, his brother Joseph, king of Naples, and another brother Louis king of Holland. In October of 1806 Napoleon went to war again. He defeated the Prussians in the battle of Jena, and captured Berlin. The Prussian king fled to Russia and Napoleon advanced through Poland. While away he was in constant communications with Paris. He received word every day of its internal affairs even though he was 1500 miles away. On February 8th, 1807, Napoleon fought a battle with the Russians at Eylan Germany to a draw. Then on June 14th he destroyed the Russian army at Friedland, Germany. After this battle Napoleon and Alexander I met at Tilsit. Together they divided Europe with Napoleon obviously claiming the larger share. Now except for England, the Bonaparte family now ruled the whole of Western Europe. ix

Napoleon Bonaparte is regarded as one of the greatest military and political masterminds in the history of man. Through his extremely successful Italian campaigns, his revolutionary changes in the French government and battles against the Third Coalition Napoleon gave France total domination over Western Europe and to become a great nation.
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