Napolean Bonaparte Napolean Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769 on the small island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. He was born at a very hectic time. Corsica was trying to gain independence when French troops invaded. He was born during a war, and hell die because of one. When he turned ten his parents sent him to a military school just outside of Paris. He devoted himself to learning and gaining experience to military tactics, it paid off.
When he was 16 he became a lieutenant in the artillery. Revolution broke out the same year. He joined the military of the French Republic. In October of 1705 a government official told Napoleon to defend the palace where the National Convention took place. He, with his small army, defeated the thousands of royalist in minutes. He is declared a hero.
In 1796 the Directory appointed him to command a French army. He marched into Italy and liberated it from Austria, although some say he conquered it. The Directory wasnt doing very well. In 1799 it accused the French people of being corrupt. Napoleon seized this opportunity to take it over. On November 9, 1799 he and 500 soldiers took over one chamber of the National Legislature and drove out the members. The second chamber voted to end the directory.
France was now in the hands of three officials, called consuls. Napoleon was one. In 1800, he and his fellow consuls set up the plebiscite in which the citizens had the right to vote yes or no on an issue. On December 2, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself emperor. The plebiscite made this so. The Pope crowned him himself.
People thought he was a godsend. He greatly changed the economy of France by making a lot of reforms. He set up a bank, let emigres back into France, he let their be freedom of religion, he freed slaves, and set up the Napoleonic Code. The people outside of France thought differently about Napoleon. They hated him.
In order to extend Frances power. He took over parts of Italy and set up a government in Switzerland. The British declared war on France afraid that he was going to go over Great Britain. Napoleon wanted to take over all of Europe, and he almost did. He won a series of battles; The Battle of Ulm, The Battle of Austerlitz, The Battle of Jena, and The Battle of Friedland. Napoleon was a military genius, on land that is.
The Battle of Trafalgar was his first loss because it was on water. The commander of the British fleet was the Napoleon of the sea. In October 1805, he destroyed Napoleons 33 ships with his 27. Losing this battle forced Napoleon to give up his plans to invade Great Britain. In 1812 Napoleon decided to invade Russia.
The Czar of Russia refused Napoleons request to stop selling grain to Britain. Napoleon took his Grand Army of conquered European countries citizens and marched into Russia. This was grave mistake. His soldiers were not used to the cold weather. The temperature got to below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instead of fighting the army, the Czar pulled his men back. Before leaving they burned their own fields and slaughtered their livestock. This was called the scorched-earth policy. When Napoleons army arrived their they didnt have to fight, but they gained nothing because everything was burnt to the ground. So they starved.
Napoleon decided to retreat, but the Czar attacked the army in its worst state, when Napoleon made it back to France, he had only 10,000 men left out of 400,000. Taking advantage of Napoleons weakness, his enemies gathered to destroy him. Napoleon was able to raise another army and they met at Leipzig in Germany in 1813. Although Napoleon was great at land, he still lost. His enemies pushed closer towards Paris until Napoleons general eventually refused to fight. By 1814 Napoleon surrendered.
His enemies exiled him to a small island called Elba near Italy. Napoleon wasnt done though. The new king of France was pushed from the throne 9 months after Napoleons defeat. Napoleon escaped from Elba and proclaimed that the French will be liberated with his help. Most of the French welcomed him back.
He made and new army and stormed Paris. He became emperor again. Napoleons enemies quickly gathered to take out Napoleon again. They gathered their troops in Waterloo in Belgium. On June 18, 1815, Napoleon moved in.
The British army held their ground all through the day. That night the Prussian army joined and together they launched a counter attack against Napoleons army. Napoleons troops were too tired from attacking and fled. Napoleons reign from where he fled from Elba to where he lost at Waterloo was called the Hundred Days. The British this time exiled him as a prisoner to a remote island called St. Helena.
He spent six years here writing about his memoirs. In 1821 he died. His law code and some of his reforms are still in affect in Frances government today.