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Napoleon Bonaparte: Restoration After The Revolution

883 words - 4 pages

One of the most controversial figures in European History, Napoleon Bonaparte has never ceased to be a generator of debate and analysis among historians, authors, and students. Napoleon has been closely scrutinized by many in attempts to defend or demote his motives, ambitions, and actions as Emperor of France. Nonetheless, those with true qualities of a ruler are few and far between – and Napoleon possessed the drive and ambition to bring these qualities to their full potential. Napoleon was the hero of nineteenth-century France, restoring the country to its former glory after the violence, instability, and turmoil of the French Revolution. Napoleon was the classic underdog, originally ...view middle of the document...

Since Corsicans were perceived as second-class Frenchmen, Napoleon’s capabilities were frequently underestimated. When Abbé Siéyès, for example, sought Napoleon’s help in establishing a coup d’état in 1799, he initially Napoleon to be an assisting pawn who would soon be easily knocked off the board. However, Napoleon unexpectedly took charge, pushing Siéyès aside and establishing his own Constitution of the Year VIII . Napoleon had high hopes for himself and for France, and possessed the motivation and strength to follow through with his ambitions.
With tireless perseverance and resilience, Napoleon fully committed himself to the expansion and restoration of France after the Revolution. Although France had many enemies and was continually facing conflict and warfare, Napoleon was able to handle multiple problems at once, keeping in mind all possible situations that could arise. When France was distracted by the Spanish wars of liberation in 1807, Austria attempted to take advantage of France’s weakness by staging an attack on the French during their time of preoccupation. However, Napoleon was prepared: French fleets readily marched into Austria, winning the Battle of Wagram, along with significant Austrian territory for France and a new wife for Napoleon, the Austrian archduchess Marie Louise . Napoleon persisted with a fierce determination, even if he was outnumbered by his enemies. Napoleon won the battle of Dresden in 1813 , although his troops were losing energy and confidence, and Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were allied against them. Even after his exile to Elba in 1815, Napoleon returned to France to the joy of many, and fought the conclusive battle of Waterloo with courage before his final defeat and...

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