Napoleon Buonaparte, who was quite possibly the greatest military commander of all time, was born on August 15, 1769. His genius military mind made it possible for him to conquer much of Europe. Napoleon’s life was a brilliant story of his amazing rise in militarism and his tragic fall of his power due to his own flaws.
Napoleon was born in Abaci, Corsica to the parent’s of Carlo and Letizia Buonaparte. He was the second of eight children. France had annexed Corsica in 1768, which made Napoleon, technically, a French citizen. Although Napoleon and his family were of nobility and higher up on the social scale than most Europeans, his family was never very wealthy.
Napoleon was the first in his family to ever become a professional soldier. At age 16, Napoleon graduated from Brienne and the Ecole Militaire, in Paris, in 1785. That same year, he became an artillery officer in the French army. Soon after the French revolution began, Napoleon quickly became a hero when he defeated the Austrian and Sardinian armies in Italy. This brought on the Treaty of Campo Formio, which stated that France keep most of its conquests. Also, in 1796, he married Josephine de Beauharnais, a widow and mother of two children.
After this defeat which led to the Treaty of Campo, he then turned to defeat the British, which, at this time, was the only country still actively fighting against the British. Napoleon decided to attack their trade, which was with the East. To do this, he attempted to conquer the Turkish-ruled Egypt, and although succeeded, his naval fleet was destroyed due to Admiral Horatio Nelson in the Battle of Aboukir on August 1, 1798, which foiled his whole plan. Because Russia was looking at obtaining land in Africa, this brought them into the war against France, allied with Britain.
One year after the Battle of Aboukir, Abbee Sieyes invited Napoleon to Paris to create a new constitution for Paris. The constitution was made up of three consuls, and, of course, must have a First Consul. The First Consul was taken up by Napoleon, which gave him the power of a dictator. Then, in 1802, Napoleon had the constitution revised to have him appointed Consul for Life, and in 1804, revised it to have him named Emperor.
Although before his all out thirst for power, he worked very hard in order to fix all of the problems of France. He did this by making peace with Austria and Britain. The Treaty of Amiens officially ended the war with Britain. He also allowed many politicians back into the country and appointed radical republicans as well as royalist aristocrats in his government. Another act of his attempt to heal France was to allow the Catholic Church back into the country, however, only under Napoleons conditions.
Because of how the power got to Napoleons head, he felt he needed to justify his strength as the Emperor. In order for him to do...