Napoleon's life was a very interesting one. Starting a poor boy, hated by most,
rising to rule a huge empire, and then finally being destroyed by his own
arrogance and ending his life humbled, remembering what he had doe, and leaving
it all in his memoirs for the world to read.
Napoleon was born in 1769, on the Island of Corsica. His parents, Carlo and
Letizia Bonaparte, were poor nobles. When Napoleon was just 10 years old, his
father helped to get him a mathematical scholarship to a military school at
Brienne. In the school, Napoleon was hated and considered a foreigner. With no
friends, Napoleon concentrated on academics, but still only graduated 42nd in us
class of 58. he then continued his education at the Military academy of Paris.
After one year there, he became second Lieutenant of artillery, at the age of 17.
As a Lieutenant, Napoleon did a lot of reading, mainly in the subjects of
history, geography, economic affairs, and philosophy. Napoleon was assigned to a
post at the Valence garrison when he became a Lieutenant, but spent most of his
time in Corsica, without permission. During one of these visits, Napoleon had
trouble with a Corsican nationalist, named Pasquale Paoli, and Napoleon and his
family fled to Marseille in 1793.
Later in 1793, the beginning of the French revolution, Napoleon led an
artillery brigade to push out a British fleet that the Royalists had allowed
in. Napoleon's mission was a success, and he was promoted to general, and
was assigned to the army in Northern Italy. During the early part of the
revolution, Napoleon had supported Maximilien Robespierre's revolutionary
group, and when Robespiere was overthrown in 1794, Napoleon spent two months
in jail for being associated with him. When he was released from jail,
Napoleon refused to fight a rebellion in Vandee, and he lost his military
position for it.
In 1795, Paul Barras, the military leader of a soon to be implemented
government, asked Napoleon to fight a revolt in Paris, Napoleon accepted,
and quickly ended the revolt. When the directory, the government Barras
was part of, came into power, they rewarded Napoleon by appointing him
the commander of the army of the interior in 1796. He also married Josephine de
Beauharrais in the same year. Later in 1796, Napoleon launched a campaign to
push the Austrian and Sardinian armies out of Northern Italy. Napoleon quickly
defeated the Sardinians at Mandovi (about 25 miles from current French borders).
In a treaty with the Sardinians, France was given Nice and Savoy. He then went
further into Italy, pushing into the Lombardy region. He took the stronghold at
Mantua after a long siege, and was heading toward Venice with little resistance
when the Austrians surrendered, and Napoleon negotiated the treaty of Campo
Formio, which ended what is now called the war of the first coalition. While in
Italy, Napoleon took large amounts of money and art to bring to France. When
Napoleon returned from Italy, it was...