(1769-1821) was born on the island of Corsica, the son of
the assessor to the royal tribunal. Granted free military
education in France, he studied French at Autun before
entering the military schools at Brienne (1779) and Paris
(1784). In 1785 he was commissioned second lieutenant of
artillery and was garrisoned at Valence. At Auxonne he
saw the beginnings of the French Revolution, but more
concerned with Corsica than France, he went home on leave
to organize a revolution of his own. Eventually given
command of the artillery at the siege of Toulon (1793) he
was promoted general of the brigade.
On Robespierre's fall, Napoleon was
arrested for conspiracy because of his friendship with
the younger Robespierre but the charges were dropped and
he was released. In 1795 he helped defeat Parisian
counter-revolutionaries and the following year he was
appointed commander of the Army of Italy. Two days before
his departure for Italy he married Jos�phine, widow of a
guillotined general. When Napoleon's position in Italy
was secured he advanced on Vienna. In 1797, Austria
signed the Treaty of Campo Formio by which France
obtained Belgium, the Ionian Islands and Lombardy. The
Directory (1795-99), fearing Napoleon's power and
ambition, hoped to keep him away from Paris by giving him
command of the Army of England. Realizing the folly of
attacking England, Napoleon set out an an expedition to
Egypt in the hope of damaging British trade with India.
Ultimately, the French fleet was destroyed on August 1,
1798 by Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. Suffering a
series of setbacks, Napoleon secretly left Egypt for
France on August 22, 1799.
In 1799, members of the Directory
conspired with Napoleon to take over the French
government by means of a coup d'�tat (this
event is known as the 18th Brumaire, November 9, 1799).
It was successful, and Napoleon quickly asserted his
superior intelligence and will over others. By 1802 he
had full power (elected first consul for life), and by
1804, he proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon I.
The period of European history from 1799
to 1815 is generally known as the Napoleonic Age.
Napoleon gained power not only in France, but directly
and indirectly throughout much of continental Europe.
Within France he crushed threats from both radicals and
royalists who wanted to extend or reverse the gains of
the French Revolution. Through administrative reforms,
codification of laws, and settlement with the Church, he
institutionalized some of the changes brought about by
the revolution and took the heart out of others. Backed
by the ideological force of the revolution and strong
nationalism, Napoleon's armies extended French rule,
institutions and influence throughout Europe. In 1814
Napoleon's forces, weakened by a disastrous Russian
campaign, were defeated by a coalition of European
powers. After Napoleon's defeat, the major powers,
meeting at Vienna, attempted to establish a new stability
that would minimize the revolutionary and Napoleonic
Napoleon and the French Revolution (Florida State)
Napoleon Bonaparte Internet Guide
The Napoleonic Guide
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|Chandler, David G. The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York: Scribner, 1966.
|________. Napoleon. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1973.
|________. The Illustrated Napoleon. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1973.
|________. Dictionary of Napoleonic Wars. London: Greenhill Books, 1979.
|________. Waterloo: The Hundred Days. London: Osprey Publishing, 1980.
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|Cornwell, Bernard. Waterloo. New York: Penguin, 1991.
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|Foreman, Laura. Napoleon's Lost Fleet. New York: Random House, 1999.
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B. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
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New York: Houghton Mifflin, Company, 1910.
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|Mansel, Philip. The Eagle in
Splendour: Napoleon I and His Court. London: Philip Mansel, 1987.
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|Maurois, Andre. Napoleon: A Pictorial Biography. London: Thames and Hudson, 1963.
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|________. Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
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|Thorton, Michael John. Napoleon After Waterloo. California: Stanford University Press, 1968.
|Woloch, Isser. The New Regime: The Transformation of the French Civic Order 1789-1820. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1994.
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