Napoleon Bonaparte, commonly referred to as ‘Napoleon 1’ was born in 1796 and died in 1821. as a French military leader in the early 19th century, he built his empire through conquering much of Europe. Having being born on the island of Corsica, he later joined the military and rose up the ranks during the French revolution. He managed to crown himself emperor in 1804 after he successfully executed a coup d’etat in 1799. He gradually expanded his empire after conquering various European nations. This invasion came to an end when he tried and failed to conquer the Russians in 1912. this failure led to his exile to the island of Elba. He seized power again but after he lost in the battle of Waterloo, he was again exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died at the age of 51. The following are Napoleon Bonaparte facts in his life history.
Napoleon’s Family History and Education
Born in August 15, 1796, in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica, he was the 2nd child to Carlo Bonaparte. He was born after Corsica was acquired by the French from the Italians. He attended his schooling in mainland France where he acquitted himself with French and later joined a military academy from which he graduated in 1785.
Career Development and Power Acquisition
After graduating, he became a 2nd lieutenant in an artillery regiment of the French army. In 1793, he became affiliated with a political group, Jacobins. In 1763-1794, he associated himself with Augustin Robespierre a Jacobin who was known for his attacks against enemies of the French revolution. He was promoted to brigadier general in the army. In July 1794, Napoleon was put under house arrest for his association with the Robespierre brothers. In 1795, he was once again promoted to major general after he helped suppress a royalist insurrection against the revolutionary government in Paris.
In 1796, Napoleon and his army defeated the Austrian army which was one of their primary rivals. He was also entrusted to an England invasion in 1797 though he did not. Instead, he suggested an Egyptian invasion which turned out successful.
Coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire
The French directory was overthrown by an arranged coup where Napoleon was a part of it in 1799. The directory was then replaced by a 3 member consulate in which Napoleon secured first consul position making him France’s leading political figure. In the effort to strengthen his position, he invaded the Austrians and drove them out of Italy in the battle of Marengo and also signed a peace treaty with the British (Treaty of Amiens).
Achievements of Napoleon as the First Consul
- Restored stability to post-revolutionary France.
- He centralized the government.
- Introduced the Napoleonic code that created a base for the French Legal system.
- He instituted reforms in the banking and education sectors.
- Science and the arts were promoted.
- Created a relationship between the regime and the church (Pope).
In 1804, he became the emperor of France at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
Napoleon’s Direct Family
Napoleon married twice. His first marriage was annulled after his wife Josephine de Beauharnais did not have any children for him. He then married Marie Louise, the daughter of the emperor of Austria with whom they had a son, Napoleon Francois Joseph Charles Bonaparte aka Napoleon II. Out of his matrimonial home, he had several illegitimate children.
Napoleon’s Term in Power
After a series of Napoleonic wars, he sold France Louisiana territory to the United States as a way of raising funds for future wars. In October 1805, the British beat Napoleon’s army in the battle of Trafalgar. In December 1805, he secured his position by beating the Russians and Austrians in the battle of Austelitz. He signed a peace treaty with the Russians (treaty of Tilsit).
Napoleon’s Loss of Power
Napoleon attempted to attack Russia after her withdrawal from the continental system but failed. He then tried to invade Moscow in which his attempt also failed. As he withdrew from Moscow, his army was attacked by Russians who were joined by the Portuguese and the Spanish.
In 1813, the Napoleon army was defeated by a coalition between the Austrians, Prussian, Russians and Swedish troops.
Napoleon was then forced to abdicate his throne and thus exiled to Elba through the Treaty of Fontainebleau.
Napoleon later escaped from the island and regained control of the region. This time he attacked the enemies one at a time before they could form another coalition for an attack. Despite his efforts, his troops were crashed by the British and Prussian troops and he was forced to abdicate once again in the year 1815 to the Island of Saint Helena.
While at Saint Helena, in the south Atlantic Ocean, he died at the age of 51 in 1821. The cause of his death was assumed to be stomach cancer. He was buried at the island and later, his remains were returned to France.