Napoleon I

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 suggested that he invade England. Instead,
he decided to invade British-owned Egypt. After sneaking by the British navy,
Napoleon landed in Egypt, and quickly carried out the occupation. While
Napoleon as inland, the British destroyed the French fleet, leaving Napoleon
stuck in Egypt.

In early 1799, the Ottoman empire declared war on France. To stop the
Ottoman\'s from invading Egypt, Napoleon invaded Syria, but was turned
back by Turkish troops. By mid-1799, the second coalition (formed by the
Ottoman\'s and Austrians) were defeating French forces in Europe, so Napoleon
decided to return to France. When Napoleon arrived in Paris, he began a
conspiracy to overthrow the government. He succeeded, and created a new
government called the consulate, of which Napoleon became the first consul. As
consul, Napoleon made many good changes in France. He created the Napoleonic
code, which set up a complex code of civil law in the nation. He worked with
the Pope to reestablish the Roman Catholic faith in France. He also stabilized
the French economy, balancing the budget, established a national bank, and
restored the value of French bonds. In the mean time, Napoleon defeated Austria
in Marengo, Italy, and signed the treaty of Luneville, ending the war of the
second coalition. He also made peace with Britain with the treaty of Amiens.
For his accomplishments in his first years in office, Napoleon was made consul
for life in late 1802. In this time of peace, Napoleon began to try to gain more
territory, and exert influence on Europe. He started to attempt control in
Holland, Switzerland, and an area called Savoy-Piedmont.

In 1804, a failed assassination attempt on