Napoleon: The War Hero

Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica, and was given the

name Napoleone Buonaperte. He was the second of eight children of Carlo and

Letizia Buonaperte, both of the Corsican-Italian gentry. Before Napoleone, no

Buonaparte had ever been a professional soldier. His father Carlo, was a lawyer

who had fought for Corsican independence, but after the French occupied the island

in 1768, he served as a prosecutor and a judge and entered the French aristocracy

as a count. Through his father\'s influence, Napoleone was educated at the expense

of King Louis XVI, at Brienne and the Ecole Militaire, in Paris. Napoleone

graduated in 1785, at the age of 16, and joined the artillery as a second lieutenant.

After the revolution began in France, he became a lieutenant colonel (1791) in the

Corsican National Guard. However, when Corsica declared independence in 1793,

Buonaperte, a Republican, and a French patriot, fled to France with his family. He

was assigned, as captain, to an army besieging Toulon, a naval base that was aided

by a British fleet, while in revolt against the republic. It was here that Napoleone

Buonaperte officially changed his name to Napoleon Bonaparte, feeling that it

looked "more French". It was here too that Napoleon replaced a wounded artillery

general, and seized ground where his guns could drive the British fleet from the

harbor, and Toulon fell. As a result of his accomplishments, Bonapatre was

promoted to brigadier general at the age of 24. In 1795, he saved the revolutionary

government by dispersing an insurgent mob in Paris. Then in 1796 he married

Josephine de Beauharnais, the mother of two children and the widow of an

aristocrat guillotined in the Revolution. Early in his life Napoleon was showing

signs of militaristic geniuses and knowledge for formidable strategy. It was

through the application of his skills, and a revolutionary style of spontaneous

fighting styles than gave Napoleon the opportunities, which he jumped at, making

his the great military leader he is known as today.

Latter in1796, Napoleon became commander of the French army in Italy. He

defeated four Austrian generals in succession, each at impossible odds, and forced

Austria and it\'s allies to make peace. The Treaty of Campo Formio provided that

France keep most of its conquests. In northern Italy he founded the Cisalpine

Republic, and straightened his position in France by sending millions of francs

worth of treasure to the government. In 1798, to strike at British trade with the

East, he led an expedition to Turkish-ruled Egypt, which he conquered. His fleet,

however, was destroyed by the British admiral Horatio Nelson, leaving him

stranded. Undaunted, he reformed the Egyptian government and law, abolishing

serfdom and feudalism and guaranteeing basic rights. The French scholars he had

brought with him began the scientific study of ancient Egyptian history. In 1799 he

failed to capture Syria, but won a smashing victory over the Turks at Abu Qir.

France, meanwhile, faced a new threat, the coalition of Austria, Russia, and the

lesser powers allied with Britain. Bonaparte, being no modest soul, decided to

leave his army and return to save France. In Paris, he joined a conspiracy against

the government. In the coup d\'etat of November 9th -10th , 1799, he and his

colleagues seized power and established a new regime-the Consulate. Under its

construction, Bonaparte, as his first consul, had almost dictatorial powers. The

constitution was revised in 1802 to make Napoleon consul for life and in 1804, it

made him emperor. Each of these changes received overwhelming assent of the

electorate. In 1800, he assured his power by crossing the Alps and defeating the

Austrians at Marengo. He also concluded an agreement with the pope, which

contributed to French domestic tranquillity and ended the quarrel with the Roman

Catholic church that had arisen during the Revolution. In France, the

administration was reorganized, the court system was simplified, and all schools

were put under centralized control. French law was standardized in the Code

Napoleon, (the civil code) and six other codes. They all guaranteed the rights and

liberties won in the Revolution, which included equality before the law and

freedom of religion.

Considering Napoleon, being the greatest general of his time, with the

intentions of France in