Napoleon Bonaparte (b. Aug 15, 1769 Ajaccio, Corsica- d. May 5, 1821 St. Helena Island) French general and emperor (1804-1815) born to parents of Italian ancestry he was educated in France and became an army officer in 1785. He fought in the French revolutionary was and was promoted to brigadier general in 1793. After victories against the austrians in Northern Italy, he negotiated the Treaty of campo Formio (1797). Attempted to conquer Egypt (1798-99) but was defeated by the British under Horatio Nelson in the battle of the Nile.
The coup of 18-19 Brumaire brought him to power in 1799 and he installed a military dictatorship with himself as first consul. He introduced in numerous reforms in government including the napoleonic code and reconstructed the French education system. He negotiated the comcordate of 1801 with the Pope. After victory against the austrians at the battle of moringo (1800), he embarked on the napoleonic wars. The formation of coalitions of European countries against him led Napoleon to declare friends hereditary empire and to crown himself emperor in 1804. He won his greatest military victory at the battle of Austerlitz against Austria and Russia in 1805. He defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt (1806) Russia at the battle of friedland (1807). He then imposed the Treaty of Tilsit on Russia, ending 4th coalition of countries against France.
Despite his loss to Britain at the Battle at the Battle of Trafalgar, he sought to weaken British commerce and established the Continental System of port blockades. He consolidated his European empire until 1810 but became embroiled in the peninsular war (1808-1814) . He led the French army into Austria and defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Wagram (1809), signing the Treaty of Vienna. To enforce the treaty of Tilsit, he led an army of about 6,00,000 into Russia in 1812 winning the battle of Borodino, but was forced to retreat from Moscow with disastrous losses. His army greatly weakened, he was met by a strong coalition of allied powers, who defeated him at the battle of leipzig ( 1813).
Did you know? In 1799, during Napoleon’s military campaign in Egypt, a French soldier named Pierre Francois Bouchard (1772-1832) discovered the Rosetta Stone. This artifact provided the key to cracking the code of Egyptian hieroglyphics, a written language that had been dead for almost 2,000 years.
After Paris was taken by the allied coalition, Napoleon was forced to abdicate in 1814 and was exiled to the island of Elba. 1815 hi mustard a force and returned to France to re-establish himself as emperor for the hundred days, but he was decisively defeated at the battle of Waterloo. He was sent into exile on the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died six years later. One of the most celebrated figures in history, Nepolean revolutionized military organisation and training and the bought about reforms that permanently influenced civil situations in France and throughout Europe.
Napoleonic wars (1799-1815)series of wars that ranged France against shifting alliances of European powers. Originally an attempt to maintain French strength established by the French revolutionary wars they become efforts by Napoleon to affirm his supremacy in the balance of European power. Napoleon’s successes resulted from a strategy of moving his army rapidly, attacking quickly and defeating each of the disconnected enemy units. His enemies responding strategy was to avoid engagement while withdrawing forcing Napoleon’s supply lines to be over extended. The strategy was successfully used against him by the Duke of Wellington in the peninsular war and by Mikhail Prince barclay De Tolly in Russia. With his second abdication the exile, the era of the napoleonic wars ended.