The Mistakes of the Brilliant General, Napoleon Bonaparte Essays

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The assumption held by many that Napoleon Bonaparte was a brilliant general and an exceptional leader is debatable when the Frenchman’s many mistakes are revealed. Bonaparte was born to a wealthy family with previous political connections (Wilde 1). He entered a military academy at only nine years old and entered the French Army Artillery Regiment seven years later (Wilde 1). As Bonaparte moved up in the military ranks, he made himself known with his political opinions and his successful leadership of the revolutionaries’ armed forces (Wilde 1). As he became more famous, Bonaparte threw open the gates to his path to power. Thus began the era of Napoleon, a time of absolute power, vast reform, and relentless military invasions led by a…show more content…
His plan backfired, and the French were pinned down in Egypt by the powerful British admiral Horiato Nelson, which led to Napoleon crawling back to France licking his wounds (McDougal, 584). Due to the public’s ignorance towards this defeat, Napoleon’s public image vastly improved, and his gain in power started to lead to totalitarianism. When the Directory began to lose political popularity with the common folk, Napoleon led an overthrow of the government (McDougal, 584). The aftermath of the coup seemed to be flawless; peace had come to Europe for the first time in ten years, and Napoleon, the most powerful public figure in France, could now focus on re-strengthening France (McDougal, 585). However, the countries of Britain, Austria, and Russia were forming the Second Coalition, an alliance with the intent to stop Napoleon, behind the scenes of France’s post-victory glory (McDougal, 585). Napoleon soon held a plebiscite, or a vote by the people, which made himself emperor and bestowed total power upon him (McDougal, 585).
As the years passed, Napoleon made many fatal military mistakes that led to the collapse of his empire and the defiling of the French Revolution’s legacy. These mistakes were terminal in three main campaigns, the Battle of Trafalgar, the Peninsular War, and the invasion attempt on Russia (Wilde, 2). The battle of Trafalgar was Napoleon’s attempt to invade Britain (McDougal, 587). Napoleon’s specialty was land

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