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Who was Napoleon Essay

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Napoleon was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on 15 August 1769, the second of Carlo and Letizia Bonaparte's eight children. In 1778, Napoleon began his education at Autun and later attended school in Brienne, excelling in mathematics and science. Following a year's study at the Ecole Militaire in Paris, he was commissioned in the artillery in 1785. The year 1789 saw the outbreak of the French revolution, which created an atmosphere of opportunity that would not have existed under the Bourbons, and Napoleon was to make the most of it.

The first opportunity came in 1793, when Bonaparte was promoted to brigadier general for the decisive part he played in the siege of Toulon, which ousted the British from mainland France. After the coup de
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He signed a Concordat with the Pope in 1801 which restored religion to France, but his greatest achievement was the Civil Code which in part is still used today. His growing popularity resulted in his being proclaimed Emperor in 1804. At the coronation, Napoleon crowned himself, taking the crown from the Pope in a symbolic manner to show that power stemmed from the state and not the church as with previous monarchs.

It was an uneasy peace however, and plans were made to invade Britain by crossing the English Channel, but these were abandoned when Napoleon marched his highly trained Grand Armée into central Europe to meet the converging forces of Austria and Russia. Capturing a large part of the Austrian army at Ulm, Napoleon crossed the Danube to face the remaining Austrians and the Russians at Austerlitz. The result was a decisive victory known as the 'Battle Of Three Emperors' on 2 December 1805. Austria sued for peace, but a new coalition was formed of Britain, Russia and Prussia. Napoleon defeated the Prussians at Jena in 1806, and the Russians at Friedland in 1807.

Following these victories, Napoleon was at the pinnacle of his career. With a great display of pomp he met the Tsar of Russia at Tilsit and a new Franco/Russian alliance was born. Portions of Prussia were divided into new states, and Napoleon later announced a new policy of economic warfare that was to become known as the Continental System. Its goal was to
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