Biography of Napoleon Bonaparte: soldier, emperor and son of the Revolution

Biography of Napoleon Bonaparte: soldier, emperor and son of the Revolution

Napoleon bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio (Corsica) within a family of notable Corsicans. History would end up knowing him by the French name and would forget that he was originally called Napoleone di Buonaparte. He completed his military studies in France and linked his military career to the French Revolution, which earned him the nickname "Son of the Revolution”. He managed to appropriate the military knowledge of the time, as well as that of the past, and make them converge in what would be his ideology.

When the riots in France in 1789, Napoleon He was an artillery lieutenant and participated in the political struggles of Corsica. He led the artillery in the reconquest of Toulón, which lasted from September to December of the year 1793. However, the Robespierre fall in July 1794 he returned to anonymity, causing him to be taken prisoner for some time and degraded.

But on October 5, 1795, he was summoned by Paul Barras to repress the monarchical and counter-revolutionary uprising that had arisen in Paris as a protest against the excesses of the revolution. Thus, with an improvised army, he defended the Convention at the Palace of Tuillerías. With this triumph, Napoleon managed to make himself known and gained much fame among the leaders of the new Directory.

A short time later, on March 9, 1796, Napoleon he married Josefina de Beauharnais. This would remain until 1810, when he married Maria Luisa of Austria, who in 1811 gave birth to a son, the King of Rome, Napoleon II.

That same month of March 1796, he received the mandate of the French army in Italy. There he carried out several vital campaigns for France, such as the expulsion of the Austrian troops and the defeat of the papal troops. Through the peace treaties, he shaped Italy to his liking. He dissolved the Venetian state and created the Cisalpine Republic, future kingdom of Italy. These missions revealed Napoleon as a great strategist and genius statesman, for which he was awarded the rank of General.

However, Napoleon's victories were not greeted with such joy by the Directory. Seeing what he did in Italy, they were afraid of possible reprisals within France and drove him away, entrusting him with a mission in Egypt (1798-1799). This task once again demonstrated the talent of the young military man. Organized Egypt, defeated the Turks in Syria and returned to France, which was in its most unstable period, in October 1799.

Once back, the moderates, including one of the Directors named Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, entrusted him with the mission of unseating the Board of Directors to restore order in the Republic that it was bankrupt and harassed by foreign nations. Thus, Napoleon's troops dissolved all the councils and Sieyès, Ducos and the general himself remained as provisional consuls. Before Sieyès could rise to power, Napoleon drew up the Year VIII Constitution, proclaiming himself First Consul of the Republic.

The winter of 1800 was enough for the newly appointed First Consul to organize the justice, administration and economy of France. Furthermore, he turned against Austria who, while in Egypt, had called the Second Coalition to overthrow the French Republic. He defeated them and imposed the Peace of Lunéville on February 9, 1801. Something similar happened with the British, who laid down their arms in the Peace of Amiens on March 25, 1802.

Napoleon's power increased with the Constitution of Year X, which named him First Consul for life. In 1803 he held the positions of Consul for Life, President of the Italian Republic, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and reorganizer of Germany. For this reason, in 1804, with all the power conferred on him by his positions, he proclaimed himself Napoleon I, Emperor of Rhodes the French and King of Italy. A new stage began where Napoleon would express in the form of acts all his ideas, both political and military.

The established regime was completely carried away by the mandates of the emperor, who created numerous measures that improved the economy, society and life of France. He consecrated the Great Empire through the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, after the battles at Austerlitz (1805) and Jena (1806), and after defeating the Third and Fourth Coalitions (1805-1807). France was divided into 132 departments and several vassal states, such as the Confederation of the Rhine.

Napoleon took advantage of continental peace existing to deploy a continental bloc over Great Britain, in order for them to be ruined. This led him to make risky decisions, such as imprisoning Pope Pius VII, intervening in Portugal (1807) and in Spain (1808). While trying to settle the conquest of Spain, Austria organized the Fifth Coalition, which it defeated at Wagram in 1809.

Since then, the battles would turn against the French emperor. Entered Russia in 1812 and it reached Moscow. However, the withdrawal was a disaster, due to the cold and the field-burning tactics employed by the Russian army of the Tsar Alexander I. Taking advantage of the situation, Eastern Europe revolted. From October 16 to 19, 1813, the Battle of the Nations took place in Leipzig (Prussia), which Napoleon lost. France was invaded from the south and from the east. The allies entered Paris on March 31, 1814. They made him abdicate in favor of his son and later, in April, he signed the total resignation at Fontainebleau.

After resigning, was exiled to the island of Elba, where he remained between May 1814 and March 1815. But he planned his return to fight against what the Congress of Vienna was setting for the European future. On March 1, 1815, he landed at Antibes and regained power for a hundred days. The French army supported the one who was once, not only the emperor of France, but the general who enlightened them in numerous battles and fought by their side.

During the Hundred daysNapoleon established a more liberal and democratic constitution than the one that existed during the Empire and summoned an army of volunteers and regular soldiers. With all the men he could gather, he marched on Belgium to the well-known battle of waterloo, in which he was defeated on June 18, 1815.

After this last attempt, although the population and the army supported him, the French politicians withdrew their confidence and he abdicated in favor of his son, Napoleon ii. The English captured and imprisoned Napoleon, banishing him on July 15, 1815 to the saint helena island. Finally, on May 5, 1821, the “Son of the Revolution”.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

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