Today I’ll be talking about Napoleon Bonaparte for my history essay. Napoleon was known as one of the best generals in history and the best France can ever have. He was the general of the French army during the French Revolution.
Napoleon was born on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica in 1769. He studied military tactics when he was growing up, then when he was 15, his father signed him in the French Military School. He sped through it quickly, only the following year he graduated with a rank of second lieutenant in the artillery.
When he returned home, he and his family had to leave due to the revolution. Then in 1793, he received a promotion and became brigadier general. After the Reign of Terror, he was imprisoned, he was suspected of being a supporter of the Jacobins, only 11 days later he was released since no evidence was found.
Napoleon was then promoted as General of the Army of the West under the Directory, who were a group of 5 people who were governing France. Only the following year, he commanded the French Army in Italy.
During 1796-1799, he had this string of very successful victories which expanded France a lot, and made him pretty popular.
In 1799, Napoleon decided to go back to France, since he heard there were struggles in France, after a successful conquer in Egypt. The Directory wasn’t very popular with the people, so when Napoleon returned, he pushed the Directory to resign. Since the army backed him up, the Directory eventually resigned and Napoleon was assigned as the First Consul of France.
So Napoleon became Emperor of France. Even as Emperor, he went to war or started one, and won some. He conquered most of Europe and forced alliances with nearby countries.
In 1812, he decided to take over Russia, when he arrived at Moscow, he burned the city, but it was already deserted, the people moved out waiting for Napoleon to leave. When a harsh winter came, Napoleon retreated back to France but a number of his men died of the cold weather.
Napoleon only had a few major losses, but had over 40 victories, although the Battle of Waterloo is best remembered of him, which I will talk about later. Napoleon was having trouble with financial difficulties, since he was paying for all those wars he was having. He resolved this by selling the Louisiana Purchase Territory to America.
Although the people didn’t like the wars Napoleon was having often, and didn’t really want Napoleon’s stubborn personality as the ruler of the government. So in 1814, the Senate announced that the Empire was over. So Napoleon was forced resign and Louis XVIII became King.
Napoleon was then banished to the island of Elba, and his son and wife went to Vienna. Although, he wasn’t happy, when most of the soldiers who were guarding him, went to a meeting, he simply just recruited the ones who didn’t and escaped Elba to France in 1815. He was actually accepted by the citizens and quickly regained France.
Napoleon summoned the army for a battle, known as the Hundred Days Campaign. The French Army was fighting against the British and Prussian under the General of Wellington. They had a couple of battles, but it ended with the defeat of the Battle of Waterloo.
He was forced to resign, and died in exile on the Island of St. Helena in 1821. The countries he conquered were given back to the previous owners, and France began making peace treaties. Napoleon was remembered as a great general, although his continuous wars eventually led to his downfall later on.