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Napoleon Evaluate Napoleon – Was he a success or a failure? Support your thesis with five well-developed examples. Despite his Italian origin and short stature, Napoleon Bonaparte rose to become not only the greatest leader of France but also one of the most innovative and successful military commanders in all history. The emperor was beloved by his military and respected by his citizenry. After his education at Brienne and cole Militarie, Napoleon initiated his military career as an artillery officer. Eight years later he became a brigadier general with the success of the recovering of the port of Toulon from England, thus holding the power to control hundreds of soldiers at the youthful age of 24.

At the Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon demonstrated his overpowering military tactic of “Divide and Conquer.” Through the use this technique, Napoleon was able to overcome the far more massive and far more powerful armies of Russia and Austria. This tactic dictates that the army must separate the enemy into two or more groups but fight as one distinct army. In this way, Napoleon defeated two larger armies causing the enemy to have many more casualties than his own military. Napoleon along with his colleagues overthrew the French government and helped to establish the Consulate where he would be seated as the first consul. The Consulate served to abolish hereditary privilege, which many of the Revolutionaries fought sought. After the abolition of the Consulate and the establishment of the Napoleonic Code Napoleon stated, “without distinction of birth or fortune” would anyone ever receive a political position. Rather, citizens would receive consideration for positions of high office based solely on merit. Also, under the new law, everyone was equal.

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In this way Napoleon was successful; for, the Third Estate was pleased in that their goals for the Revolution and the Cahiers de Dolences were finally redressed. However, Napoleon upset those of noble blood, because, rather than simply inheriting a position, they would now have to compete with hose of lower class in order to assume the office. The soldiers under Napoleon most definitely appreciated the empire and its military conquest. Upon his return from exile on Elba, Napoleon was marked an outlaw by the Congress of Vienna. The Congress and the restored French monarchy ordered that Napoleon be apprehended by the French military; however, Napoleon’s soldiers remained loyal to their former commander.

Instead of seizing the outlaw, the soldiers returned the emperor to his throne, executing Louis XVIII. The loyalty expressed by the soldiers is similar to the situation in which the army under Napoleon was suffering great losses in Russia. Rather than risking the loss of their military commander in their own flight, Napoleon’s elite French guard, on horseback, sacrificed themselves to the oncoming Russian attack to protect their leader in escape. Overall, because Napoleon suffered defeat due to one erroneous decision, to continue through Russia, despite the approaching winter, he is often considered a failure; however, this military genius intercepted France from its downward spiral towards oblivion and restored it to a world power and a military threat. All of these tasks were completed with the loyalty of the military and the respect of the people.

History Essays.


Napoleon World History Term paper Napoleon was one of the most influential people in the history of the world. He has affected people throughout the globe in many ways. He rose through the confusion of the French revolution to become Emperor of the French. His goal was to conquer all of Europe. Through out his lifetime he nearly succeeded in his goal. Napoleon was probably one of the greatest military leaders that ever lived. Napoleon Bonaparte, who is also known as the little Corsican”, was born on August 15,1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica.

He was known as the “little Corsican” because of his height of 5 feet 2 inches. He had 7 brothers and sisters. His original name was Napoleone Buonaparte in Corsica but it became Napoleon Bonaparte in French. His parents were Carlo (Charles) Buonaparte (1746-1785) and Letizia Ramolino Buonaparte (1750-1836). His original nationality was Corsican-Italian.

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He hated the French. He thought they were oppressors of his native land. His father was a lawyer, and was also anti-French. One reason Napoleon may have been such a conqueror was he was raised in a family of radicals. When Napoleon was nine, his father sent him to a French military government school.

He attended Brienne in Paris. While there, the French students teased him. Because of this, Napoleon started having dreams of personal glory and triumph. In 1784 to 1785, Napoleon attended Ecole, Militaire in Paris. That was the place where he received his military training. He studied to be an artillery man and an officer.

He finished his training and joined the French army when he was 16 years old. Napoleon was a National Guard for Corsica until 1793 when Corsica declared independence. Napoleon and his family then fled to France. He was then assigned, as a captain, to an army that was approaching Toulon. Napoleon soon took over France.

After the French monarchy was overthrown on August 10, 1792, Napoleon decided to make his move up in the ranks. After this, Napoleon started becoming a recognized officer. In 1792, Napoleon was prompted to the rank of captain. In 1793, he was chosen to direct the artillery against the siege in Toulon. He seized ground where he could get his guns in range of the British ships. Soon after Toulon fell, Napoleon was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.

In 1795, he saved the revolutionary government by controlling a group of rioting citizens by using a famous technique of his. He loaded a bunch of pellets into a cannon and fired it at the crowd. Napoleon was made commander of the French army in Italy. He defeated four Austrian generals in succession, and each army he fought got bigger and bigger. This forced Austria and its allies to make peace with France.

But after this, Napoleon was relieved of his command. He was poor and was suspected of treason. Napoleon had no friends. No one would have suspected what Napoleon would do next. In 1796, Napoleon was appointed to put down a revolt in Paris. He calmly took complete control of the situation.

He had his men shoot all the rebels in the streets. The French government was saved, but they decided to form a new government called the Directory. Under the new government, Napoleon was made commander of the French army in Italy. During this campaign, the French realized how smart Napoleon was. He developed a tactic that worked very efficiently. He would cut the enemy’s army in to two parts, then throw all his force on one side before the other side could rejoin them.

This method was extremely effective against the Sardinian troops, because he defeated them five times in 11 days. This made the King of Sardinia to try to make peace with France. Napoleon could not be stopped. He was a fast thinker who moved his troops extremely fast. Soon, instead of taking the defensive position, Napoleon started taking the offensive position and thus, he started his conquest of Europe. He started his attack on Austria. It was his first big campaign.

During one attack, he showed his bravery by forcing his way across a burning bridge. After that his troops gave him the name Petit Caporal or in English Little Corporal. He then attacked the Austrians in Mantua. Austria sent troops there four times, and every time Napoleon crushed them. In 1797, he came within 80 miles of Vienna when Austria surrendered.

Napoleon had won 14 pitched battles and 70 combats. He had made the rich lands he conquered feed and pay the French soldiers. Plus millions of francs were sent to France. This helped France’s poor economy tremendously. Napoleon negotiated a treaty called Campo Formio with Austria. Austria gave up Netherlands and Lombardy to France.

Austria also recognized the Rhine as the eastern boundary of France. In return, France gave Austria most of the old Venetian Republic. When Napoleon returned to Paris, he received a huge welcome. He then began thinking of pursuing political power and military power. He wanted to become the next Alexander the Great, so he asked the Directory if he could take a large army to Egypt.

That way he could conquer an empire that included Egypt, India, and other middle and Far East places. Napoleon came up with a neat idea to accomplish this. If he conquered Egypt, he could attack the English’s route to India. He won the battle of the Pyramids in July 1798. But his fleet was destroyed at the Battle of the Nile in Aboukir Bay.

So, Napoleon decided to invade Syria. The English and Turkish troops in Syria had held up against Napoleon. Napoleon then retreated to Egypt. Then later in July 1799, he defeated 10,000 Turks at Aboukir. He returned to France shortly after.

Napoleon returned to find the Directory a mess. He, in his selfish way, saw this as the perfect time for self-advancement. Napoleon worked with Emmanuel Sieyes to overthrow the Directory, succeeding on 9 November 1799. Napoleon set up a government called the Consulate. He was the first of three consuls. About three years later the grateful French nation voted to make him Consul for life. Everyone in France loved Napoleon at that time. Then he started increasing his power.

Napoleon became known as Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, instead of General Bonaparte. He had complete political and military power in France. But alas, he still hadn’t built up his great Eastern Empire. He wanted to recreate the empire Charlemagne was ruler of many years ago. The Austrians had been defeated at Marenegro. The German states and England were tired of fighting so they signed a peace treaty of Aimens in 1802.

This was the first time since 1792 that France was at peace with the whole world. During the next 14 months of peace, Napoleon changed Europe greatly. He became president of the Italian Republic and reshaped Switzerland with France. He annexed Piedmont, Parma, and the island of Elba to France. Napoleon also reshaped a lot of France.

He re-established the University of France, reformed the education system, and founded the Bank of France and the Legion of Honor. He also codified the Napoleonic Code: The first clear, compact statement of the French law. The Napoleonic Code has served as a base for legal systems around the world! Napoleon’s most lasting effect on France and much of the world was the set of civil laws that he instituted that still bears his name to this day. This code was so impressive that by 1960 over 70 different states either modeled their own laws after them or adopted them verbatim. The Code of Napoleon took the over 14,000 decrees that had been passed under the Revolutionary Government and simplified them into one unified set of laws.

In 1803, war broke out again, this time between France and England. Russia, Austria and Sweden allied with Britain forming The Third Coalition against the French. Napoleon didn’t have any trouble with this. He defeated Austria and Russia at Austerlitz on December 2, 1805. He crushed the Prussians at Pena and defeated more Russians at Friedland.

He then created a peace treaty called the Peace of Tilsit that brought all of Europe to his feet. Napoleon had planned to invade England whom he called a nation of shopkeepers but the right moment never showed up. In preparation for that war, he sold Louisiana to the United States for $15 million dollars to raise funds for his wars. England’s navy, under the capable hands of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, crushed Napoleon’s sea power together wit the Spanish fleet at Trafalgar Cape on October 21, 1805. With his defeat at Trafalgar, Napoleon went back to the dra …


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