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Napoleon Bonaparte

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Essay title: Napoleon Bonaparte

Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

Few individuals have come along that have totally captured the imaginations of their

historians. Perhaps the most known of these characters is Napoleon Bonaparte. The part of his

life often found most interesting was his modest beginnings. Here, like some Hollywood movie

is the tale of an exceptional man whose intelligence and rise from the bottom is eventually

defeated by his flaws, which cause him to fall from power.

He was born in Corsica just off the coast of Italy. France had annexed Corsica in 1768,

officially making him a French citizen. His parents, although from an aristocratic family and

considered nobility, were anything but wealthy. His father's small income was not enough to

fulfill his dreams of sending Napoleon to France to attend military school. He wrote a letter to

the king, Louis XVI, for a scholarship for Napoleon. The king had set up a fund to pay for

Napoleon's attendance of military school. Upon arrival in France young Napoleon had to first

overcome the obstacle of learning to speak French, since it was the only language spoken in the

military schools. To do this he would first have to attend a school in Autun before going to

military school.

When he finally arrived in Brienne to attend his military school, he soon discovered that

his defeat of his hardship was spoiled by the criticism he received because of his Corsican

upbringing and accent. But nothing could break Napoleon's strong will and determination.

Instead of giving up, he persevered and gave up socializing to put forth whatever effort he could

into his studies. His desire for conquest and omens of his great future often surfaced at school. In

the winter he eagerly applied his military science knowledge into skillfully executed snowball

fights with his "squadron" always being the victors. He also spent hours studying the conquests

of rulers such as Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. This severe study, however, did not

make him a brilliant student except in math where he had a natural talent. At age 15, Napoleon

graduated from Brienne and was accepted into the prestigious military college in Paris, receiving

an all-expenses paid scholarship. While at military college, he learned of his father's death from

stomach cancer. His father's final startling words were a revelation that would predict Napoleon's

future: "Where is Napoleon, my son Napoleon, whose sword will make Kings tremble and who

will change the face of the world?" Napoleon finished military academy two years ahead of

schedule to help out his poor mother and graduated as a lieutenant. He made his way through the

ranks of general, military commander, major general and finally at the age of 26 he was made

commander-in-chief and was given full command over all soldiers garrisoned in France.

Napoleon reorganized the entire Army and prepared them for invasion at any moment. Although

committed, Napoleon was anything but heartless. He gave high posts in the army to his friends

and family, and promoted soldiers he had fought with before to higher ranks. Napoleon even

found the time to marry a young woman named Josephine de Beauharnais. Napoleon's lust for

conquest ensured that he didn't settle down. His ambitions were always growing greater.

In 1799 France's governing body, The Directory grew weak and unsteady. The Austrians

recaptured Italy and were among several nations threatening to invade France. If this wasn't


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