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              Napoléon Bonaparte 1769 - 1795 
  Table of Contents 
Napoléon I 1769 - 1795
Napoléon's Early Life
Napoléon's Family
Napoléon's Education
The French Revolution, 1789 - 1799
Robespierre and the Reign of Terror
Napoléon Distinguishes Himself

Napoléon I, 1795 - 1804
Napoléon and the Directory
Napoléon and Josephine
Napoléon's Italian Campaigns
The Treaty of Campo Formio
Napoléon's Egyptian Campaign
Napoléon Establishes the Consulate
Napoléon and Civil Administration
The Code Napoléon
Napoléon and the Church
The Treaty of Amiens and Peace
The Sale of Louisiana

éon I, 1804 - 1814
Napoléon and the First Empire

      The Battle of Trafalgar
The Arc de Triomphe
The Continental System
        Map of French Empire
The Beginning of the End
The Peninsular War
The Dismissal of Talleyrand
Napoléon Divorces Josephine
Napoléon Marries Marie Louise
Napoléon II is Born
The Russian Campaign
The Battle of Borodine
Napoléon in Moscow 
The Retreat from Moscow
Prussia Declares War
The Battle of Nations [Leipzig]

Napoléon I, 1814 - 1821
Emperor Napoléon I Abdicates
The Return to France - The  
       Hundred Days
Saint Helena
Napoléon's Place in History

Napoléon's Early Life
Napoléon Bonaparte was born a Frenchitizen only by a quirk of fate.  The year before his birth, the island of Corsica had been purchased by France, from the Republic of Genoa.

Napoléon's Family
Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, Corsica on August 15, 1769, the second son of  Carlo [1746-1785] and Laetitia Bonaparte [1750-1836].  His father was an Italian-born attorney who practiced law in Corsica where he met Napoléon’s mother.  Eventually, the couple had a total of 8 children:  Joseph [1768-1844], Napoléon, christened ‘Napoléone Buonaparte’ [1769-1821], Lucien [1775-1840], Elisa [1777-1820], Louis [1778-1846], Pauline [1780-1825], Caroline [1782-1839] and Jerôme [1784-1860].

On December 15, 1778, Carlos Bonaparte was named as the Corsican representative to the court of Louis XVI where he remained for a number of years. 
  Picture of Napoleon I  

Napoléon's Education
On May 15, 1779, Napoléon entered a French military school at Brienne-le-Château, a small town near Troyes, where he became an average student in all subjects except mathematics in which he excelled.  In 1784 his father was influential in having him selected for the elite military academy, the École Militaire in Paris.  On October 17, 1784 he left for Paris.   

On October 28 of the next year, Napoléon graduated from the École Militaire and received his commission, as a second lieutenant of artillery, in January of 1785, at the age of 16.  He then attended the royal artillery school at Auxonne near Dole.   

The French Revolution, 1789 - 1799

The French Revolution began on July 14 1789, with the mob storming the Bastille and lasted until 1799. 

In 1791, Napoléon was promoted to first lieutenant and was posted to the 4th artillery regiment, garrisoned at Valence where he joined the Jacobin club which initially favored a constitutional monarchy.  He soon became the club’s presedent and was known for his speeches against bishops, monks and nobles.  He subsequently spent many months in Corsica on leave from the French army.  During this time, he served in the Corsican National Guard where he was appointed a colonel.  In 1792 he became a captain.   

The French Revolution had been raging for three years.  It reached its climax on August 10, 1792 with the overthrow of the monarchy and the Seige of the Tuileries.  Louis XVI was taken into custody there and was imprisoned. 

On January 21, 1793, during the Reign of Terror, Louis XVI was guillotined by the revolutionary French government.  Subsequently, the leader for Corsican independence, Pasquale Paoli, declared the Bonaparte family to be outlaws because of Napoléon’s Jacobin membership and pro-French attitude.  On June 11, 1793, the Bonaparte family was forced to flee from Corsica to France.  Napoléon then returned to the French army. 

Robespierre and the Reign of Terror
In June, 1793, a group of Jacobins, led by Maximilien Robespierre, gained control of the French government and intensified the Reign of Terror.   

A number of French cities revolted against Robespierre.  The insurgents, at Toulon, were aided by the Anglo-Spanish fleet which they invited to take over the town and port.  Their, they seized 70 French ships, which constituted half of the French navy.  Reinforcements were brought up by both sides. 

Napoléon Distinguishes Himself
During the fighting for the port, the French artillery commander at Toulon had been wounded.  Napoléon, who was now stationed at Nice with his regiment, was sent to replace him.  In December of 1793, he positioned his battery of 46 canons on high ground overlooking the harbor where he could fire down at the British fleet.  After the fleet withdrew, French troops took control of the city and Napoléon was named brigadier general for his part in the victory.  Napoléon was only 24 years old. 

Robespierre, Napoléon’s early mentor, fell from power on July 27, 1794.  Napoléon was arrested, on a charge of conspiracy and treason.  He was freed, in September, but remained out of favor and his command was not restored.  Robespierre was later Executed, and the Reign of Terror was ended. 

On April 21, 1795, Napoléon became engaged to Desirée Clary, the daughter of a rich Marseille businessman.  She was also the sister of his older brother Joseph’s wife.  [In 1798 Desirée married Jean-Baptiste-Jules Bernadotte when he returned to Paris from Vienna.  Bernadotte, a celebrated marshal of France and long time associate of Napoléon, was chosen king of Sweden in 1818]. 

                           Napoléon I Continued >>>


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