Early Life<br />Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769 in <br />Corsica.<br />He was the son of a lawyer whose family<br /> came from Florentine nobility.<br />Napoleon received a royal scholarship<br />and studied in French military schools, <br />which led him to become a lieutenant in the French army in 1785. <br />He was not like by his officers because he was short, had an Italian accent, and had little money.<br />For the next 7 years, he educated himself in military matters by studying about campaigns of great military leaders of the past. <br />
Military Success<br />Napoleon became a captain in 1792.<br />By 1794, at the age of 24, he was made a brigadier general by the Committee of Public Safety.<br />Two years later, he became commander of the French armies in Italy and eventually won firm support from his men with his intelligence and abilities.<br />In 1797, Napoleon returned to France as a conquering hero and invaded Egypt with an army in training. Facing certain defeat, he abandoned his army and returned to Paris.<br />
Consul and the Emperor<br />Napoleon , at 30 years, took a part in the coup d'état of 1799 that overthrew the Directory. A new government called the consulate emerged with Napoleon as the consul and holding absolute power.<br />He appointed members of the bureaucracy, controlled the army conducted foreign affairs, and influenced the legislature.<br />In 1802, Napoleon was made consul for life. Two years later he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I. <br />
Peace with the Church<br />Napoleon established peace with the Catholic Church to restore France’s stability.<br />He reached an agreement with the pope in 1801. <br />The agreement made Catholicism as the religion of a majority of the French people. In return, the pope did not ask for the returns of the church’s lands seized during the revolution. <br />
Codification of the Laws<br />Napoleon’s most famous domestic<br /> achievement was his codification of<br /> laws. <br />He made seven codes of laws and <br />the most important of them was called <br />the Civil Code or Napoleonic Code. <br />The code preserved many of the gains of the revolution such as the equality of citizens before the law. However, the code strictly curtailed some people like women. <br />It made women “less equal than men.”<br />
A New Bureaucracy<br />Napoleon worked hard to develop a bureaucracy of capable officials. Promotion, whether in military or civil offices, was based on ability only. <br />Napoleon also created a new aristocracy based on merit in the state service. He created 3,263 nobles between 1808 and 1814.<br />
Preserver of the Revolution?<br />Although Napoleon did preserve some aspects of the revolution and once said “ I am the revolution,” he did destroy some revolutionary ideas.<br />For example, liberty was replaced by despotism that continued to grow, in spite of the protestants such as Anne-Louise-Germaine de Stael. <br />Napoleon shut down 60 of France’s 73 newspapers, and had all manuscripts and letters checked by the government.<br />
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