Napoleon Bonaparte

Article

October 17, 2021

Napoleon Bonaparte, as Emperor Napoleon I (French Napoléon Bonaparte or Napoléon Ier; * August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio on Corsica as Napoleone Buonaparte; † May 5, 1821 in Longwood House on St. Helena in the South Atlantic), was a French general , revolutionary dictator and emperor of the French. Coming from a Corsican family, Bonaparte rose in the army during the French Revolution. He proved to be a military talent of the first order. Especially the campaigns in Italy and Egypt made him popular. This enabled him to take power in France through the coup d'état of 18th Brumaire VIII (November 9, 1799), initially as one of three consuls. From 1799 to 1804 as First Consul of the French Republic and then until 1814 and again in 1815 as Emperor of the French, he headed a dictatorial regime with plebiscite elements. He was the second husband of Joséphine de Beauharnais. After the divorce, Napoleon became the husband of the Habsburg princess Marie-Louise of Austria. Through various reforms - such as that of the judiciary through the Civil Code or that of the administration - Napoleon shaped the state structures in France up to the present day and initiated the creation of modern civil law in occupied European states. In terms of foreign policy, supported by the army, he temporarily gained control over large parts of continental Europe. From 1805 he was also King of Italy and from 1806 to 1813 protector of the Rhine Confederation and appointed family members and confidants as monarchs in several other states. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire initiated by him in 1806, the state structure of Central Europe became a central issue in the 19th century. In the beginning he himself had spread the idea of ​​the nation state outside of France, but the success of this idea made it difficult to maintain the Napoleonic order in Europe, especially in Spain, Germany and finally also in Russia. The catastrophic outcome of the campaign against Russia from 1812 onwards shook his rule over large parts of Europe, led to the wars of liberation and ultimately to the overthrow of Napoleon. After a brief period of exile on Elba, he returned to power for a hundred days in 1815. In the battle of Waterloo he was finally defeated and banished to the island of St. Helena until the end of his life.

Origin and childhood

Napoleon was born as Napoleone Buonaparte (Corsican Nabulione) in the Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica, which was sold to France in 1768 after a long war of independence against the Republic of Genoa. He was the second son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, who had 13 children together, but only eight of them survived early childhood years. On July 21, 1771, Napoleon was baptized in the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption cathedral. The family belonged to the Corsican aristocracy and had been on the island since the early 16th century. Their roots are in the Italian Tuscany. Napoleon's grandfather was the Corsican politician Giuseppe Maria Buonaparte; his father Carlo was the secretary of Pascal Paoli, a Corsican revolutionary and resistance fighter, and had fought with him for the independence of Corsica. After initial success, the insurgents were defeated at the Battle of Pontenuovo and Paoli went into exile in Great Britain. The complaints about the lost freedom and the victims were among the first formative influences of Napoleon's childhood, and Paoli remained his idol and role model until the 1790s. As a lawyer, Napoleon's father had worked on a Corsican constitution, but in 1769 he quickly bowed to French suzerainty. From then on he worked as a lawyer and rich

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