Napoleon Bonaparte

Article

August 19, 2022

Napoleon Bonaparte, often called even just Napoleon par excellence (Ajaccio, August 15, 1769 - Longwood, Isola di Sant'Elena, May 5, 1821), was a French politician and general, founder of the First French Empire and protagonist of the first phase of history contemporary European, called "Napoleonic age". Born in Corsica to a family of the small Italian nobility, he studied in France, where he became an artillery officer and then a general during the French Revolution. Famous thanks to the victories obtained during the first campaign in Italy, after the coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799) he assumed power in France: he was First Consul from November of that year to 18 May 1804, and Emperor of the French, with the name of Napoleon I (Napoléon Ier) from 2 December 1804 to 14 April 1814 and again from 20 March to 22 June 1815. He was also president of the Italian Republic from 1802 to 1805, king of Italy from 1805 to 1814, "Mediator" of the Swiss Confederation from 1803 to 1813 and "protector" of the Rhine Confederation from 1806 to 1813. A great man of war, protagonist of over twenty years of campaigns in Europe, Napoleon was considered the greatest strategist in history by the military historian Basil Liddell Hart, while the historian Evgeny Tàrle does not hesitate to define him as "the incomparable master of art. of war "and" the greatest of the great ". Thanks to his system of alliances and a series of brilliant victories against the European powers, he conquered and ruled a large part of continental Europe, exporting the revolutionary ideals of social renewal and coming to control numerous Kingdoms through people loyal to him (Giuseppe Bonaparte in Spain , Joachim Murat in the Kingdom of Naples, Girolamo Bonaparte in Westphalia, Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte in the Kingdom of Sweden and Luigi Bonaparte in the Kingdom of Holland). His reform of the legal system (merged into the Napoleonic Code) introduced clarity and simplicity of the rules and laid the foundations for modern civil law. The disastrous Russian campaign (1812) marked the end of his dominion over Europe. Defeated in the Battle of Leipzig by the European allies in October 1813, Napoleon abdicated on April 4, 1814 and was exiled to the island of Elba. In March 1815, stealthily abandoned the island, he landed in Golfe Juan, near Antibes, and returned to Paris without encountering opposition, regaining power for the so-called "hundred days" period, until he was definitively defeated by the seventh coalition in the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815. He spent the last years of his life in exile on the island of St. Helena, under the control of the British. After his fall, the Congress of Vienna re-established the old pre-Napoleonic reigns in Europe (Restoration). He was the first ruler of the Bonaparte dynasty. He married Giuseppina di Beauharnais in 1796 and, in second marriage, the Archduchess Maria Luisa of Austria, on 11 March 1810, with whom he had the only legitimate son, Napoleon Francesco, known as the king of Rome (1811-1832) . The figure of him has inspired artists, writers, musicians, politicians, philosophers and historians, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Biography

The birth

Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, just over a year after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1768, with which the Republic of Genoa left a free hand to France on the island, which was thus invaded by the armies of Louis XV and annexed to the king's personal estate. The Bonaparte family belonged to the Corsican petty bourgeoisie and perhaps had distant Genoese noble origins. Italy, to make it more suitable for the French language), a lawyer, graduated from the University of Pisa, had carried out heraldic research to obtain press