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Napoleon Bonaparte
Locul naşterii: Ajaccio, Corsica
Locul decesului: Insula Sfânta Elena)
Napoleon Bonaparte (n. 15 august 1769, Ajaccio, Corsica - d. 5 mai 1821, în Insula Sfânta Elena) a fost cel mai important om politic şi
militar după Revoluţia franceză.
Cariera lui a început în rândurile armatei revoluţionare, a înlăturat printr-o lovitură de stat Directoratul fiind apoi ales Prim Consul al
Republicii Franceze, s-a autoproclamat Împăratat al francezilor (1804-1814, 1815), în 1805 rege al Italiei iar în 1806 Protector al
Confederaţiei Rinului.
A abdicat în 1814 la Fontainebleau şi dupa un scurt exil a revenit în 1815 pentru cele 100 de zile de domnie, încheiate cu înfrângerea de
la Waterloo.
Ca militar s-a remarcat în campaniile din Italia, Egipt, Austria, Prusia, Rusia. Printre cele mai răsunătoare victorii ale sale se află cele de
la Arcole, Lodi, Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Wagram şi Eylau.
El a revoluţionat sistemul legal, politic şi economic din Franţa, prin Codul civil şi a pus bazele unei reforme economice.
A fost exhumat la 15 octombrie 1840 şi transferat în Domul Invalizilor din Paris.
În Ţările Române ale acelor vremuri, era cunoscut sub numele de „Bunăparte”.
Viaţa. Date biografice
Copilăria. "Nabulio"
În anul 1768 conducătorii republicii Genova vindeau insula Corsica regelui Franţei, Ludovic al XV-lea. Când primele trupe franceze au
debarcat ca să o ia în primire, corsicanii s-au ridicat la luptă pentru a-şi apăra libertatea. Sub conducerea lui Pasquale Paoli ei au obţinut
iniţial unele succese, dar sosindu-le întăriri, francezii i-au înfrânt pe răsculaţi, în anul următor, într-o bătălie sângeroasă (Ponte-Nuovo, 9
mai 1769). Căpetenia învinşilor s-a refugiat în Anglia şi mulţi dintre locotenenţii acestuia, între care şi tânărul Carlo-Maria Buonaparte, s-
au raliat noilor stapânitori.
În această atmosferă de depresiune generală, după înfrângerea suferită, s-a născut al doilea fiu al lui Carlo-Maria Buonaparte şi a Letiţiei
Buonaparte (născută Ramolino), la 15 august 1769, la Ajaccio, căruia părinţii i-au dat numele, puţin obişnuit, de Napolione. El îşi va
franţuzi cu timpul atât numele cât şi prenumele şi va intra în istorie ca Napoleon Bonaparte. Numele i-a fost în cinstea unchiului său
Napoleone, care murise cu câteva săptămâni inainte în bătălia de la Ponte-Nuovo, iar Napoleon va spune mai târziu Acest nume este
înzestrat cu o virtute virilă, poetică şi răsunătoare. Dar în cursul primilor săi ani va fi numit Nabulio, sau cu pronunţia italiană, Nabulione.
Ai lui, din pricina caracterului certăreţ al copilului, îl vor porecli Rabulione, adică "cel care se amestecă în toate".
Letiţia Buonaparte a născut treisprezece copii în nouăsprezece ani, din care doar opt vor supravieţui, opt copii care îşi vor împărţi într-o zi
tronuri şi regate.
În primul an al domniei lui Ludovic al XVI-lea, Nabulio, în vârstă de cinci ani este dat extern la un pension ţinut de călugăriţe la Ajaccio, o
şcoala mixtă instalată într-o veche clădire a iezuiţilor. Se iniţiază în tainele alfabetului, începe şă silabisească în limba italiană şi învaţă să
numere. Era deosebit de înzestrat pentru socoteli, maicile uluite l-au poreclit "Matematicianul", la educaţia religioasă avea însă note
foarte proaste. Încă de mic Nabulio este fascinat de tot ceea ce înseamnă a fi soldat, printre jucăriile preferate se aflau o tobă şi o sabie
de lemn, mănâncă paine neagră tocmai pentru a se obişnui cu traiul din armată, cel puţin aşa spune legenda.
[modifică] Pregătirea militară
Familia Buonaparte este tot săracă iar Charles (Carlo) tot speră să obţină burse pentru cei doi băieţi, Joseph şi Napoleone.
Pentru a li se acorda această favoare, trebuie să facă dovada de nobleţe. Tatăl viitorului împărat reuşeşte să adune documentele menite
să dovedească ca este de neam nobil şi poate chiar prezenta blazonul familiei: pe câmp roşu două bare şi două stele de azur, totul sub o
coroană de conte. D'Hozier de Sérigny, magistrat însărcinat cu rezolvarea problemelor referitoare la titlurile de nobleţe şi la blazoane în
Franţa, se declară mulţumit, iar cei doi fii mai mari ai nobilului devin bursieri ai regelui. La recomandarea episcopului de Autun şi frate al
guvernatorului insulei Corsica, Alexandre de Marbeuf, prinţul de Montbarrey, ministru de război, îl desemnează pe Napoleone pentru a fi
înscris într-o şcoală militară. A fost aleasă Şcoala de la Brienne, un orăşel din Champagne, la vreo 180 de kilometri de Paris.
Napoleone părăseşte la 15 decembrie 1778 Corsica, însoţit de tatăl său, fratele sau, Joseph, şi abatele Varèse cu directia Autun, oraş
unde se află şcoala lui Joseph, urmând a se îndrepta de acolo la Brienne. Napoleone ajunge in 5 mai 1779 la Scoala militară de la
Brienne, în fiinţată doar cu doi ani în urmă. Tânărul Napoleone, care avea pe atunci doar 9 ani, este plasat in clasa a şaptea. Dorinţa lui
cea mai arzătoare era să înveţe franceza corect, îi displac orele de latină dat se afirmă talentul său la matematică şi citeşte cu nesaţ
toate cărţile din bibliotecă. Se împrieteneşte cu Bourrienne, care va fi mai tărziu secretar al generalului şi prim consulului Bonaparte.
Mareşalul de Ségur, ministru de război, îl insărcinează pe inspectorul Reynaud des Monts să-i primească la Şcoala militară de la Paris pe
"toţi bursierii şcolilor mici care doresc să meargă la artilerie, la geniu sau la marină şi care s-au distins prin inteligenţă, bună purtare şi
cunoştinţele lor de matematici". Elevul-cadet Buonaparte care tocmai a împlinit 15 ani posedă toate calităţile şi este acceptat împreună
cu alţi patru colegi ai săi.
La 21 octombrie 1784, Napoleone descoperă Parisul. Ajuns la Şcoala militara de la Paris, nu se distinge în mod deosebit, bun la
matematici, mediocru la istorie, are note mai mici decât la Brienne. Tânărul cadet doreşte să intre în rândurile marinei. La începutul anului
1785, viitori aspiranţi au fost anunţaţi anul acesta nu va avea loc examen pentru marină, astfel Napoleon alege artileria. La 23 martie
1785, Buonaparte află de moartea tatălui său, survenită cu o lună inainte, la 24 februarie la Montpellier.
În septembrie începe concursul de absolvire, la care participă elevii tuturor şcolilor regale din Franţa. La 28 septembrie se publică
rezultatele: din 137 de candidaţi, 58 sunt admişi locotenenţi-secunzi, din care 4 cadeţi ai Şcolii militare din Paris. Napoleone de
Buonaparte al 42-lea admis devine astfel la vârsta de 16 ani şi cincisprezece zile ofiţer.
În luna următoare este numit, împreună cu prietenul său Alexandre des Mazis, la regimentul de la Fére, cu garnizoana la Valence. Aici îşi
indeplinea în mod conştiincios serviciul, iar în orele libere citea, devora cărţile. Într-o perioadă de 4-5 ani a acumulat enorme cunoştinţe,
din toate domeniile, dar a avut o predilecţie pentru studiile de istorie; toată viaţa avea să fie un cititor pasionat şi ca urmare va deveni unul
dintre cei mai culţi oameni din epoca sa.
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Revoluţia franceză şi Napoleon - Napoleon Bonaparte, locotenent (1792)


Când în 1789 izbucneşte revoluţia franceză, tânărul locotenet era în vârstă de 20 de ani. El era adept înfocat al ideilor înaintate şi valul
revoluţionar avea să-l împingă în primele rânduri ale sprijinitorilor revoluţiei. Răsturnând puterea nobilimii şi a clerului şi proclamând
principiile libertăţii, egalităţii li frăţiei între toate clasele şi păturile sociale, revoluţia franceză exstindea şi consolida bazele unei noi
orânduiri sociale. Monarhii feudali din Europa şi forţele sociale care îi sprijineau, simţindu-şi dominaţia ameninţată, şi-au unit eforturile
pentru înăbuşirea revoluţiei şi restabilirea în Franţa a vechilor rânduieli. Atunci masele de tărani şi orăşeni s-au ridicat la luptă, sub
conducerea burgheziei, ţi însufleţite de idealurile revoluţiei au format, cu piepturile lor, scut de netrecut în faţa agresorilor.
Napoleon consul
În anul 1793 armatele franceze străjuiau la hotarul de nord-est ameninţat de forţe prusiene, la cel de est şi cel de sud ameniţate de
Imperiul habsburgic, în timp ce o mică grupare, comandată de generali nehotărâţi, era plasată în faţa Toulonului ocupat de englezi. Din
rândurile armatei de Toulon s-a detaşat însă figura puţin stranie a unui tânăr ofiţer de artilerie, cu faţa bolnăvicios de măslinie, cu haine
prea largi şi sabia prea lungă pentru trupu-i puţinel, care avea să joace un rol însemnat nu numai la eliberarea acestui important port şi
bază navală la Marea Mediterană, ci şi în istoria Franţei şi în istoria universală. După aventură în Corsica, unde intrase în conflict cu
Pasquale Paoli, care intenţiona să detaşeze insula de Franţa li să o păredea Angliei, tânărul Bonaparte se reîntorsese în Franţa, fusese
înaintat la gradul de căpitan şi printr-o întâmplare norocoasă ajunsese în fruntea artileriei armatei de la Toulon(comandatul titular se
îmbolnăvise).
Energia sa clocotitoare, activitatea neobosită, vastele sale cunoştinţe, acumulate în lecturile nesfârşite, l-au impus tuturor, începând cu
comisarii politici ataşaţi armatei, dintre care unul era Augustin Robespierre, fratele temutului iacobin Maximilien Robespierre.
Zi şi noapte în mijlocul soldaţilor, era iubit şi apreciat de aceştia, care în ziua atacului l-au urmat cu elan şi aplicând cu vigoare planul
întocmit de el au înfrânt trupele engleze, au eliberat oraşul şi au izgonit flota duşmană din zonă. Bătălia de la Toulon, acest succes a
creat o breşă în frontul coaliţiei duşmane şi a adus micului căpitan gradul provizoriu de general; avea atunci vârsta de 24 de ani. Gradul
său provizoriu de general de brigadă este confirmat şi, la 26 decembrie 1793, el este insărcinat să inspecteze litoralul de la Marsilia până
la Nisa.
La 4 ianuarie 1794 îi scrie o scrisoare ministrului în care îi recomandă acestuia să readucă la stare de funcţionare fortul Saint-Nicolas
pentru a fi folosit pentru a domina oraşul Marsilia. La citirea scrisorii Comitetul Salvării Publice ordonă îndată arestarea acestui general,
prea agitat, care vorbea de bombardarea Marsiliei şi aducerea acestuia la închisoarea de la Conciergie, Paris. Totuşi, protejat de
Augustin Robespierre şi de Salicetti va fi doar arestat la domiciliu, sub paza unui jandarm, iar Maximilien Robespierre dispune a fi
eliberat.
La 7 februarie Napoleone este numit comandatul artileriei din armata din Italia, iar la 16 februarie primeşte diploma sa de ofiţer general.
Solda lui se ridica la 15.000 de livre şi şase raţii de hrană. Păstrându-şi, funcţiile de inspector al litoralului, trebuie să îşi ocupe însă postul
la armata de Italia, astfel Buonaparte se instalează la Nisa. De la numirea sa la armata din Italia, Napoleone a lucrat la un plan de
operaţii care "ar deschide Piemontul armatelor republicii". Planul îl entuziasmează pe Roberspierre-junior şi pe colegul său Ricord, şi cei
doi îl impun generalului comandant al armatei din Italia. La 6 aprilie, divizia Massena ocupă Ventimilie. A treia zi, părăsind provizoriu
bateriile sale, Buonaparte trece în fruntea a trei brigăzi de infanterie şi atacă fortul Onegalia. Soldaţii piemontezi şi englezi sunt decimaţi.
La 9 aprilie, în fruntea oamenilor săi, el pătrunde în Onegalia şi câteva zile mai târziu ia parte la cucerirea oraşului Ormea.
În timp ce Massena îi bate pe austrieci la Muriato şi începe marşul victorios spre pasul Tende, Buonaparte se întoarce la 25
aprilie spre Nisa. El face presiuni pe lângă bolnăviciosul Dumerbion pentru a obţine întăriri. Pentru a cunoaşte şi a aprecia forţele de care
dispune Genova şi fortificaţiile ei, Augustin Robespierre şi Ricord îl trimit la 11 iulie pe Buonaparte la Genova. Misiunea este îndeplinită,
care vorbind perfect italieneşte reuşelte să studieze amănunţit poziţia civică şi politică a ministrului Republicii Franceze la Genova, Tilly.
La 27 iulie, 9 thermidor după calendarul revolutionar, pe cand Napoleone soseşte la Nisa, Maximilien Robespierre este declarat în afara
legii, Augustin i se alătură de bunăvoie, iar a doua zi cei doi fraţi sunt ghilotinaţi.
Comitetul Salvării Publice crezându-l pe Napoleon compromis, din cauza relaţiei acestuia cu Robespierre, trimite la Nisa trei comisari, în
frunte cu Salicetti, care îl suspendă provizoriu din funcţiile sale şi este pus in stare de arest la domiciliu. Ancheta care urmeaza îl
dezvinovăţeşte şi îl eliberează pe Buonaparte. Generalul Dumberbion, comandantul armatei de Italia, îi cere sa intocmească un plan de
campanie, care îl ca pune însuşi în acţiune cam peste un an şi jumătate şi care va da Franţei Italia. Dar Lazare Carnot la Paris şi Salicetti
în sud nu se gândesc decât la recucerirea Corsicii, predată de Paoli englezilor. În consecinţă, la sfârşitul anului 1794 şi la începutul anului
1795, Buonaparte este obligat împotriva voinţei sale, să pregătească expediţia împortiva Corsicii. La 2 martie flota franceză părăseşte
Toulounul cu direcţia Corsica. În dreptul capului Noli, escadra întâlneşte flota anglo-napolitană, iar după o scurtă luptă, francezii pierd 2
vase şi se grăbesc să se întoarcă la Toulon. Expediţia a eşuat.
Buonaparte şi camarazii săi sosesc în capitală la 25 mai 1795, Parisul este cuprins de foamete, la 1 prerial mulţimea îl
masacrează pe deputatul Feraud, este o perioada de nelinişte socială. Adresându-se ministrului de război Aubry, primeşte o vagă funcţie
la statul-major, până la plecarea sa în vest, în calitate de general de infanterie al armatei din Vendeea. El refuză in repetate rânduri sa le
prezinte la armata din vest, socotind ca putea acţiona mai bine în armata de Italia. Se prezintă, la 18 august 1795, la Comitetul Salvării
Publice, îşi expune din nou planul de campanie pentru Italia dar este ataşat la biroul topografic al Comitetului. Acest lucru nu-i face deloc
plăcere şi chiar se gândeşte să se expatrieze la Constantinopol, lucru care nu se va întâmpla. El începe să poarte o viaţă mondenă,
saloane de modă, spectacole, plimbări, biblioteci. Un decret de serviciul cadrelor armatei, îl radiaza de pe lista ofiţerilor generali utilizaţi,
dat fiind refuzul său de a se prezenta la postul care îi fusese desemnat. Decretul este semnat de Cambaceres, care va fi cândva al doilea
consul şi apoi arhicancelarul imperiului.
Franţa nu este numai în haos, dezordine şi confizie, ci este şi guvernată de o mână de oameni "înecaţi în datori şi crime". La
sfârşitul lui sptembrie 1795, frământarea se face simţită, Convenţia agonizează, iar unsprezece din membrii săi s-au pus pe lucru şi la 5
fructidor - 27 august 1795 a fost votată o nouă Constituţie, cea a anului III. Puterea este preluată de un directorat, se constituie Consiliul
celor Cinci sute şi Consiliul Bătrânilor, deputaţi care vor fi luaţi din rândurile Convenţiei. Secţiile regalistă se revoltă şi oamenii sunt
chemaţi la arme împotriva Convenţiei. Paul Barras este numit comandant suprem al Armatei de interior, care la 9 thermidor a atacat
Primăria oraşului, unde se alfa Robespierre. Barras ştie prea bine că nu este decât un general de ocazie, fără nici un fel de experienţă,
vrea să aibă alături de el un general adevărat, de preferinţă un artilerist, dă ordin să-l caute pe Buonaparte. Este numit aghiotantul lui
3

Barras, dispune să fie adusă artileria de la Sablons, organizează opt sute de complete de armament, asează personal tunurile din strada
Neuve-Saint-Roch şi Saint-Honore. În data de 13 vendemiar - 5 octombrie 1795 are loc o cionire violentă între secţionari şi soldaţii
comandaţi de Barras. După spusele lui Thiebault, ofiţer de stat-major şi viitor general, "bătălia este condusă de generalul Bonaparte
personal". Buonaparte reuşeşte să-i învingă pe inamici care-i atacaseră la Tuilerii. Cinci zile mai târziu, Convenţia, la propunerea lui
Barras, îl numeşte pe generalul Buonaparte, comandant secund, iar la 16 octombrie Napoleone este avansat în gradul de general de
divize. La 26 octombrie, Barras, devenind unul din cei cinci directori, demisionează din funcţia sa şi Buonaparte îi urmează la comanda
Armatei de interior.
El nu e deloc imbătat de glorie şi pare chiar perfect conştient de lipsa sa de competenţă în ce priveşte sarcinile de comandant al
garnizoanei şi de general comandant al Armatei de interior. Thiébault chiar spune că era o persoană ca "care nu se jena de fel să arate
faţă de subordonaţii săi cât de multe lucruri în materie nu ştia, lucruri pe care era de presupus că şi ultimul dintre ei le ştie la perfecţie".
Buonaparte începe să se lege de [Josephine de Beauharnais], viitoarea lui nevastă. La 2 martie, Buonaparte este numit comandantul
armatei de Italia, susţinut de [Barras] şi de Carnot în Directorat. La 8 martie 1796 are loc semnarea actului de căsătorie între Napoleone
şi Josefina, în cancelaria maestrului Raguideau, notarul doamnei de Beauharnais.
Campania din Italia (1796)
Începând să pregătească campania din Italia, el perfectează acel plan de campanie la care se gândeşte de mai mult de doi ani, de când
Augustin Robespierre i-a asigurat comanda artileriei armatei din Italia - acel plan conceput în martie 1794 şi care îi entuziasmase pe
reprezentantul Ricord şi pe fratele lui Robespierre. Directoratul a hotarât să ducă acest război "de diversiune" cu Piemont-ul şi Lombardia
dintr-un motiv foarte simplu şi anume acela de a umple casieria tezaurului, înfiorător de goală.
În seara zilei de 11 martie 1796, Bonaparte este anunţat că trăsura îl aşteaptă la capătul micii alei de tei care duce de la casa lui la strada
Chantereine. Junot, aghiotantul său, şi Chauvet, ordonatorul armatei din Italia, se află deja în trăsură. O altă campanie celebră a fost cea
din Egipt, în anii 1798-1799, încheiată cu eşec din cauza supremaţiei maritime a englezilor, tăind legăturile cu Franţa.
Prim Consul al Republicii (1799-1804)
Întors din Egipt, Napoleon este primit cu entuziasm de poporul francez. Profitând de această popularitate, el a răsturnat Directoratul şi a
impus dictatura personală în noiembrie anul 1799. Prin acest act, burghezia şi-a consolidat puterea şi au fost salvate cuceririle revoluţiei
franceze. Noua formă de conducere s-a numit consulat, în fruntea căreia se găsea Primul Consul (Bonaparte). Consulatul a fost una
dintre cele mai rodnice perioade din istoria Franţei. Prin măsurile luate, corupţia şi nesiguranţa cetăţenilor au fost eliminate. Economia a
fost refacută, Franţa a devenit prosperă, începându-se vaste lucrări publice; s-au pus bazele învăţământului modern, religia reintrându-şi
în drepturi. Napoleon a elaborat legi noi sub numele de „Codul lui Napoleon”. Primejdia externă care se abătuse asupra Franţei a fost
înlăturată prin victoria împotriva Austriei, de la Marengo din anul 1800. El cucereşte Belgia (zone de la Rin şi Italia). Prin Concordatul cu
papalitatea, Napoleon a obţinut supremaţia asupra Italiei. În 1802, Franţa a încheiat cu Anglia pacea de la Amiens (pacea perptuă), prin
care se producea un schimb de posesiuni: Franţa renunţă la Egipt, iar Anglia la teritoriile cucerite în timpul razboaielor anterioare.
Napoleon I - Împăratul francezilor (1804-1814)
Incoronarea
Având puterea consolidată de realizările guvernării sale, Napoleon s-a autoproclamat împărat în anul 1804. Avea o soţie pe nume
Joséphine de Beauharnais; în 1810 divorţează de ea şi se căsătoreşte din nou, cu fiica împăratului Francisc I al Austriei.
Napoleon ca împărat
Fiind încoronat de către papa Pius VII, căsătorindu-se cu Joséphine de Beauharnais, el a spus cuvintele: „Imperiul înseamnă pace”. Însă
conducerea sa a dus la un lung şir de războaie cu Anglia şi cu monarhiile absolutiste (Rusia,Austria, Prusia) cauzate printre altele de:
rivalitatea dintre burghezia franceză şi cea engleză pentru supremaţie economică; dorinţa monarhilor europeni de-a opri accesiunea lui
Napoleon; ambiţia lui Napoleon de a stăpâni întreaga lume. Cu o armată mare, Napoleon a reuşit să obţină multe victorii asupra Austriei
în 1805, prin Bătălia de la Austerlitz şi asupra Prusiei în 1806. Singura putere continentală care îi stătea în cale era Rusia. Cu aceasta a
încheiat un acord în 1807 prin care Europa era împărţită între împaratul Franţei şi ţarul Rusiei, Alexandru I. În anul 1812, Napoleon face o
încercare dezastruasă de a invada Rusia, în care este învins. Astfel a început căderea lui Napoleon. În Bătălia de la Leipzig din 1813,
Napoleon este înfrânt de către cele cinci naţiuni. Napoleon este obligat să abdice şi este exilat în insula Elba, în anul 1814.
Încoronarea lui Napoleon
Încoronarea lui Napoleon este o pânză pictată de Jacques-Louis David în perioada 1805-1807. Tabloul are dimensiunile 624 x 979 cm şi
se găseşte la Louvre, Paris. „Regii au părăsit-o, eu am ridicat-o” - spune Napoleon despre coroana conducătorului francilor, Carol cel
Mare, când, în după-amiaza zilei de 2 decembrie 1804, şi-o aşează pe cap în catedrala Notre-Dame şi este uns chiar de papa Pius al VII-
lea veni la Paris. Apoi împăratul îşi încoronează soţia, pe Josephina. David a primit o comanda din partea imparatului pentru un tablou
care sa comemoreze incoronarea. Pictorul va lucra la acest tablou vreme de 2 ani, adaptând realitatea la dorinţele clientului său. Astfel,
spre exemplu, în spate, la tribună o vedem pe Letiţa, mama împăratului, deşi ea nu a participat deloc la festivitate. Extraordinar de
riguros este finisajul: David nu omite nici cel mai mic detaliu, în ceea ce priveşte veşmintele perechii imperiale, iar portretele personajelor
reprezintă imaginea fidelă a realităţii. Încoronarea lui Napoleon are în primul rând valoarea unei mărturii istorice; în schimb caracterul
static al compoziţiei îndepărtează tabloul de estetica neoclasicistă. Lipseste aici tensiunea vibrantă care este caracteristica teatralităţii
neoclasiciste. Spre deosebire de Sabinele şi Jurământul Horaţiilor, David se inspiră de data aceasta mai degrabă din tradiţia romană,
decât din cea greacă.
Exilul în Insula Elba
EXILUL. Lui Napoleon i se permisese sa ia cu el in exil cativa prieteni si servitori, printre care Henri-Gratien Bertrand, fostul maresal al
palatului, si contele Charles-Tristan de Montholon, un membru al artistocratiei prerevolutionare. Bertrand era in slujba lui Napoleon din
1798, dar Montholon era un aderent de ultima ora – dupa prima abdicare a lui Napoleon se grabise sa-si ofere serviciile monarhiei
restaurate, dar a trecut de partea imparatului cand acesta s-a intors de pe Insula Elba. El o adusese cu sine si pe tanara si atragatoarea
lui sotie, ale carei atentii fata de Napoleon si vizitele nocturne pe care le facea in dormitorul acestuia devenira curand subiect de barfa pe
insula.
Domnia de 100 de zile. Waterloo. Insula Sf. Elena
4

Imediat dupa infrangerea de la Leipzig,intreg imperiul s-a prabusit.Burbonii au fost readusi la tronul Frantei prin Ludovic al-XVII-lea
.Aceasta revenire nu s-a bucurat insa de unanimitatea aliatilor,intre care au intervenit repede divergente.Unitatea coalitiei a fost insa
salvata chiar de Napoleon.Inconjurat de dezbinarea aliatilor,Napoleon paraseste insula Elba si incepe ceea ce avea sa fie aventura celor
100 de zile.Reintronat,acesta incepe sa viseze la refacerea marelui imperiu.Obtine chiar cateva victorii.Pentru scurt timp insa,caci este
infrant in batalia de la Waterloo (iunie 1815). Silit sa abdice din nou,Napoleon a fost exilat pe insula Sf. Elena,unde a murit in conditii
neclare,cativa ani mai tarziu,la varsta de 51 de ani (5 mai 1821,se presupune ca a fost otravit)
-- A fost otravit cu arsenic si dupa 6 ani a murit din cauza cancerului la stomac .
Napoleon şi femeile
Femeia pe care Napoleon a iubit-o cel mai mult, după propria mărturisire, este prima lui soţie, Josefina. Josefina fusese în trecut
casatorita cu Alexandre Beauharnais, dar acesta a murit în timpul Revolutiei Franceze. Josefina era acum văduvă. Napoleon s-a
îndrăgostit de ea şi la scurt timp s-au căsătorit. La început Josefina era infidelă soţului, printre cei mai cunoscuţi amanţi ai ei numarându-
se şi ofiţerul Hippolite Charles. Napoleon a început şi el sa aibă numeroase aventuri. În timpul campaniei din Polonia a cunoscut-o pe
tânăra Maria Walevska, de care s-a îndrăgostit. Maria i-a dăruit un copil, faimosul Alexandru Walevski de mai târziu. Din cauză că
Josefina era sterilă în anul 1809, Napoleon a fost nevoit să se despartă de ea. S-a recăsătorit cu Maria-Luiza, arhiducesă de Austria. Au
avut un singur copil, Napoleon Charles Joseph Francois, care a murit fără să domnească vreodată. Ultimele cuvinte ale lui Napoleon au
fost "Franţa, armata, Josefina". Influenţa napoleoniană în Franţa încă mai este vizibilă şi astăzi. Pentru comemorarea victoriilor sale, s-a
construit Arcul de Triumf în centrul Parisului. Astăzi impactul Codului Napoleonian este simţit în legile tuturor ţărilor Europei. Napoleon a
fost un om care ducea totul la bun sfârsit, foarte ambitios si niciodata satisfacut. Napoleon a fost un dictator şi a crezut în conducerea
oamenilor prin ordine. Puţini sunt aceia care nu recunosc că a fost un geniu militar. El a spus "Waterloo va şterge memoriile victoriilor
mele", dar bineînteles că se înşela deoarece este recunoscut ca unul din cei mai mari generali ai lumii.

Napoleon I (born Napoleone Buonaparte, later Napoléon Bonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general during the
French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic, Emperor of the French (Empereur des
Français). He was also King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Born in Corsica and trained in mainland France as an artillery officer, he first rose to prominence as a general of the French Revolution,
leading several successful campaigns against the First Coalition and the Second Coalition. At the turn of the nineteenth century, in less
than a decade, the armies of France under his command fought almost every major European power and acquired control of most of
continental Europe either by force of arms, highlighted through battles such as Austerlitz and Friedland, or by alliance systems. He went
on to appoint several members of his family and close friends as monarchs and important government figures of French-dominated
states.
A disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812 marked a turning point in Napoleon's fortunes. The campaign left his Grande Armée decimated
and it never regained its previous strength. In October 1813, the Sixth Coalition defeated his forces at Leipzig and then invaded France.
Napoleon was forced to abdicate in April of the following year and was exiled to the island of Elba. Less than a year later, he escaped to
France and regained control of the government. This second period of Napoleonic rule, now known as the Hundred Days (les Cent
Jours), ended quickly with his defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Napoleon spent the remaining six years of his life under British
supervision on the island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
Napoleon developed relatively few military innovations, apart from the placement of artillery into batteries and replacing the division with
army corps as the standard all-arms unit. He used the best tactics from a variety of sources, as well as the French army, modernized and
reformed, to score several major victories. His campaigns are studied at military academies all over the world and he is widely regarded
as one of the greatest commanders ever to have lived. Aside from his military achievements, Napoleon is also remembered for the
establishment of the Napoleonic Code (Code Napoléon), which laid the bureaucratic foundations for the modern French state.
Early life
Napoleon Bonaparte as a young officer
He was born Napoleone Buonaparte (in Corsican, Nabolione or Nabulione) in the town of Ajaccio on Corsica, France, on 15 August
1769, one year after the island was transferred to France by the Republic of Genoa. He later adopted the more French-sounding
Napoléon Bonaparte. Napoleon was ethnically Corsican of ancient Italian heritage. He wrote to Pasquale di Paoli (leader of a Corsican
revolt against the French) in 1789: "I was born when my country was dying. Thirty thousand Frenchmen disgorged upon our shores,
drowning the throne of liberty in a sea of blood; such was the hateful spectacle that offended my infant eyes." This heritage earned
Napoleon popularity among Italians during his Italian campaigns. [2]
The family, formerly known as Buonaparte, were minor Italian nobility coming from Tuscan stock of Lombard origin set in Lunigiana.[3] The
family moved to Florence and later broke into two branches; the original one, Buonaparte-Sarzana, were compelled to leave Florence,
coming to Corsica in the 16th century when the island was a possession of the Republic of Genoa.
His father Carlo Buonaparte born 1746 in the Republic of Genoa; an attorney, he was named Corsica's representative to the court of
Louis XVI in 1778, where he remained for a number of years. The dominant influence of Napoleon's childhood was his mother, Maria
Letizia Ramolino.[4] Her firm discipline helped restrain the rambunctious Napoleon, nicknamed Rabullione (the "meddler" or "disrupter").
Napoleon was a younger brother of Joseph Bonaparte. He was an older brother of Lucien Bonaparte, Elisa Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte,
Pauline Bonaparte, Caroline Bonaparte and Jérôme Bonaparte.
Napoleon's noble, moderately affluent background and family connections afforded him greater opportunities to study than were available
to a typical Corsican of the time. On 15 May 1779, at age nine, Napoleon was admitted to a French military school at Brienne-le-Château,
a small town near Troyes. He had to learn French before entering the school, but he spoke with a marked Italian accent throughout his
life and never learned to spell properly.[5] It was here that Bonaparte first met the Champagne maker Jean-Remy Moët. The friendship of
these two men would have lasting impact on the history of the Champagne region and on the beverage itself.[6] Upon graduation from
Brienne in 1784, Bonaparte was admitted to the elite École Royale Militaire in Paris, where he completed the two-year course of study in
only one year. An examiner judged him as "very applied [to the study of] abstract sciences, little curious as to the others; [having] a
5

thorough knowledge of mathematics and geography[.]"[7] Although he had initially sought a naval assignment, he studied artillery at the
École Militaire.
Early military career
Upon graduation in September 1785, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in La Fère artillery regiment and took up his new
duties in January 1786 at the age of 16.[8] Napoleon served on garrison duty in Valence and Auxonne until after the outbreak of the
Revolution in 1789 (although he took nearly two years of leave in Corsica and Paris during this period). He spent most of the next several
years on Corsica, where a complex three-way struggle was playing out between royalists, revolutionaries, and Corsican nationalists.
Bonaparte supported the Jacobin faction and gained the rank of lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of volunteers. After coming into conflict
with the increasingly conservative nationalist leader, Pasquale Paoli, Bonaparte and his family were forced to flee to the French mainland
in June 1793.
Through the help of fellow Corsican Saliceti, Napoleon was appointed as artillery commander in the French forces besieging Toulon,
which had risen in revolt against the republican government and was occupied by British troops. He formulated a successful plan: he
placed guns at Point l'Eguillete, threatening the British ships in the harbour, forcing them to evacuate. A successful assault, during which
Bonaparte was wounded in the thigh, led to the recapture of the city and a promotion to brigadier-general. His actions brought him to the
attention of the Committee of Public Safety, and he became a close associate of Augustin Robespierre, younger brother of the
Revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre. As a result, he was briefly imprisoned in the Chateau d'Antibes on 6 August 1794 following
the fall of the elder Robespierre, but was released within two weeks.
"Whiff of grapeshot"
For more details on this topic, see 13 Vendémiaire.
In 1795, Bonaparte was serving in Paris when royalists and counter-revolutionaries organized an armed protest against the National
Convention on 3 October. Bonaparte was given command of the improvised forces defending the Convention in the Tuileries Palace. He
seized artillery pieces with the aid of a young cavalry officer, Joachim Murat, who later became his brother-in-law. He used the artillery the
following day to repel the attackers. He later boasted that he had cleared the streets with a "whiff of grapeshot", although the fighting had
been vicious throughout Paris. This triumph earned him sudden fame, wealth, and the patronage of the new Directory, particularly that of
its leader, Barras. Within weeks he was romantically attached to Barras's former mistress, Josephine de Beauharnais, whom he married
on 9 March 1796.
Italian campaign of 1796–97
Napoleon at the Bridge of the Arcole, by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, (ca. 1801), Louvre, Paris
Days after his marriage, Bonaparte took command of the French "Army of Italy" on 27 March 1796, leading it on a successful invasion of
Italy. At the Lodi, he gained the nickname of "the Little Corporal" (le petit caporal), a term reflecting his camaraderie with his soldiers,
many of whom he knew by name. He drove the Austrians out of Lombardy and defeated the army of the Papal States. Because Pope
Pius VI had protested the execution of Louis XVI, France retaliated by annexing two small papal territories. Bonaparte ignored the
Directory's order to march on Rome and dethrone the Pope. It was not until the next year that General Berthier captured Rome and took
Pius VI prisoner on 20 February. The pope died of illness while in captivity. In early 1797, Bonaparte led his army into Austria and forced
that power to sue for peace. The resulting Treaty of Campo Formio gave France control of most of northern Italy, along with the Low
Countries and Rhineland, but a secret clause promised Venice to Austria. Bonaparte then marched on Venice and forced its surrender,
ending over 1,000 years of independence. Later in 1797, Bonaparte organized many of the French dominated territories in Italy into the
Cisalpine Republic.
His remarkable series of military triumphs were a result of his ability to apply his encyclopedic knowledge of conventional
military thought to real-world situations, as demonstrated by his creative use of artillery tactics, using it as a mobile force to support his
infantry. As he described it: "I have fought sixty battles and I have learned nothing which I did not know at the beginning." Contemporary
paintings of his headquarters during the Italian campaign depict his use of the Chappe semaphore line, first implemented in 1792. He was
also a master of both intelligence and deception and had an uncanny sense of knowing when to strike. He often won battles by
concentrating his forces on an unsuspecting enemy by using spies to gather information about opposing forces and by concealing his
own troop deployments. In this campaign, often considered his greatest, Napoleon's army captured 160,000 prisoners, 2,000 cannons,
and 170 standards. A year of campaigning had witnessed major breaks with the traditional norms of 18th century warfare and marked a
new era in military history.
While campaigning in Italy, General Bonaparte became increasingly influential in French politics. He published two newspapers,
ostensibly for the troops in his army, but widely circulated within France as well. In May 1797 he founded a third newspaper, published in
Paris, entitled Le Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux. Elections in mid-1797 gave the royalist party increased power, alarming
Barras and his allies on the Directory. The royalists, in turn, began attacking Bonaparte for looting Italy and overstepping his authority in
dealings with the Austrians. Bonaparte sent General Augereau to Paris to lead a coup d'etat and purge the royalists on 4 September (18
Fructidor). This left Barras and his Republican allies in firm control again, but dependent on Bonaparte's military command to stay there.
Bonaparte himself proceeded to the peace negotiations with Austria, then returned to Paris in December as the conquering hero and the
dominant force in government, far more popular than any of the Directors.
Egyptian expedition of 1798–99
Napoleon visiting the plague victims of Jaffa, by Antoine-Jean Gros
In March 1798, Bonaparte proposed a military expedition to seize Egypt, then a province of the Ottoman Empire, seeking to protect
French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to the British Raj. The Directory, although troubled by the scope and cost of the
enterprise, readily agreed to the plan in order to remove the popular general from the center of power.
An unusual aspect of the Egyptian expedition was the inclusion of a large group of scientists assigned to the French
expeditionary force: among their discoveries was the finding of the Rosetta Stone. This deployment of intellectual resources is considered
by some an indication of Bonaparte's devotion to the principles of the Enlightenment, and by others as a masterstroke of propaganda,
obfuscating the true imperialist motives of the invasion. In a largely unsuccessful effort to gain the support of the Egyptian populace,
6

Bonaparte also issued proclamations casting himself as a liberator of the people from Ottoman oppression, and praising the precepts of
Islam.
Bonaparte's expedition seized Malta from the Knights of Saint John on 9 June and then landed successfully at Alexandria on 1
July, temporarily eluding pursuit by the British Royal Navy.
After landing on the coast of Egypt, he fought the Battle of the Pyramids against the Mamelukes, an old power in the Middle
East, approximately 4 miles from the pyramids. Bonaparte's forces were greatly outnumbered by the Mamelukes cavalry, 20,000 to
60,000,[9] but Bonaparte formed hollow squares, keeping cannons and supplies safely on the inside. In all, only 300 French were killed, as
opposed to approximately 6,000 Egyptians.
While the battle on land was a resounding French victory, the British Royal Navy managed to compensate at sea. The ships
that had landed Bonaparte and his army sailed back to France, but a fleet of ships of the line that had come with them remained to
support the army along the coast. On 1 August the British fleet under Horatio Nelson fought the French in the Battle of the Nile capturing
or destroying all but two French vessels. With Bonaparte land-bound, his goal of strengthening the French position in the Mediterranean
Sea was frustrated, but his army nonetheless succeeded in consolidating power in Egypt, although it faced repeated uprisings.

Bonaparte Before the Sphinx, (ca. 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Hearst Castle
In early 1799, he led the army into the Ottoman province of Syria, now modern Israel and Syria, and defeated numerically superior
Ottoman forces in several battles, but his army was weakened by disease, mostly bubonic plague, and poor supplies. Napoleon led
13,000 French soldiers to the conquest of the coastal towns of El Arish, Gaza, Jaffa, and Haifa.
The storming of Jaffa was particularly brutal. Although the French took control of the city within a few hours after the attack began, the
French soldiers bayoneted approximately 2,000 Turkish soldiers who were trying to surrender. The soldiers' ferocity then turned to the
inhabitants of the town. Men, women, and children were robbed and murdered for three days, and the massacre ended with even more
bloodshed, as Napoleon ordered that 3,000 additional Turkish prisoners be executed. [4]
After his army was weakened by the plague, Napoleon was unable to reduce the fortress of Acre, and was forced to return to Egypt in
May. In order to speed up the retreat, Bonaparte took the controversial step of killing prisoners and plague-stricken men along the way.
His supporters have argued that this decision was necessary given the continuing harassment of stragglers by Ottoman forces. Back in
Egypt, on 25 July, Bonaparte defeated an Ottoman amphibious invasion at Abukir.
With the Egyptian campaign stagnating, and political instability developing back home, Bonaparte left Egypt for France in
August, 1799, leaving his army under General Kléber.
Ruler of France
Napoleonic Empire, 1811: France in dark blue, satellite states in light blue
While in Egypt, Bonaparte tried to keep a close eye on European affairs, relying largely on newspapers and dispatches that arrived only
irregularly. On 23 August 1799, he abruptly set sail for France, taking advantage of the temporary departure of British ships blockading
French coastal ports.
Although he was later accused of abandoning his troops, his departure had been ordered by the Directory, which had suffered a
series of military defeats to the forces of the Second Coalition, and feared an invasion.
By the time he returned to Paris in October, the military situation had improved due to several French victories. The Republic
was bankrupt, however, and the corrupt and inefficient Directory was unpopular with the French public more than ever.
Bonaparte was approached by one of the Directors, Sieyès, seeking his support for a coup to overthrow the constitution. The
plot included Bonaparte's brother Lucien, then serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, and
Talleyrand. On 9 November (18 Brumaire), and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control and dispersed the legislative
councils, leaving a rump to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, and Ducos as provisional Consuls to administer the government. Although Sieyès
expected to dominate the new regime, he was outmanoeuvred by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured
his own election as First Consul. This made him the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of
the Year X, which declared him First Consul for life.
Bonaparte instituted several lasting reforms, including centralized administration of the départements, higher education, a tax
system, a central bank, law codes, and road and sewer systems. He negotiated the Concordat of 1801 with the Catholic Church, seeking
to reconcile the mostly Catholic population with his regime. His set of civil laws, the Napoleonic Code or Civil Code, has importance to
this day in many countries. The Code was prepared by committees of legal experts under the supervision of Jean Jacques Régis de
Cambacérès, who held the office Second Consul from 1799 to 1804; Bonaparte, however, participated actively in the sessions of the
Council of State that revised the drafts. Other codes were commissioned by Bonaparte to codify criminal and commerce law. In 1808, a
Code of Criminal Instruction was published, which enacted precise rules of judicial procedure. Although contemporary standards may
consider these procedures as favouring the prosecution, when enacted they sought to preserve personal freedoms and to remedy the
prosecutorial abuses commonplace in European courts.
Napoléon crossing the Alps, by Jacques-Louis David. Notice the names of Hannibal, Charlemagne (Karolus Magnus), and
Bonaparte in the rocks below
In 1800, Bonaparte returned to Italy, which the Austrians had reconquered during his absence in Egypt. He and his troops
crossed the Alps in spring (although he actually rode a mule [10], not the white charger on which David famously depicted him). While the
campaign began badly, the Austrians were eventually routed in June at Marengo, leading to an armistice. Napoleon's brother Joseph,
who was leading the peace negotiations in Lunéville, reported that due to British backing for Austria, Austria would not recognize France's
newly gained territory. As negotiations became more and more fractious, Bonaparte gave orders to his general Moreau to strike Austria
once more. Moreau led France to victory at Hohenlinden. As a result the Treaty of Lunéville was signed in February 1801, under which
the French gains of the Treaty of Campo Formio were reaffirmed and increased.
Interlude of peace
7

Sacre of the Emperor Napoleon I and the crowning of the Empress Joséphine in the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris , memorialized by
Jacques-Louis David
The British signed the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, which set terms for peace, including the withdrawal of British troops from several
colonial territories recently occupied. The peace between France and Britain was uneasy and short-lived. The monarchies of Europe were
reluctant to recognize a republic, fearing that the ideas of the revolution might be exported to them. In Britain, the brother of Louis XVI
was welcomed as a state guest although officially Britain recognized France as a republic. Britain failed to evacuate Malta, as promised,
and protested against France's annexation of Piedmont, and Napoleon's Act of Mediation in Switzerland (although neither of these areas
was covered by the Treaty of Amiens).
In 1803, Bonaparte faced a major setback when an army he sent to reconquer Haiti and establish a base was destroyed by a
combination of yellow fever and fierce resistance led by Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Recognizing that the
French possessions on the mainland of North America would now be indefensible, and facing imminent war with Britain, he sold them to
the United States —the Louisiana Purchase—for less than three cents per acre ($7.40/km²). The dispute over Malta ended up with Britain
declaring war on France in 1803 to support French royalists.
Napoleon on his Imperial throne, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1806
Emperor of the French
In January 1804, Bonaparte's police uncovered an assassination plot against him, ostensibly sponsored by the Bourbons. In retaliation,
Bonaparte ordered the arrest of the Duc d'Enghien, in a violation of the sovereignty of Baden. After a hurried secret trial, the Duke was
executed on 21 March. Bonaparte then used this incident to justify the re-creation of a hereditary monarchy in France, with himself as
Emperor, on the theory that a Bourbon restoration would be impossible once the Bonapartist succession was entrenched in the
constitution.
Napoleon crowned himself Emperor on 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame de Paris. Claims that he seized the crown out of the hands of
Pope Pius VII during the ceremony in order to avoid subjecting himself to the authority of the pontiff are apocryphal; in fact, the coronation
procedure had been agreed upon in advance. After the Imperial regalia had been blessed by the Pope, Napoleon crowned himself before
crowning his wife Joséphine as Empress (the moment depicted in David's famous painting, illustrated above). Then at Milan's cathedral
on 26 May 1805, Napoleon was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.
Napoleon's Throne. Louvre Museum
Coalitions against Napoleon
Main article: Third Coalition
In 1805 Britain convinced Austria and Russia to join a Third Coalition against Napoleon. Napoleon knew the French fleet could not defeat
the Royal Navy and therefore tried to lure the British fleet away from the English Channel so that, in theory at least, a Spanish and French
fleet could take control of the Channel long enough for French armies to cross to England. However, with Austria and Russia preparing
an invasion of France and its allies, he had to change his plans and turn his attention to the continent. The newly formed Grande Armee
secretly marched to Germany. On 20 October 1805, it surprised the Austrians at Ulm. The next day, however, with the Battle of Trafalgar
(21 October 1805), the Royal Navy gained lasting control of the seas. A few weeks later, Napoleon defeated Austria and Russia at
Austerlitz (a decisive victory he would be the most proud of in his military career) on 2 December—the first anniversary of his coronation
—forcing Austria yet again to sue for peace.
Main article: Fourth Coalition
The Fourth Coalition was assembled the following year, and Napoleon defeated Prussia at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt (14
October 1806). He marched on against advancing Russian armies through Poland, and was attacked at the bloody Battle of Eylau on 6
February 1807. After a decisive victory at Friedland, he signed a treaty at Tilsit in East Prussia with Tsar Alexander I of Russia, dividing
Europe between the two powers. He placed puppet rulers on the thrones of German states, including his brother Jerome as king of the
new state of Westphalia. In the French-controlled part of Poland, he established the Duchy of Warsaw, with King Frederick Augustus I of
Saxony as ruler. Between 1809 and 1813, Napoleon also served as Regent of the Grand Duchy of Berg for his brother Louis Bonaparte.
In addition to military endeavours against Britain, Napoleon also waged economic war, attempting to enforce a Europe-wide
commercial boycott of Britain called the "Continental System". Although this action hurt the British economy, it also damaged the French
economy and was not a decisive factor.
The Surrender of Madrid, Antoine-Jean Gros, c. 1810
Main article: Peninsular War
Portugal did not comply with the Continental System and in 1807 Napoleon sought Spain's support for an invasion of Portugal. When
Spain refused, Napoleon invaded Spain as well, replacing Charles IV with his brother Joseph, placing brother-in-law Joachim Murat in
Joseph's stead at Naples. This led to unexpected resistance, however, from the Spanish army and civilians. Following a French retreat
from much of the country, Napoleon himself took command and defeated the Spanish army, retook Madrid and then outmaneuvered a
British army sent to support the Spanish, driving it to the coast. Napoleon was soon forced to leave the country when war with Austria
threatened, before France had fully subdued the Spanish population. The costly and often brutal Peninsular War continued, forcing
Napoleon to commit several hundred thousand of his finest troops to battle Spanish guerrillas as well as British forces commanded by the
Duke of Wellington. French control over Iberia deteriorated in 1812 and collapsed the following year, when Joseph abdicated his throne.
The last French troops were driven from the peninsula in 1814.
Main article: Fifth Coalition
In 1809, Austria abruptly broke its alliance with France and Napoleon was forced to assume command of forces on the Danube and
German fronts. After achieving early successes, the French faced difficulties crossing the Danube and then suffered a defeat at Aspern-
Essling (21–22 May 1809) near Vienna. Napoleon's forces managed to regroup, though, and defeated the Austrians at Wagram (6 July).
Following this, a new peace was signed between Austria and France and in the following year the Austrian Archduchess Marie Louise
married Napoleon, following his divorce of Josephine.
Invasion of Russia
Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, painted by Adolph Northen in the 19th century
8

Main article: French invasion of Russia


Although the Congress of Erfurt had sought to preserve the Russo-French alliance, by 1811 tensions were again increasing between the
two nations. Although Alexander and Napoleon had a friendly personal relationship since their first meeting in 1807, Alexander had been
under strong pressure from the Russian aristocracy to break off the alliance with France. Had Russia withdrawn without France doing
anything the other countries would have followed suit and revolted against Napoleon. Thus it was necessary to show that France would
respond.
The first sign that the alliance was deteriorating was the easing of the application of the Continental System in Russia, angering
Napoleon. By 1812, advisors to Alexander suggested the possibility of an invasion of the French Empire (and the recapture of Poland).
Large numbers of troops were deployed to the Polish borders (reaching over 300,000 out of the total Russian army strength of 410,000).
After receiving the initial reports of Russian war preparations, Napoleon began expanding his Grande Armée to a massive force of over
450,000–600,000 men (despite already having over 300,000 men deployed in Iberia). Napoleon ignored repeated advice against an
invasion of the vast Russian heartland, and prepared his forces for an offensive campaign.
On 22 June 1812, Napoleon's invasion of Russia commenced. In an attempt to gain increased support from Polish nationalists and
patriots, Napoleon termed the war the "Second Polish War" (the first Polish war being the liberation of Poland from Russia, Prussia and
Austria). Polish patriots wanted the Russian part of partitioned Poland to be incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and a new
Kingdom of Poland created, although this was rejected by Napoleon, who feared it would bring Prussia and Austria into the war against
France. Napoleon also rejected requests to free the Russian serfs, fearing this might provoke a conservative reaction in his rear.
French Monarchy - Bonaparte Dynasty

The Russians under Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly ingeniously avoided a decisive engagement which Napoleon longed for,
preferring to retreat ever deeper into the heart of Russia. A brief attempt at resistance was offered at Smolensk (16–17 August), but the
Russians were defeated in a series of battles in the area and Napoleon resumed the advance. The Russians then repeatedly avoided
battle with the Grande Armée, although in a few cases only because Napoleon uncharacteristically hesitated to attack when the
opportunity presented itself. When the army progressed further, serious problems in foraging surfaced, aggravated by the scorched earth
tactics of the Russian army.[11][12] Along with the hunger, the French also had to face the harsh Russian winter. One American study
concluded that the winter only had a major effect once Napoleon was in full retreat. "However, in regard to the claims of "General Winter,"
the main body of Napoleon's Grande Armée diminished by half during the first eight weeks of his invasion before the major battle of the
campaign. This decrease was partly due to garrisoning supply centres, but disease, desertions, and casualties sustained in various minor
actions caused thousands of losses. At Borodino on 7 September 1812 - the only major engagement fought in Russia - Napoleon could
muster no more than 135,000 troops, and he lost at least 30,000 of them to gain a narrow and Pyrrhic victory almost 600 miles deep in
hostile territory. The sequels were his uncontested and self-defeating occupation of Moscow and his humiliating retreat, which began on
19 October, before the first severe frosts later that month and the first snow on 5 November."[13]
Criticized over his tentative strategy of continual retreat, Barclay was replaced by Kutuzov, although he continued Barclay's strategy.
Kutuzov eventually offered battle outside Moscow on 7 September. Losses were nearly even for both armies, with slightly more
casualties on the Russian side, after what may have been the bloodiest day of battle in history - the Battle of Borodino (see article for
comparisons to the first day of the Battle of the Somme). Although Napoleon was far from defeated, the Russian army had accepted, and
withstood, the major battle the French hoped would be decisive. After the battle, the Russian army withdrew and retreated past Moscow.
The Russians retreated and Napoleon was able to enter Moscow, assuming that the fall of Moscow would end the war and that
Alexander I would negotiate peace. However, on orders of the city's military governor and commander-in-chief, Fyodor Rostopchin, rather
than capitulating, Moscow was ordered burned. Within the month, fearing loss of control back in France, Napoleon left Moscow.
The French suffered greatly in the course of a ruinous retreat; the Army had begun as over 650,000 frontline troops, but in the
end fewer than 40,000 crossed the Berezina River (November 1812) to escape. The strategy employed by Barclay and Kutuzov had worn
down the invaders and maintained the Tzar's domination over the Russian people. In total, French losses in the campaign were 570,000
against about 400,000 Russian casualties and several hundred thousand civilian deaths.
War of the Sixth Coalition
There was a lull in fighting over the winter of 1812–13 whilst both the Russians and the French recovered from their massive
losses. A small Russian army harassed the French in Poland and eventually 30,000 French troops there withdrew to the German states
to rejoin the expanding force there - numbering 130,000 with the reinforcements from Poland. This force continued to expand, with
Napoleon aiming for a force of 400,000 French troops supported by a quarter of a million German troops.
Napoleon campaigning in Northern France in 1814, by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier
Heartened by Napoleon's losses in Russia, Prussia soon rejoined the Coalition that now included Russia, the United Kingdom, Spain, and
Portugal. Napoleon assumed command in Germany and soon inflicted a series of defeats on the Allies culminating in the Battle of
Dresden on 26–27 August 1813 causing almost 100,000 casualties to the Coalition forces (the French sustaining only around 30,000).
Despite these initial successes, however, the numbers continued to mount against Napoleon as Sweden and Austria joined the
Coalition. Eventually the French army was pinned down by a force twice its size at the Battle of Nations (16–19 October) at Leipzig.
Some of the German states switched sides in the midst of the battle, further undermining the French position. This was by far the largest
battle of the Napoleonic Wars and cost both sides a combined total of over 120,000 casualties.
After this Napoleon withdrew in an orderly fashion back into France, but his army was now reduced to less than 100,000
against more than half a million Allied troops. The French were now surrounded (with British armies pressing from the south in addition to
the Coalition forces moving in from the German states) and vastly outnumbered. The French armies could only delay an inevitable defeat.
Exile, return and Waterloo
The Abdication
Return from Elba
9

Paris was occupied on 31 March 1814. At the urging of his marshals, Napoleon abdicated on 6 April in favor of his son. The Allies,
however, demanded unconditional surrender and Napoleon abdicated again, unconditionally, on 11 April. In the Treaty of Fontainebleau
the victors exiled him to Elba, a small island in the Mediterranean 20 km off the coast of Italy.
In France, the royalists had taken over and restored Louis XVIII to power. Separated from his wife and son (who had come under Austrian
control), cut off from the allowance guaranteed to him by the Treaty of Fontainebleau, and aware of rumours that he was about to be
banished to a remote island in the Atlantic, Napoleon escaped from Elba on 26 February 1815 and returned to the mainland on 1 March
1815. Louis XVIII sent the 5th Regiment of the Line, led by Marshal Ney who had formerly served under Napoleon in Russia, to meet him
at Grenoble on 7 March 1815. Napoleon approached the regiment alone, dismounted his horse and, when he was within earshot of Ney's
forces, shouted "Soldiers of the Fifth, you recognize me. If any man would shoot his emperor, he may do so now". Following a brief
silence, the soldiers shouted "Vive L'Empereur!" and marched with Napoleon to Paris. He arrived on 20 March, quickly raising a regular
army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, and governed for a Hundred Days.
Napoleon was finally defeated by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at Waterloo in present-day Belgium on 18
June 1815.
Off the port of Rochefort, after unsuccessfully attempting to escape to the United States, Napoléon made his formal surrender
while on board HMS Bellerophon on 15 July 1815.
Exile and death on Saint Helena
Napoléon on Bellerophon at Plymouth, before his exile to Saint Helena
Napoleon was imprisoned and then exiled by the British to the island of Saint Helena (2,800 km off the Bight of Guinea in the
South Atlantic Ocean) from 15 October 1815. He lived in Longwood House. Whilst there, with a small cadre of followers, he dictated his
memoirs, and criticized his captors. There were several plots to rescue Napoleon from captivity, including one from Brazil and another
from Texas, where some four hundred exiled soldiers from the Grand Army dreamed of a resurrection of the Napoleonic Empire in
America. There was even a plan to rescue him using a submarine.[14]
Despite his complaints and his petulance, Napoleon was not too badly treated by the British, and was more or less free to live
his life in the manner of an English country gentleman in quite comfortable surroundings. When he was a boy, William Makepeace
Thackery, the writer, stopped at St. Helena on a voyage from India. His servant took him to Longwood "We saw a man walking...'That is
he', said the black servant, 'That is Bonaparte, he eats three sheep every day, and all the children he can lay his hands on.' " Napoleon
received many visitors, to the anger and consternation of the French minister Richelieu, "this devil of a man exercises an astonishing
seduction on all those who approach him."
In a uniquely British way, Napoleon was transformed in the public mind from a monster to a hero, no doubt a direct expression
of discontent at the reactionary post-war government of Lord Liverpool. In 1818 The Times, which Napoleon received in exile, in reporting
a false rumour of his escape, said that this had been greeted by spontaneous illuminations in London. There was some sympathy for him
also in the political opposition in Parliament. Lord Holland, the nephew of Charles James Fox, the former Whig leader, sent over 1000
books and pamphlets to Longwood, as well as jam and other comforts. Holland also accused the government of attempting to kill the
Emperor by a proceess of slow assassination. Napoleon knew of this, and based his hopes for release on the possibility of Holland
becoming Prime Minister, Richelieu's greatest fear.
Napoleon also enjoyed the support of Admiral Lord Cochrane, one of the greatest sailors of the age, closely involved in Chile
and Brazil's struggle for independence. It was his expressed aim to make him Emperor of a unified South American state, a scheme that
was frustrated by Napoleon's death in 1821. For Lord Byron, amongst others, Napoleon was the very epitome of the Romantic hero, the
persecuted, lonely and flawed genius. At quite the other extreme, the news that Napoleon had taken up gardening at Longwood appealed
to more domestic British sensibilities, which had the effect of humanising him still further.
The controversy concerning Napoleon's personal religious faith [citation needed] leaves little doubt that he was a Christian[citation needed], at
least at the end of his life. Not long after Napoleon’s death, in a third lecture before Oxford University, Henry Parry Liddon made the
following observation:
If the first Napoleon was not a theologian, he was at least a man whom vast experience had taught what kind of forces can
really produce a lasting effect upon mankind, and under what conditions they may be expected to do so. A time came when the good
Providence of God had chained down that great but ambitious spirit to the rock of St. Helena; and the conqueror of civilized Europe had
leisure to gather up the results of his unparalleled life, and to ascertain with an accuracy, not often attainable by monarchs or warriors, his
own true place in history. When conversing, as was his habit, about the great men of the ancient world, and comparing himself with them,
he turned, it is said, to Count Montholon with the enquiry, “Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?” The question was declined, and
Napoleon proceeded, “Well, then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have founded great empires; but upon
what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions
would die for Him. . . . I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man: none else is
like Him; Jesus Christ was more than man. I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for
me, . . but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, of my words, of my voice.
When I saw men and spoke to them, I lighted up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts. . . . Christ alone has succeeded in so raising
the mind of man towards the Unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of eighteen hundred
years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in
vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart;
He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and
space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him,
experience that remarkable supernatural love towards Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of
man’s creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor
put a limit to its range. This is it which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the
Divinity of Jesus Christ. [15]
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An earlier quotation from Napoleon suggests there had been a time he may have also been an admirer of Islam:
I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a
uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness. [16]
Sick for much of his time on Saint Helena, Napoleon died on 5 May 1821. His last words were: "Tête d'Armée!" (Head of Army!).
[17][18]
His heritage was distributed to his close followers, among them General Marbot, whom he asked to continue his writings on the
"Grandeur de la France." The Governor ordered a post-mortem examination, which was performed the day after Napoleon's death by
Prof Antommarchi under the direction of Dr Shortt. [19] Dr A Arnott, the physician who attended Napoleon during his last illness, also
attended the post-mortem and wrote about his observations. [19] Other medical, military and civic observers were also present. [19] When
news of his death reached Europe in early July 1821 the French Foreign Minister noted that this caused a far greater sensation in London
than in Paris.
Napoleon had asked in his will to be buried on the banks of the Seine, but was buried on Saint Helena, in the "valley of the
willows". In 1840, his remains were taken to France in the frigate Belle-Poule and were to be entombed in a porphyry sarcophagus at Les
Invalides, Paris. However, Egyptian porphyry (used for the tombs of Roman emperors) was unavailable, so red quartzite was obtained -
but from Russian Finland, eliciting protests from those who still remembered the Russians as enemies. Hundreds of millions have visited
his tomb since that date. A replica of his simple Saint Helena tomb is also to be found at Les Invalides.
Cause of death
The cause of Napoleon's death has been disputed on a number of occasions. Francesco Antommarchi, the physician chosen by
Napoleon's family and the leader of the post mortem examination, [19] gave stomach cancer as a reason for Napoleon's death on his death
certificate. In the later half of the twentieth century, a different theory arose conjecturing that Napoleon was the victim of arsenic
poisoning.
Arsenic poisoning theory
In 1955, the diaries of Louis Marchand, Napoleon's valet, appeared in print. His description of Napoleon in the months leading
up to his death, led many, most notably Sten Forshufvud and Ben Weider, to conclude that he had been killed by arsenic poisoning.
Arsenic was at the time sometimes used as a poison as it was undetectable when administered over a long period of time. Arsenic was
also used as a stomach tonic, in some wallpaper, as a green pigment, and even in some patent medicines. As Napoleon's body was
found to be remarkably well-preserved when it was moved in 1840, it gives support to the arsenic theory, as arsenic is a strong
preservative. In 2001, Pascal Kintz, of the Strasbourg Forensic Institute in France, added credence to this claim with a study of arsenic
levels found in a lock of Napoleon's hair preserved after his death: they were seven to thirty-eight times higher than normal. [citation needed]
Cutting up hairs into short segments and analysing each segment individually provides a histogram of arsenic concentration in
the body. This analysis on hair from Napoléon suggests that large but non-lethal doses were absorbed at random intervals. The arsenic
severely weakened Napoléon and remained in his system.[citation needed]
The medical regime imposed on Napoleon by his doctors included treatment with antimony potassium tartrate, regular enemas
and a 600 milligram dose of mercuric chloride to purge his intestines in the days immediately prior to his death. A group of researchers
from the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Department speculate that this treatment may have led to Napoleon's death by causing a
serious potassium deficiency.[20]

The frigate Belle-Poule brings back the remains of Napoléon to France


More recent analysis on behalf of the magazine Science et Vie showed that similar concentrations of arsenic can be found in
Napoleon's hair in samples taken from 1805, 1814 and 1821. The lead investigator, Ivan Ricordel (head of toxicology for the Paris Police),
stated that if arsenic had been the cause, Napoléon would have died years earlier. The group suggested that the most likely source in this
case was a hair tonic. However the group does not address the arsenic absorption patterns revealed by the analysis commissioned by
Forshufvud.
It has also been discovered that the form of wallpaper used in Napoléon's house contained a high level of arsenic which, when
made in a compound with copper, was used by British textile makers to make the greens present in the wallpaper. It has been said that
the adhesive, which in the cooler environment of Brittan was innocuous, grew mold and turned the copper-arsenic compound into a
deadly gas in the warm and humid climate of St. Helena [21].
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, arsenic was also a widely used treatment for syphilis. This has led to speculation that
Napoleon might have suffered from that disease.[citation needed]
Stomach cancer theory
In May 2005, a team of Swiss physicians claimed that the reason for Napoleon's death was stomach cancer, which was also
the cause of his father's death. From a multitude of forensic reports they derive that Napoleon at his death weighed approx. 76 kg (168 lb)
while a year earlier he weighed approx. 91 kg (200 lb), confirming the autopsy result reported by Antommarchi. A team of physicians from
the University of Monterspertoli led by Professor Biondi recently confirmed this.
In October 2005, a document was unearthed in Scotland that presented an account of the autopsy, which again seems to
confirm Antommarchi's conclusion.[22] More recent analysis of the etiology and pathogenesis of Napoleon's illness also suggests that
Napoleon's illness was a sporadic gastric carcinoma of advanced stage.[23] The original post-mortem examination carried out by
Francesco Antommarchi concluded Napoleon died of stomach cancer without knowing Napoleon’s father had died of stomach cancer.[18]
An extensive 2007 study found no evidence of arsenic poisoning in the organs, such as hemorrhaging in the lining inside the heart, and
also concluded that stomach cancer was the cause of death. [24][25][26]
Marriages and children
Napoleon's first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais
Napoleon was married twice:
9 March 1796 to Joséphine de Beauharnais. He formally adopted her son Eugène and cousin Stéphanie after assuming the
throne to arrange "dynastic" marriages for them. He had her daughter Hortense marry his brother, Louis. Though Napoleon and
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Joséphine's marriage was unconventional, and both were known to have many affairs, they were ultimately devoted to each other and
when Joséphine agreed to divorce so he could remarry in the hopes of producing an heir, it was devastating for both. It was also the first
under the Napoleonic Code. Napoleon's letters to Joséphine are romantic and interesting. They are available in the original French on the
French wikisource site. [5]
11 March 1810 by proxy to Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, then in a ceremony on 1 April. They remained married until
his death, although she did not join him in his exile.
Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles (20 March 1811 – 22 July 1832), King of Rome. Known as Napoleon II although he never
ruled. Was later known as the Duke of Reichstadt. He had no issue.
Acknowledged two illegitimate children, both of whom had issue:
Charles, Count Léon, (1806 – 1881), by Louise Catherine Eléonore Denuelle de la Plaigne (1787 – 1868).
Alexandre Joseph Colonna, Count Walewski, (4 May 1810 – 27 October 1868), by Marie, Countess Walewski (1789 – 1817).
May have had further illegitimate offspring:
Émilie Louise Marie Françoise Joséphine Pellapra, by Françoise-Marie LeRoy.
Karl Eugin von Mühlfeld, by Victoria Kraus.
Hélène Napoleone Bonaparte, by Countess Montholon.
Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire (19 August 1805 – 24 November 1895) whose mother remains unknown.
Legacy
Statue of Napoléon in Les Invalides, eyes on the French flag
Tomb of Napoleon I, located in the Church of the Dome at Les Invalides
Napoleon is credited with introducing the concept of the modern professional conscript army to Europe, an innovation which other states
eventually followed. He did not introduce many new concepts into the French military system, borrowing mostly from previous theorists
and the implementations of preceding French governments, but he did expand or develop much of what was already in place. Corps
replaced divisions as the largest army units, artillery was integrated into reserve batteries, the staff system became more fluid, and
cavalry once again became a crucial formation in French military doctrine.
Napoleon's biggest influence in the military sphere was in the conduct of warfare. Weapons and technology remained largely
static through the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, but 18th century operational strategy underwent massive restructuring. Sieges
became infrequent to the point of near-irrelevance, a new emphasis towards the destruction, not just outmaneuvering, of enemy armies
emerged. Invasions of enemy territory occurred over broader fronts, thus introducing a plethora of strategic opportunities that made wars
costlier and, just as importantly, more decisive (this strategy has since become known as Napoleonic warfare, though he himself did not
give it this name). Defeat for a European power now meant much more than losing isolated enclaves; near-Carthaginian peaces
intertwined whole national efforts, sociopolitical, economic, and militaristic, into gargantuan collisions that severely upset international
conventions as understood at the time. It can be argued that Napoleon's initial success sowed the seeds for his downfall. Not used to
such catastrophic defeats in the rigid power system of 18th century Europe, many nations found existence under the French yoke difficult,
sparking revolts, wars, and general instability that plagued the continent until 1815.
In France, Napoleon is seen by some as having ended lawlessness and disorder, and the wars he fought as having served to
export the Revolution to the rest of Europe. The movements of national unification and the rise of the nation state, notably in Italy and
Germany, may have been precipitated by the Napoleonic rule of those areas.
The Napoleonic Code was adopted throughout much of Europe and remained in force after Napoleon's defeat. Napoleon
himself once said: "My true glory is not to have won 40 battles... Waterloo will erase the memory of so many victories... But what nothing
will destroy, what will live forever, is my Civil Code." Professor Dieter Langewiesche of the University of Tübingen describes the code as a
"revolutionary project" which spurred the development of bourgeois society in Germany by expanding the right to own property and
breaking the back of feudalism. Langewiesche also credits Napoleon with reorganizing what had been the Holy Roman Empire made up
of more than 1,000 entities into a more streamlined network of 40 states providing the basis for the German Confederation and the future
unification of Germany under the German Empire in 1871.
Critics of Napoleon argue that his true legacy was a loss of status for France and many needless deaths:
After all, the military record is unquestioned—17 years of wars, perhaps six million Europeans dead, France bankrupt, her
overseas colonies lost. And it was all such a great waste, for when the self-proclaimed tête d'armée was done, France's "losses were
permanent" and she "began to slip from her position as the leading power in Europe to second-class status—that was Bonaparte's true
legacy."[27]
Napoleon is sometimes alleged to have been in many ways the direct inspiration for later autocrats: he never flinched when
facing the prospect of war and destruction for thousands, friend or foe, and turned his search of undisputed rule into a continuous cycle of
conflict throughout Europe, ignoring treaties and conventions alike. Even if other European powers continually offered Napoleon terms
that would have restored France's borders to situations only dreamt by the Bourbon kings, he always refused compromise, and only
accepted surrender. But Napoleon was in many ways closer to historical figures like Alexander or Caesar, and it is one of the reasons for
the vivacity and strength of his legacy.
Living at the tail end of the Enlightenment era, Napoleon also became notorious for his effort to suppress the slave revolt in
Haiti and his 1801 decision to re-establish slavery in France after it was banned following the revolution.
Nevertheless, many in the international community still admire the many accomplishments of the emperor as evidenced by the
International Napoleonic Congress held in Dinard, France in July 2005 that included participation by members of the French and
American military, French politicians, scholars from as far away as Israel and Russia, and a parade recreating the Grand Army.
Napoleon was hated by his many enemies, but respected by them at the same time. Wellington, when asked who he thought
was the greatest general of the day, answered: "In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon."
Napoleon's height
A Caricature depicting a diminutive Napoleon
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Many historians have recently argued that, contrary to popular belief, Napoleon was not short as often depicted in popular
culture. Although historians disagree on Napoleon’s precise height, it has been suggested that he was actually slightly taller than the
average early 19th-century Frenchman.[28] Some historians claim the French emperor's height was recorded as 5 ft. 2 in French units,
corresponding to 1.68 meters or 5 ft. 6 in Imperial units. A French inch was 2.71 centimetres while an Imperial inch is 2.54 centimetres. [29]
The metric system was introduced during the French First Republic, but was not in widespread use until after Napoleon's death.
However, other historians reject this claim, pointing out it is unlikely that Napoleon was measured with a French yardstick after his death,
Napoleon was under British control on St. Helena, and was almost certainly measured with a British yardstick, which would suggest that
the measurement of 5 ft. 2 in is accurate.[30]
Napoleon's nickname of le petit caporal may add to the confusion, as non-Francophones may mistakenly interpret petit by its
literal meaning of "small"; in fact, it is an affectionate term reflecting on his camaraderie with ordinary soldiers (for example, petit ami
means "boyfriend" in French, petite amie means "girlfriend," and mon petit chou ("my little cabbage") is a term of affection). He also
surrounded himself with the soldiers of his elite guard, who were usually six feet or taller.
Evolution of name
At birth, the child's name was Napoleone di Buonaparte. However, as a child, neither Napoleone nor his family used the aristocratic
particle di. Though the Buonaparte family belonged to minor nobility, they were financially poor and did not regard themselves as
aristocrats. However, as it was necessary to belong to a proven noble family to enroll at the military academy at Brienne, in school the
child was known as Napoleone de Buonaparte. He gradually adopted a French version of his first name, Napoléon. In 1795, after having
become a major French general, he dropped the "u" from his last name, making it Bonaparte.
Noteworthy family members
One of Napoleon's nephews became Napoleon III, ruler of the Second French Empire.
One of Napoleon's grandnephews, Charles Joseph Bonaparte, was a United States Cabinet member and founder of the Federal Bureau
of Investigations.
Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.
In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap.
It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking
and go in.
The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
Victory belongs to the most persevering.
[Medicine is] a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken
collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.
“The surest way to remain poor is to be honest”

Ability is of little account without opportunity.”

“Men are Moved by two levers only: fear and self interest”

“I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”

“One must change one's tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one's superiority.”

“Women are nothing but machines for producing children.”

“The word impossible is not in my dictionary.”

“I must see her and press her to my heart. I love her to the point of madness, and I cannot continue to be separated from her. If
she no longer loved me, I would have nothing left to do on earth.”

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”
Napoleon's Maxims & Quotes
On Women
 Female virtue has been held in suspicion from the beginning of the world, and ever will be.
 To seduce a wife from her husband, or a son from his father, are odious acts, unworthy of civilised nations.
 In choosing a wife, a man does not renounce his mother, and still less is he justified in breaking her heart.
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 There is no greater misfortune for a man than to be governed by his wife: in such case he is neither himself nor
his wife, he is a perfect nonentity.
 In great crisis, it is the lot of women to soften our misfortunes.
 Fortune is like a woman—if you miss her to-day, think not to find her to-morrow.
Napoleon's Maxims & Quotes
On Death
 It is the cause, and not the death, that makes the martyr.
 We are strong, when we have made up our minds to die.
 A man is not dependent upon his fellow creature, when he does not fear death.
 We are all destined to die—can a few days of life equal the happiness of dying for one's country?
 Death overtakes the coward, but never the brave until his hour has come.

Napoleon's Maxims & Quotes


On Love
 The woman we love is ever the handsomest of her sex.
 Love for one's children, and one's wife are those sweet affections which subdue the soul by the heart, and the
feelings by tenderness.
 We should always sleep upon the quarrel of the over-night.
 The guilt of many men may be traced to over-affection for their wives.
 The only victory over love is flight.
 Love does more harm than good.