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Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte - Essay Example

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(Add (Add (Add Date) Rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte holds a number of unique titles ranging from undoubted genius, megalomaniac, general statesman, and ruthless dictator. He is also known as a workaholic genius, a short-term planner, a vicious cynic, and a misogynist who was capable of enthralling people…
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Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte
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Download file to see previous pages Probably, it led to overestimation of his abilities and eventually led to his defeat. Napoleon – Early Years Napoleon Bonaparte was born in a wealthy family in Ajaccio, on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica on 15th August 1769. His father, Carol Bonaparte, was a lawyer and a political opportunist. At that time, Corsica had just been sold to France by Genoa. So, Napoleon was not of French origin. According to Marsh, there were both luck and personal factors which favored Napoleon in his rise to power (5). As his father climbed the political ladder and as his mother had connections with Corsica’s French military governor, Napoleon had the chance to enter the military academy at Brienne in the year 1779. As Landau points out, it was this entry into military that acted as the very basis of his rise to power. With extraordinary talent in areas like mathematics, the workaholic genius graduated as a second lieutenant in the artillery in the year 1785 (18). Though Napoleon was posted on the French mainland, he was able to engage actively in the Corsican politics. Though he supported Corsican rebel Pasquale Paoli in the beginning, there were differences in opinion later on, and the Bonaparte had to flee to France. The French Revolution during the latter half of the 18th century was a fertile soil for individuals with talent to come to the fore. Fremont-Barnes reflects that the people agitated throughout France in a protest against the atrocities committed by the wealthy and the church (58). Soon, King Louis was imprisoned and executed. Following this, the revolutionary government declared France a republic. However, there was total chaos as the nation was ruled by various fractions; and most notable of them was the Jacobin group led by Maximilien Robespierre. This revolutionary government in France shocked monarchies throughout Europe. Empires like Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain wanted to suppress the revolution and bring monarchy back to power in France. Soon, in 1972, the empires declared war on France. However, France was not fit to face them as the revolution had eliminated its military officers. Many of them had been killed and many had already fled the place. The Toulon Siege and the Path Ahead Thus, in the year 1793, Napoleon was commissioned as a captain in the artillery and was assigned to the units which were engaged in the task of eliminating British Garrison from the southern port of Toulon as it was found to be helping Royalist uprising. There, sheer luck came into play as he was made the commander of the siege on 16th September 1793. He was offered the position because the existing commander of the artillery was wounded (“Napoleon Bonaparte”). In the new position, Napoleon exhibited skill and mastery by capturing two important forts and eliminating the British fleet from the port. Though it was not a major victory, he managed to present it as a great achievement. As the entire French army was marred by untrained people and lack of leadership, his performance, though minor, was noticed by a number of powerful men in Paris. This was followed by his ascend to the rank of Brigadier General. After this, Napoleon joined the campaign in Italy as the commandant of the artillery. However, by this time, the political atmosphere in Paris was rather bad as people were feeling highly insecure under the Directory, and, as a result, Robespierre was executed and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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