Sample Review Essay on Napoleon


Napoleon Bonaparte, was a French military, sovereign and political leader in 1804 60 1814. He gained a lot of popularity towards the end of the French revolution and their associated war with the Europeans (Arnold 23). His parents were Maria Leitzia Ramolino and Carlo Maria di Bonaparte and he was born on august 15th in 1979, in Corsico.

His father was an attorney who was the representative of Corsica to Louis XVIs court in 1777. Bonaparte who was favored by his family links received good education that other typical Corsicans could not access at the time. In January 1779, he enrolled in a religious institution in Autun, mainland France to learn French. Afterwards, he joined a French military based on Brienne-le-Chateau in May (Gates 47).

Napoleon in 1784 completed his studies in Brienne and was later admitted in Ecole Militaire in Paris. It is in the institution that he learned artillery officer’s skills and lessons. Before completion of his studies or training, his father died thus reducing his financial capability and forcing him to clear his two years training in a year.

Upon completion of his training successfully, he also became the first Ecole Militaire graduate from the Corsican’s in 1785n (Lyons 63). Bonaparte was also commissioned as a junior military staff during the La Fere artillery regiment. He later took leave in 1789 from his garrison roles in Valence and Auxome during the revolution, for Paris and Corsica where also for two years (Charles 391).

Bonaparte during his early days in Corsica fought in a 3 way complex fight with the monarchists, insurgents and nationalist in Corsican. For his revolutionary support of Jacobin faction, Bonaparte received honor from the Corsican militia as the lieutenant colonel thus gaining a lot of power over volunteers of the group.

In July 1792 thereafter, he was ordained as a regular army captain despite being the riots mastermind against the French in military in Corsica and extending his leave (Arnold 23). Napoleon upon his return to Corsica went into conflict with Paoli because of sabotaging the French assault on La Maddalena Island in Sardinian in February of 1793 where he was also one of the leaders facilitating decisions to break partnerships with France. Bonaparte as a result, was forced for flee in June 1973 with his family to French mainland (Arnold 24; Gates 48).

Additionally, he gained support and admiration of the younger brother of Maximilien Robespierre, Augustin Proofreading-EditingRobespierre who was in July 1793  a revolutionary leader after publishing a pamphlet that was pro-republican, the Le souper de Beaucaire, meaning supper at Beaucaire.

With the help of Antoine Christophe Saliceti who was his fellow Corsican following the Toulon siege, he was elected the artillery commander of the republican forces. British troops inhabited the city that rose against the republican government (Charles 398). Bonaparte also devised strategies of capturing a hill that had a vulnerable harbor to the republican guns dominance and compelled the evacuation of British ships.

The plan of Bonaparte however saw him injured in an assault that led into the capturing of the city. At the age of 24, he got a promotion to the rank of brigadier general capturing the attention of the Committee of Public Safety. This also led to his promotion and taking charge of the artillery France Army of Italy (Lyons 65).

While waiting confirmation of his new promotion, he also spent a lot of time near Marseille, the coast of the Mediterranean as the coastal fortifications inspector. He further enhanced his efforts to launch an attack at the Sardinia Kingdom forming part of his campaigns against the first coalition (Gates 52; Lyons 66).

It was through his plan that the French army also made advancement in April 1794 in a fight in Saorgio, along the Italian Riviera north east heading northwards to Ormea in the mountains. They also forced their way to the west taking advantage over the position of Austro-Sardinian in Saorge. Napoleon was then sent to the Genoa Republican by Augustin Robespierre on a mission to establish the country’s links with France (Charles 407).

He also compelled Australia during his leadership to reconcile with its allies (Gates 50). He also introduced different reforms in Europe including spread of religious toleration and feudalism without forgetting his ‘Napoleonic code’’ which had a lot of influence on different civil law jurisdictions across the globe despite being a legal code in France (Gates 52).

Napoleon engaged Desiree Clary from a very wealthy merchant family with a sister who was also married to Joseph, his elder brother. However, the engagement did not last for long because Bonaparte was romantically attached to Josephine de Beauharnais who was the former mistress of Barras. The relationship in March 1796 ended up in marriage. He then left for Paris two days after their marriage to take charge of Italy’s military leading to successful Italy invasion (Gates 53; Arnold 24).

The conventional military ideas of Napoleon like the creative artillery usage supporting his infantry that he applied in his battle saw him rise to success. He also alleged that he had fought up to sixty battles and did not learn anything new that he was not aware of in the beginning thus citing Caesar’s example who also fought in his first fight like it was his last (Lyons 67).

In 1808, the Peninsular war began draining the French military resources and as a result, leading to many defeats for the following five years. The worst was when Bonaparte invaded Russia in 1812 but it was defeated to the point of retreating from the battle right to the fall of Paris in 1815 (Charles 411).

Napoleon Bonaparte was then forced to go into exile in the Island of Elba because he was seen as Europe’s peace barrier. He went to exile with his son and wife taking refuge in Austria (Arnold 24; Gates 54). In 1821 February, the health of Bonaparte was deteriorating at a high rate and he was attended to by two physicians from Britain but it was late.

On 5th of May 1821, two days later, Napoleon died after confessing in the presence of father Ange Vignali (Charles 419; Lyons 71). Napoleon still remains the most learned politician in history following his numerous victories in different battles. He was also seen as the greatest commanders in history with his campaigns being studied in various military academies across the globe (Charles 413). In 1798, Napoleon conquered the Ottoman and rules Egypt with his eyes focused on striking trade routes between India and Britain.

He declared himself the French citizen’s emperor in 1804 and fought many wards with a mixture of forces with some against him and some in favor of him. Napoleon through his amazing victories still managed the influence France sphere by promoting his family members and friends to take over European nations as vassal states of France and also by creating alliances (Gates 53; Charles 415)

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Works cited

Arnold, Eric. “The Reign of Napoleon Bonaparte.” History 30.1 (2001): 23-4. ProQuest. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Charles, Messenger. Reader’s Guide to Military History. Routledge. (2001):391–427.

Gates, David. “Napoleon as General.” History Today 48.6 (1998): 47-54. ProQuest. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Lyons, Martyn. Napoleon Bonaparte and the legacy of the French Revolution. Macmillan, 1994.