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Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). The Life and Career of Napoleon Bonaparte of France. Introduction . Early Life Reasons for Napoleon’s Success Napoleon’s Domestic Policies, 1800-1815 Principles of Napoleonic Warfare Napoleon’s Foreign Policy, 1800-1815 Impact of Napoleon on History.

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Napoleon Bonaparte(1769-1821)

The Life and Career of Napoleon Bonaparte of France


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Introduction

  • Early Life

  • Reasons for Napoleon’s Success

  • Napoleon’s Domestic Policies, 1800-1815

  • Principles of Napoleonic Warfare

  • Napoleon’s Foreign Policy, 1800-1815

  • Impact of Napoleon on History


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Napoleon’s Early Life.

  • Youth in Corsica, minor nobility.

  • Military education: Royal Military Academy of Brienne-la-Chateau age 9

  • Royal Military Academy Paris age 15

  • Artillery focus at school

  • Sympathy for the Revolution

  • Defender of the Convention; fires on protesters


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Early Life

  • Military Campaigns:

  • Italy, 1796-1797; defeats Austria

  • Egypt, 1797; army defeated by Britain’s Lord Nelson

  • Marriage to Josephine, 1796

  • Gains control over France’s Directory government, (1795-1799)

  • Declares himself First Consul for life

  • 1804: Declares himself Emperor


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Reasons for Napoleon’s Success

  • Political Leadership: Unity of Political and Military Power

  • Ideals of Nation, Glory, and Destiny

  • Strengths as a Military Figure:

  • Personal Leadership and Charisma

  • Ability to hurl huge armies at the enemy

  • Brilliant strategic and tactical thinking


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Napoleon as Military Figure

  • Directing the energies of the French Revolution outward, to grand wars of conquest

  • Focus of the army on himself


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Napoleon’s Domestic Policies

  • Centralization of government

  • System of patronage

  • New administrative and legal uniformity

  • The Napoleonic Code

  • Education

  • Secret Police

  • reimposition if Slavery


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Principles of Napoleonic Warfare

  • Offensive: always the first to attack

  • Mobility: speed and movement of troops

  • Surprise: catching the enemy off guard

  • Concentration: tight grouping of forces

  • Protection: effective defensive tactics




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Napoleon’s Foreign Policy

  • 1805-1807: decisively defeats Austria, Prussia, and Russia

  • 1805: Trafalgar, Oct 21; Austerlitz, Dec 2

  • 1806: Imposition of the Continental System

  • 1808: Spain incorporated into the empire, faces resistance

  • 1809: Austria defeated at Wagram


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The Invasion of Russia

  • 1812: Napoleon leads an army of 600,000 into Russia in June

  • Russian army refuses to fight: “Scorched Earth Policy”

  • September: Battle of Borodino--90,000 casualties.

  • October: Napoleon occupies Moscow

  • December: Retreat from Russia--less than 100,000 return


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The End of Napoleon

  • 1814: Formation of the Grand Alliance against Napoleon; Battle of Leipzig (Battle of Nations); invasion of France and expulsion of Napoleon to the island of Elba

  • 1815: Napoleon returns: reformation of the Grand Army; Defeated by Wellington at Waterloo, 18 June 1815

  • 1821: Dies on Saint Helena


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Napoleon and History

  • Doctrine of the Rights of Man spread across Europe

  • Economic life rationalized: free from local authorities and local weights and measures

  • National Law formed basis for economic activity

  • Nationalism unleashed

  • Congress of Vienna


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