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  1. Napoleon Bonaparte The Rise of Napoleon

  2. The Young Napoleon • Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Island of Corsica (in the Mediterranean Sea, of the coast of Italy) in 1769 • He was the son of Lower Nobility • This meant that he had some of the advantages of Nobility but not all • For example, his family was not very wealthy and he could never hold a prominent position because he was not part of the elite

  3. Military Training • At 10 years old, his father sent him to France to train as an officer in the French Military • Napoleon immediately rose to the top of his class and excelled in all subjects • He was also well liked by his classmates and a born leader • Napoleon chose to become an artillery officer • Artillery was a new field and not considered as honourable as Cavalry or Infantry • Napoleon understood that he had a greater chance of promotion in Artillery because he would not to compete with the sons of high nobility

  4. Napoleon and the Enlightenment • As with most educated people of his day, Napoleon read the works of the Enlightened philosophes • He was attracted to their ideas because he had supreme confidence in his own abilities • He hated the fact that his potential was limited by his birth status • He loved the concept that power and status should be based on talent and that everyone should have equal opportunities

  5. The Revolution comes • Napoleon was 20 when the revolution started • He was a young officer in the French Military who supported the National Assembly • When war broke out, Napoleon led one of the few French units to win victories • Napoleon star began to rise when the Jacobins took power • The Jacobins loved Napoleon for his victories and his loyalty • Napoleon loved the Jacobins for their commitment to enlightened principles • The Jacobins gave Napoleon command of an entire French army group

  6. Napoleon the General • Napoleon was a military genius and was able to help push foreign armies out of France • He used his knowledge of Artillery to devastate his opponents • He did not follow the traditional strategy of the day, he was very aggressive and sought to simply destroy the enemy • Tactically, Napoleon would “divide and conquer” If he faced an inferior opponent, he divided his forces; if he faced a superior opponent, he forced them to divide • He was also a fantastic motivator and his troops were able to march more quickly than any other force in Europe, this allowed him to choose which battles he wanted to fight

  7. A Whiff of Grapeshot • When the Jacobins fell from power, Napoleon realized he could be viewed as an enemy of the new government • He travelled back to France and offered his services to the Directory • The Directory was not strong and faced internal enemies and protests • Napoleon proved his loyalty to the directory by firing canons into a Paris mob • To reward him, the directory gave him and even larger section of the French army

  8. Napoleon wins in Italy • In a surprising and bold manoeuvre, Napoleon invaded Austrian controlled Italy • He caught the Austrian Army completely by surprise and won an incredible victory • He then negotiated his own peace treaty with Austria and took parts of Italy and Holland for France • He instantly became a National hero and was the most popular person France

  9. Napoleon and the Directory • The Directory realized the potential of Napoleon’s popularity • The commissioned painting of him and did everything possible to boost his public image • They attempted to link themselves to Napoleon’s fame in order to secure the loyalty of the people • They exploited his image for their own political gain • Napoleon, meanwhile was sent to Egypt to combat British forces

  10. Napoleon seizes power • Napoleon was internationally humiliated after a letter to his brother was intercepted by the British – he talked of his wife’s affair • Then the British defeated the French Navy and Napoleon was cut off from fresh supplies • Napoleon left his army behind and traveled back to France • When he came back, his brother convinced him to take control • Napoleon then asked for control of the Paris Guards • He soon gained their loyalty and attacked the Directory • Ironically, the Directory was defeated by the soldiers who were supposed to protect them • The Directory surrendered without a shot being fired, their plan to exploit Napoleon had tragically backfired

  11. Napoleon in Power • Napoleon claimed to be a “Son of the Revolution” and his seizure of power was saving the Revolution from ultimate defeat • Napoleon turned his attention on the war. Now that he was in complete command, France was able to end the war victoriously • Napoleon wished to legitimize his new position and wished to become a King. • The Pope came to Rome to crown him. • However, in another stunning move, Napoleon took the crown from the Pope’s hands and crowned himself • This is why Napoleon became the Emperor of France and not the King – he was 35 years old