Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power consisted of many mistakes, wrong turns, and pitfalls, yet he managed to become head of the most powerful country in Europe at the age of thirty. During his formative years, his character was ambiguous and his intensions were often ill defined. He was, however, highly ambitious, and it was this that advanced his career and social status (Asprey). His most important and consistent aim was to create a French Empire and establish French dominance over Europe, which he was able to accomplish (Grab). However, as Napoleon became more powerful, his opposition grew stronger. It was evident that he was destined to be deposed by political responsibility and personal betrayal. Unfortunately, his threatening obsessions and potential for violence later led to his fall (Leggiere). Napoleon Buonaparte was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15th 1769 (Asprey, 7). The Buonaparte’s were a wealthy family from the Corsican nobility, but were considered poor when compared to the great aristocracies of France. Not quite nobility, one would assume that Buonaparte’s chance to rise was somewhat slim. But Napoleon was ambitious to become a well-known leader, and therefore strived to do so. He spent his early years in a military school in France but was considered an outsider because many of the other students came from very wealthy French families (13). Napoleon was driven by his father’s death in 1785. He graduated as second lieutenant in the artillery after attending the Parisian Ecole Royale Militaire for only one year (18). He played an active part in political and military matters in Corsica. He initially supported the Corsican rebel Pasquale Paoli, a former patron of Napoleon’s father, but later became opposed to him (41). As soon as the civil war erupted in 1793, the Buonaparte’s fled to France, where they adopted the French version of their name:…...

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