napoleon bonaparte

I. Background
A. Born in Corsica
B. Became French military officer
C. Supporter of the revolution
D. Famous for his marriage to Josephine de Beauharnais
II. Personal characteristics
A. Intelligent
B. Handsome
C. Energetic
D. Opportunist and risk taker- “great men become great because they have been
able to master luck.”
E. As Napoleon said, “I am no ordinary man.”
III. Rise to power
A. Rose quickly through the officer ranks
B. Became a popular hero (see David’s Bonaparte Crossing the Alps)
C. In 1799 he lead a coup d’ etat against the Directory
D. Became 1st consul of France and eventually made himself Emperor Napoleon
I in 1804
E. As ruler Napoleon established a military state which denied basic political
1. Freedom of speech not permitted
2. Ministry of police spied on citizens
3. Critics arrested or exiled
F. Despite this he was supported by many people because he continued reforms
providing social equality
1. Promotion based on merit
2. Public education
3. Napoleonic code
G. He also increased the power of France by conquering most of Europe,
spreading the ideals of the revolution
IV. Downfall
A. Failed to decisively defeat the British
B. Despite this, he invaded Russia in 1812
C. Forced to retreat, captured, and exiled to Elba island in 1814
D. After six months he escaped, but was defeated again at the Battle of Waterloo
E. Captured again and sent to St. Helena island