Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Napoleon Bonaparte

1769 On August, 15th, Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio, Corsica. It is said, at birth, Napoleon was born with two teeth. Approximately one child at 3,000 births is born with teeth, which doctors consider it a birth defect. Others say, that child, with this kind of defect, will have a strong character with a significant impact on humanity. It is said that Julius Caesar was born also with teeth.

1785 He joined the French artillery.

1793 He became famous during Toulon siege.

1795 He suppressed royalist uprisings in Paris.

1796-1797 He defeated Austrians, in the North of Italy.

1798 Campaign in Egypt took place.

1799 He managed a coup and became first consul. For French people Napoleon was also a good admirer. During Consulate, he was said that “he was closest to a civilian of all soldiers”. Holder of a lucid and penetrating mind, of a huge concentration power and of an extraordinary energy, it was very easy for him to impose his point of view. Thrift, moderation and a social liberalism completed his portrait.

1800    He defeated Austrians at Marengo.

1804 He crowned himself as an emperor.

1805 He defeated Austrians and Russians at Austerliz. Austerliz battle was a proof of his mastery. Accusing a weakness in the right flank he provoked the attack there and made the Russian-Austrian army to share into two parts. Then he attacked in the middle and pushed the dispersed enemy to the left.

1806 He defeated Prussians at Jena.

1807 He invaded Portugal and started the peninsular war. Starting with this year victories had not come so easy. Napoleon often and often resorted to frontal assaults and he used artillery in order to break enemy lines. Some people considered that it was a decline in power. But, the defensive campaign in the East of Paris in1814 and the first campaign in Italy were brilliant in their way.

1808 He invaded Spain. This was one of his great errors – which brought his fall – there were judgement mistakes. He trusted too much the others’ loyalty; list with those that disappointed him is very long. He tended to have too much self-confidence and did not know his limits, that is why his strategic visions had major defects.

For instance, he did not count correctly the consequences of Spain invasion and Bourbons forcing to give up to Spanish throne. He did not realised how much Germany, Italy and Holland hated French occupation. He underestimated the risks that were before and during campaign in Russia.

1812 He invaded Russia.

1813 He was defeated by Allied Forces, the Sixth Coalition, at Leipzig.

1814 Coalition invaded France, obliged Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him on Elba Island. During peace negotiation in 1813 and 1814 he proved a little sense of reality.

1815 During less than a year, he left Elba and came back to power, but was defeated on June at Waterloo. After this, specific to him, he considered that the image he had in front of the British was good enough to bring him with open arms. He was wrong. It was the beginning of a new exile period for the emperor, but this time on Saint Helena Island.

1821 On May, 5th, on the island he was exiled, Napoleon Bonaparte died. An autopsy concluded that he had died because of stomach cancer even if Sten Forsufvud and other scientists continued to state that he had been poisoned with arsenic.[1] It is said that Napoleon's doctor cut off his penis during the autopsy and gave it to a priest in Corsica. The penis, which was not properly preserved, has been compared over the years to a piece of leather, a shriveled eel and to beef jerky. In 1927 when it went on display in Manhattan, TIME weighed in, comparing it to a "maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace." It's enough to give anyone a complex! In 1977, a urologist living in New Jersey purchased the modern-day relic for $3,000 and stored it under his bed until he died 30 years later. His daughter inherited Napoleon's penis and has fielded at least one $100,000 offer.[2]

He was married two times, to Josephine Beaumarchais and to Marie-Louise of Austria.

Napoleon inherited from the early post-revolutionary period a certain kind of fight – offensive, mobile, relentlessly, style that helped him to defeat his enemies. He perfected this fight style by his charming way of ruling and by his finesse intelligence. Wellington amounted Napoleon’s presence of the battle field to 40 000 people.

Napoleon was ready to draw on all devotion and courage manifestations that he met. In choosing his subordinates he sought the lucky ones, unconventional and aggressive (“I like only warrior officers”). Instead, they led people on the front and died for him.

He had never systematized the used strategies. “There are not certain or definite rules… everything depends on execution way.” But, except boldly, he was famous for the rapidity he moved and concentrated his troops, for the subterfuges he did trying to divide or unbalance his opponents, so he obtained the superiority on the battle field. His achievements were not less. He reformed tax system, established France Bank and restarted up finances of France. He drafted a civil code that stood the test of time. He reformed criminal law and local government (he established prefectures). He strengthened higher education system. He normalized relationships between state and Church, revived French agriculture, built roads, fosses and harbours. He put France to work, established a climate of stability and prosperity. Goethe described Napoleon’s administrative measures as a manifestation of genius.

Napoleon fixed high standards and believed himself as being led by high ideals: love of country, honour and human rights. He was brave, gracious in victory and generous. Metternich said that he had heard him in 1813 telling: “A man like me cares too less about one million people’s fate”. But the care he showed to wounded people contradicted him.

Many British contemporaries (not all) perceived him as a tyrant, an upstart adventurer (Sa majeste tres Corse), a monster of ambition, obsessed by his glory.[1]

 

 

Bibliography:

    1. http://www.ro.biography.name/conducatori/84-franta/254-napoleon-bonaparte-1769-1821
    2. Top 10 Famous Stolen Body Parts, time.com - accessed on 10.08.2013

 

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