Napoleon the Great Summary
5 min read ⌚
How Napoleon Conquered Europe and Changed the World
Who was Napoleon? How did he become what he is nowadays known as?
Who Should Read “Napoleon the Great” and Why?
If you are looking for an in-depth look at the life of historical figures – look no more.
“Napoleon the Great” outlines the rise of Napoleon from a penniless man, to the iconic man who left an inerasable mark in history.
We recommend it to all history buffs, and to people doubting themselves. In Napoleon’s story, you might find the confidence you need!
About Andrew Roberts
Andrew Roberts is an award-winning biographer and historian.
“Napoleon the Great Summary”
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the name Napoleon is that he was French.
However, he was not born in mainland France – he was born on the island of Corsica, which became part of France just one year before Napoleon was born, in 1969.
In other words, Napoleon had Italian heritage.
During the Italian ruling of Corsica, his family was respectable, but after the rule was changed, his father applied for nobility in France, so he could ensure that his son would have a bright future ahead.
Napoleon was one of the 13 children of his parents, and his father application for nobility allowed them to have a good education and benefits.
Napoleon went to the Royal Military School of Brienne-le-Château. He was a great student and the teasing of his classmates that he is a child of fake nobility only motivated him to work harder.
He studied all that he could study, for eight hours every day, and in the end, he could reap the fruits from all the hard work when at the age of 16 he became the only Corsican holding a prestigious artillery commission, and one of the youngest army officers in general.
Although Napoleon was always a proud Corsican, when he entered the military he pledged allegiance to France.
During the French Revolution in 1789, Napoleon gave full support to the revolutionaries because he disliked the monarchy, and he loved the writings of Voltaire and Rousseau, both of which opposed the monarchy as well, but him being part of the military meant that he had to stop the revolution.
However, when the king was dethroned, Napoleon supported it and joined the Jacobins.
During this transformation, Napoleon succeeded moving ranks and became a lieutenant in 1791.
But that was not the end. Proving himself in battle, he earned the rank of general at the age of 24.
As a general, he had a task to protect Paris during the uprising happening on October 5th, 1795.
After that, he became the commander of the Army of Italy, which was a military campaign he was preparing himself for three years, before starting it in 1796.
This campaign was bold, and the odds of carrying it out were against his favor, but he carried it nevertheless –, and he did it with great success.
He was winning battles all over the place and gained the admiration of the French. However, the people were those that celebrated him, while the government started considering him a threat.
Wanting to decrease his popularity they sent him off to Egypt, where although he easily got Alexandria from the British, his soldiers started feeling the effects of the uneasy conditions of the desert.
However, Napoleon did not give up and even though the odds were bad the continued to Jaffa.
However, in Jaffa, after his soldiers violently took the city, caught a plague and died within one day.
The remaining soldiers continued fighting in Acre, until May of 1799, when Napoleon recognized that he could not break the fort’s walls with no reinforcements, and ended the campaign.
During this campaign, his dead soldiers were not the only thing that troubled Napoleon.
He also learned of his wife’s infidelity, whom he loved deeply from the first moment he met and wed her before he left for Italy.
Her name was Josephine, he was a widow with a child, and was in love with another man.
However, she wed Napoleon because she saw it as a great opportunity. For him, it was entirely different.
When he returned to France, he was greeted as a hero, and the public saw him as a savior.
Sadly, during the time he was gone on his mission, the government’s situation got only worse – there was inflation and deep corruption. The military was defeated a few more times as well, while he was gone.
So, Napoleon gathered a group of men to infiltrate France’s government. It was a risky move, but it succeeded, and Napoleon was appointed as the First Consul.
From this position, he made many reforms. However, the years that followed were not peaceful.
Sadly, our space is short to go into detail of all of his glorious achievements – that is why we urge you to read this fantastic story of one of the most well-known leaders in history.
Key Lessons from “Napoleon the Great”
1. Napoleon Was Not French – But That Was His Advantage
2. Napoleon Focused on the Things He Could Control
3. Napoleon Was a Step Before His Time
Napoleon Was Not French – But That Was His Advantage
Contrary to popular opinion, Napoleon was not French – he was born on Corsica, which is situated next to Sardinia, between Italy and French.
Corsica was under Italy until one year before Napoleon was born.
However, Napoleon’s father successfully applied for nobility after the control was changed, and after it was approved, they became aristocrats.
Napoleon Focused on the Things He Could Control
Even though Napoleon encountered some personal hardships during his missions, he focused on what he controlled: the battle at hand.
Adopting this approach in life can make things so much easier.
Napoleon Was a Step Before His Time
Napoleon was a visionary, but sadly no one understood what he was trying to accomplish. However, that is what all visionaries have in common: their ideas are accepted only after time has passed.
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“Napoleon the Great Quotes”I lived like a bear, in a little room, with books for my only friends . . . These were the joys and debaucheries of my youth. Click To Tweet More books have been written with Napoleon in the title than there have been days since his death in 1821. Click To Tweet Men can be unjust towards me, my dear Junot,’ he wrote to his faithful aide-de-camp, ‘but it suffices to be innocent; my conscience is the tribunal before which I call my conduct. Click To Tweet The future is a matter of contempt for those with courage. Click To Tweet I am very happy to see the enemy wish to avoid our coming to him. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“Napoleon the Great” is a detailed summary of Napoleon’s life. We believe that history buffs will enjoy it.
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