Causes[ edit ] The French Empire in Although the Napoleonic Empire seemed to be at its height in and it had in fact already declined somewhat from its apogee in — Although most of Western and Central Europe lay under his control—either directly or indirectly through various protectorates, allies, and countries defeated by his empire and under treaties favorable for France—Napoleon had embroiled his armies in the costly and drawn-out Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. But most importantly, Napoleon himself was not in the same physical and mental state as in years past.
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica from Liguria in the 16th century. Napoleon was born there on 15 Augusttheir fourth child and third son.
A boy and girl were born first but died in infancy. Napoleon was baptised as a Catholic. The nationalist Corsican leader Pasquale Paoli ; portrait by Richard CoswayNapoleon was born the same year the Republic of Genoaa former commune of Italy transferred Corsica to France.
An examiner observed that Napoleon "has always been distinguished for his application in mathematics. He is fairly well acquainted with history and geography This boy would make an excellent sailor".
At this time, he was a fervent Corsican nationalistand wrote to Corsican leader Pasquale Paoli in May"As the nation was perishing I was born. Thirty thousand Frenchmen were vomited on to our shores, drowning the throne of liberty in waves of blood. Such was the odious sight which was the first to strike me".
He was a supporter of the republican Jacobin movement, organising clubs in Corsica,  and was given command over a battalion of volunteers. He was promoted to captain in the regular army in Julydespite exceeding his leave of absence and leading a riot against French troops.
With the help of his fellow Corsican Antoine Christophe SalicetiBonaparte was appointed artillery commander of the republican forces at the Siege of Toulon. The assault on the position led to the capture of the city, but during it Bonaparte was wounded in the thigh.
He was promoted to brigadier general at the age of Augustin Robespierre and Saliceti were ready to listen to the freshly promoted artillery general. From Ormea, they headed west to outflank the Austro-Sardinian positions around Saorge. According to Bourrienne, jealousy was responsible, between the Army of the Alps and the Army of Italy with whom Napoleon was seconded at the time.
He also took part in an expedition to take back Corsica from the British, but the French were repulsed by the British Royal Navy. As an infantry command, it was a demotion from artillery general—for which the army already had a full quota—and he pleaded poor health to avoid the posting.
He faced a difficult financial situation and reduced career prospects. Bonaparte was promoted to Commander of the Interior and given command of the Army of Italy.
The couple married on 9 March in a civil ceremony. He immediately went on the offensive, hoping to defeat the forces of Piedmont before their Austrian allies could intervene. In a series of rapid victories during the Montenotte Campaignhe knocked Piedmont out of the war in two weeks.
The French then focused on the Austrians for the remainder of the war, the highlight of which became the protracted struggle for Mantua.
The Austrians launched a series of offensives against the French to break the siege, but Napoleon defeated every relief effort, scoring victories at the battles of CastiglioneBassanoArcoleand Rivoli.
The decisive French triumph at Rivoli in January led to the collapse of the Austrian position in Italy. At Rivoli, the Austrians lost up to 14, men while the French lost about 5, In the first encounter between the two commanders, Napoleon pushed back his opponent and advanced deep into Austrian territory after winning at the Battle of Tarvis in March Bonaparte marched on Venice and forced its surrender, ending 1, years of independence.Napoleon Bonaparte was a genius in many areas, but most of us know him for his amazing military exploits.
The Russian campaign was his downfall. Unfortunately this series doesn't focus enough on the military aspects of the great Russian adventure, and this dilutes its impact.
Coignet had fought with Napoleon Bonaparte since in Italy and saw service in all of the major campaigns. Among his battles were Austerlitz, Jena, Leipzig and Waterloo.
Invasion of Russia. One of Napoleon Bonaparte's biggest blunders was to invade Russia. The march on Moscow, the battle of Borodino and key clashes, eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the disastrous retreat and the death of the French army.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Napoleon Bonaparte. Welcome to the new SparkNotes! The Russian Campaign and Napoleon's Defeat; Exile and Escape; Waterloo and Saint Helena; Key People; Key Terms and Events; Napoleon's campaign in Egypt did not go as planned, and when he heard that the Directory was .
Here are some interesting facts about Napoleon Bonaparte which you may not be aware of: He kept a brotherhood like bond with his men even in the bloodiest campaigns, and even in the disastrous Russian campaign of , Napoleon still held a certain humor and compassion.
Napoleon held supreme power for well over a decade. Europe and the. Napoleon initially had no real reason to invade Russia. During the Battle of Friedland in June of , Napoleon’s army defeated the Russian army, and on July 7, , France and Alexander I of.