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Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Napoleon was born in Ajaccio , Corsica in 1769. He received a free military education in France. In 1785 he was commissioned a second- lieutenant of artillery. Napoleon became the commander of he artillery at the Siege of Toulon in 1792. In 1795 he was instrumental in putting down the counter-revolution in Paris. In 1796 he was appointed commander of the army of Italy. In Italy he led the French armies to a decisive victory over the Austrians. Napoleon was placed in charge of the French army of England, but realizing the impossibility of invading England he instead captured Malta and went on to capture Egypt. His forces were stopped at the Ottoman fortress at Acre. Napoleon returned to France. In August 1799 Napoleon participated in a revolution that placed him as the first consul of France. Napoleons first efforts were directed towards strengthening France internally. He codified French law for the first time. He then went on to defeat the Austrians on the battlefield. In 1801 and 1802 Napoleon negotiated peace agreements with his adversaries. In 1804 Napoleon was crowned emperor for life. In 1805 Napoleon once again engaged in war with Austria Russia and England. At the end of 1805 Napoleon decisively defeated the Austrians and Russians leaving him free to enter Vienna. Napoleon was the undisputed ruler of Europe.
In 1808 Wellington led a British army that landed in the Portugal, beginning the Peninsular War that was occupy much of the French army until 1813 when the French army was defeated and forced out of Spain. Napoleon's tactics for defeated England was the continental system that closed continental ports to the English. When the Russians opened their ports to neutral shipping, thus violating the system, Napoleon attacked Russia. He managed to lead his armies all the way to Moscow. The Russian army merely fell back leaving little food for Napoleons army to forage from. Napoleon was forced to withdraw from Moscow. By the time his armies returned to Volga River only 20% of the army remained.

Napoleons defeat in Russia spurred his rivals to assault France. His forces were defeated in a series of battles and on March 30th 1814 Paris was taken. On April 11th Napoleon was forced to abdicate. He was given sovereignty of Elba and a grant from the French government. The new French government led by a restored Bourbon monarchy proved unpopular, and Napoleon attempted a comeback. On March 1 1815 he landed on the French coast, and then on the 20th he entered Paris, beginning his 100 days. The other European countries soon mobilized a force to battle Napoleon. Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo, on June 22 he surrendered to the British and was banished to the Island of St Helena were he died on May 5th 1821