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Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio, Corsica. He was the second of eight children of Carlo (Charles) Bonaparte and Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte. Napoleon attended Brienne and the École Militaire, in Paris. Napoleon graduated in 1785, at the age of 16, and joined the artillery as a second lieutenant. In 1796 he married Joséphine de Beauharnais, the widow of an aristocrat guillotined in the Revolution and the mother of two children. Also in 1796, Bonaparte was made commander of the French army in Italy. After the Revolution began, he became a lieutenant colonel in the Corsican National Guard. In 1793, however, Corsica declared independence, and Bonaparte, a French patriot and a Republican, fled to France with his family. When Napoleon got to France he became a General. The wars that occurred while he was general were called the Napoleonic Wars. The Napoleonic wars were a series of wars fought against several European monarchies whose dynastic rulers feared that the popularity of democratic reforms in France might spread to other countries.

The countries these wars were fought against were Austria, Britain, Prussia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sardinia. They formed the First Coalition. The First Coalition was dedicated to defeating Napoleon's forces and restore French nobility and to the throne. Napoleons downfall came after he decided to attack Russia, in 1812. He let his army be caught deep in Russia during the winter. They did not have enough food and could not return home. Almost the entire army was lost. When Napoleon lost to Russia it was a signal for other countries to attack his army. These armies were Austria, Russia, and Prussia. They invaded France and captured Paris in April of 1814. He was forced to resign as emperor and was sent to the Mediterranean Island of Elba, where he was a prisoner. He later escaped in early 1815. When he escaped to Southern France he tried to gain his power back as Emperor as France. When he organized his attack of 1,000 supporters he tried to take on the army that was put together by England and its allies. He was defeated in Waterloo, Belgium. After his Defeat he fled to Rochefort,         France, where he commanded a British ship. This return to power only lasted three months and was called the "Hundred Days." He died May 5th 1821, on the Island of Helena at the age of 51.