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Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica, on August, 15, 1769. It just so happened that he who would be the future ruler of France, would end up being born as a French citizen. Napoleon was many things to many people. to the troops he commanded he in battle he was known fondly as the "Little Corporal." to the monarchs and kings whose thrones he overthrew he was "that Corsican ogre." Many believed him a great reformer, and others thought of him as a monster. What all these people had in common; however was the fact that they all believed Napoleon I, to be one of the greatest military geniuses of all time. Due to the fact that he was emperor of the French and the for 16 years the master of most of Europe. By devoting himself to the badly needed reconstruction of France he organized and paved the way for other countries. Napoleon restored friendly relations with the papacy, established the university of France, reformed the educational system, and founded the Bank of France and the Legion of Honour.

Above all he gave to the nation the Code Napoleon. It was the first clear statement of the French law in centuries. It became a model law for reformers throughout the world.

        On August, 10, 1792, Napoleon was faced with a chance to get ahead, he was stationed in Paris, while the French Revolution had been raging for three horrific years, it had reached it's climax on this particular day. With the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a French republic, this became a decisive event in Napoleon's life, because it gave him an opportunity to get ahead. napoleon viewed the revolution with an open mind, and in 1792 napoleon was made a captain, and in 1793 he was chosen to direct the artillery in the siege of Toulon. This was an important French port whose citizens had rebelled against the republic. Toulon fell, Napoleon was given command of the artillery of the army of Italy. he had littler opportunity to distinguish himself there, and when the Italians fell from power Napoleon returned to France. In October 1795, a great opportunity finally came napoleon's way, the people of war were tired of war, and they rose against the convention, the French legislative body. Napoleon was appointed to stop the revolts, and he took control. without hesitation he ordered the rebels to stop what they were doing. This saved the convention and a new government called the Directory was formed.

        In May, 1803 war broke out again between France and England. Russia, Austria, and Sweden joined Britain in what was known as the Third Coalition. Napoleon crushed the Prussians at Jena on October, 14, 1806. This brought Napoleon to almost complete control of Europe. England was the only country that stood in his way. In 1805, he planned to invade Great Britain, but this did not happen as he had planned. England's navy had destroyed the French fleet at Trafalgar, on October, 21, 1805, and this forced Napoleon to look for other means to defeat his enemy. These activities did not cause him to neglect his own personal position, and in 1804 he secured a popular vote changing the French government from consulate to an empire. As emperor of the French he assumed the right to hand down the throne to his own descendants. he had created an empire now he needed a heir.