Napoleon: The Rise to Power In recent years it has been suggested that Napoleon owed his rise to power more to others than through his own work. WHat do you think?

Essay by Tiny_ChelleUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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Napoleon blundered consistently during his rise to power. He owed his political success more to others and fortuitous circumstances than to his own judgment. Men like Sieyès, Barras, and Talleyrand, as well as Napoleon's own brother, Lucien, greatly contributed to Napoleon's success in France.

Barras was perhaps the most influential in helping Napoleon become the ruler of France. He did this, not because he liked Napoleon, but because he thought Napoleon would be necessary for Barras' own takeover. He knew that if he wished to have a successful political takeover, he would need the support of the army. And who better to lead the army than Napoleon, France's hero? As commander in chief of the Army of the Interior, Barras made Napoleon his second-in-command. When Napoleon was brought up before a board at the Luxembourg for his disgraceful abandonment of the army in Egypt, it was Barras who convinced the board not to press charges against Napoleon.

Barras also had contact with Roederer and Talleyrand, two other important supporters of the coup that helped bring Napoleon to power. Despite all he did to "help" Napoleon, Barras was cut out of the loop. His letter of resignation was penned for him, and delivered into his hands by Talleyrand.

Talleyrand was involved in the coup only to enrich himself. As the years of the Terror showed, Talleyrand was capable of switching sides easily, escaping the fate of many of his colleagues. Talleyrand had long been interested in a change of government, and like Sieyès, had chosen General Joubert to help with the takeover. When Joubert died, Talleyrand was left with only one alternative: Napoleon Bonaparte. Although Talleyrand found the idea of using Napoleon unpleasant, he knew it was his only choice. Talleyrand played a large part in the coup of 18 Brumaire,