Napoleon Bonaparte, Condottiero, Statista, Emperor of the French and King of Italy, was born in Ajaccio in Corsica on 15 August 1769.
Belonging to the small provincial nobility race, he studied in the college of Autun, then addressed by the father lawyer to the military career he studied in the military college of Brienne and, after 15 years, at the military school in Paris, obtaining the rank of artillery lieutenant one year later .
France is facing the insurrections of the French Revolution and the merits of Napolene Bonaparte are such that in 1791 he was appointed battalion commander in the Ajaccio National Guard and later, distinguished in the siege of Toulon, occupied by the British was appointed Brigadier General October 1793.
A fervent supporter of the Jacobin cause and linked to the group of Robespierre, he was arrested, after the coup d'etat of the thermidor, removed from the army and reinstated in the grades when Barras entrusted him with the task of repressing the realist coup of the 13th grape harvest 1795.
On 2 March 1796 the command of the Army in Italy, with the task of engaging the Austro-Piedmontese forces, thus relieving the German front, achieved several victories, until the Peace of Campoformio, further consolidating its position.
Endowed with an emotional and restless temperament, eager for power, endowed with a strong sense of opportunity, strong of the prestige gained on the field, in September 1797 he helped the Directory eliminate some members from the assemblies making a real coup ( the Coup d'etat by Fruttidoro) and imposed a certain diplomatic line that weighed on the institutional set-up of the conquered territories.
In 1798 he was entrusted with the expedition to Egypt, destined to cut England's connections with India and its other overseas possessions.
At the beginning it was a victorious campaign, Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the island of Malta in June, Alexandria of Egypt in July and began to advance towards Syria, but these victories were thwarted by the destruction, in August, of the French fleet by the English Admiral Nelson in the bay of Abukir.
Out of misfortune, the French army was struck by the plague in May 1799 and Napoleon, forced to abandon Egypt, sailed from Alexandria in August, barely managing to escape the British fleet's surveillance and to land in France, while the country was under the threat of invasion.
The eighteen Brumaire Napoleon, resorting to the army, established a military dictatorship that, through constitutional reform, entrusted power to three Consuls, of which the former was himself.
When he was elected First Consul, Napoleon was only 30 years old and he had enormous power: he first forced Austria to the peace in 1801 and England in 1802 and then dedicated himself to the internal reorganization of France.
A supporter of a reorganization of the state based on a strong executive power and administrative centralization, Napoleon Bonaparte subjected the entire French territory to the control of the central government through the action of the prefects and mayors who were appointed by the government.
He carried out a major reorganization of the legislative systems and gave great importance to the Civil Code, which extended to all annexed States or vassals, sanctioning the principles of individual liberty, legal equality and private property.
Great reformer, Napoleon established the Bank of France to free the state from dependence on private bankers; in order to promote social peace, the exiled monarchists were prepared to swear loyalty to the regime and, in order to meet the expectations of Catholics, they signed a concordat with the Holy See in 1801, recognizing Catholicism as the religion of most of the French.
The foreign policy pursued by Napoleon Bonaparte enabled him, by force of arms (Napoleonic wars), to temporarily reorganize Central-Western Europe in a manner consistent with French interests, introducing profound reforms in the institutional and social arrangements of the countries subjected to it.
In 1804 he was crowned by the Pope, Emperor of the French, in Paris, in the Church of Notre Dame and, the following year, he proclaimed himself King of Italy.
In the following years a long series of victories allowed him to shatter the third coalition, formed by Great Britain, Austria and Russia and in 1810, worried about leaving a descent, Napoleon married Marie Louise of Austria who gave him a son, Napoleon II.
In 1812 Great Britain, Russia and Sweden allied themselves with other nations, giving life to the fourth coalition and in an attempt to overthrow it, Napoleon attempted the invasion of Russia with 600,000 men, the "Great Army", an invasion that turned into a defeat that cost the life of 500,000 men.
The coalitioned nations invaded defenseless France, on March 4, 1814 Paris was occupied by enemy troops, on April 6 Napoleon was forced to abdicate in favor of his son and then to renounce all of his powers going into exile to the island of Elba on 7 July of the same year.
During his exile, Austrians, Prussians, British and Russians, during the Congress of Vienna, what was the Great Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte was divided, which, in March 1815, escaped from captivity and landed in France, reorganized an army, dreaming to regain power, but, after "one hundred days", on 18 June 1815 the defeat awaited him on the fields of Waterloo.
Confined in the distant Island of Sant'Elena, Napoleon Bonaparte died in Longwood, under the supervision of the British, on May 5, 1821.