Daniel Halliday
Dec 9 · Last update 23 days ago.
Who was Napoleon Bonaparte?
Napoleon was one of the most important leaders in French history, but why was his rule of so much significance?
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One of the great military commanders of history
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Tyrannical despot
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Social and political reformer whose influence was widespread
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One of the great military commanders of history

Napoleon Bonaparte was a military genius who expanded France as an Empire far beyond its present borders simply through his mastery of military tactics. He employed the contemporary military strategic theories of Pierre-Joesph Bourcet and Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, Comte de Guibert with ruthlessness, utilising mobility and manoeuvrability to progress far beyond taking power during the French Revolution. However Napoleon’s ambitions went far beyond militaristic as he became the first French Emperor in 1804 and continued his staggering military accomplishments first with a decisive victory over the Habsburg monarchy of Austria, then by defeating the Russian Empire and causing the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in order to solidify his grip over Europe.

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Tyrannical despot

Although Napoleon came to power through the French revolution his rule ended, as is the case with so many revolutions, in a dictatorship. He institutionalised the plunder of conquered territories that led to 6 million Europeans dying in the Napoleonic Wars, while he reinstated slavery, lost overseas colonies and caused bankruptcy of the French economy in the process. His egotism and the fostering of a cult of personality around himself, coupled with an extensive use of censorship and propaganda, has caused Napoleon to be compared famously to Adolf Hitler by critics.

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Social and political reformer whose influence was widespread

Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most important European leaders of history who came to power during the French Revolution. He then went on to conquer most of Europe through a series of successful military campaigns which lead to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. With his leadership Napoleon brought important reforms that spread deep throughout Europe and beyond, effectively modernising and permanently changing the face of Europe.

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