Napoleon Bonaparte Essay

3077 words - 12 pages

Napoleon Bonaparte

From the moment of his birth, something in the stars said that Napoleon Bonaparte would
one day emerge as the leading power of the French. He was a man of many talents. His
distinctive personality was a clear indicator of his glory and fame to come. He tended to
appeal to other's senses in order to gain for himself. " His rule was to mark the close of
the revolution, a return to order and stability, a rejoining of the history of France with the
first stage of the Revolution, but only the first stage " 1. As a strong willed man,
Napoleon quickly rose to power in France and was able to subdue most of Europe for
roughly twenty years by strategically mending the turmoil caused by the French revolution
simply by preserving some its reforms, such as religious tolerance, while also destroying
some of its aspects, for example, abolishing political freedom.
An individual's personality and upbringing are two major contributors to their actions.
Why was Napoleon able to rule with the rigidness and authority that he did? Napoleon
Bonaparte was born in 1769 just before the wake of the French Revolution in 1789 into
the nobility of Corsican society, one that was very simple 2. Corsicans were strong
believers in defense and respect of the family, and a violation of this would mean death 3.
Napoleon as well as his brothers and sisters were often spanked by their mother, but " . . .
they knew punishment was given in love, and they took it in that spirit " 4. This suggests
why Napoleon ruled with such a strong fist when he had an unconditional love for his
country. Those who speak of him as a young child remember him very distinctly: " . . . he
had a quick temper and a mind of his own. His needs always came first. His wishes
always had to be satisfied---now. If not, he'd throw a tantrum that neighbors compared to that of a snarling little beast " 5. Could it be justified that Napoleon was a " beast " living
in a human's body? As a boy, he decided that he wanted to become a soldier 6. He was
taught to speak French at a school taught by Catholic priests where he skirmished to be
accepted 7. To follow his dream, he eventually transferred to a military school which he
thoroughly enjoyed 8. He graduated as a second lieutenant and climbed his way up to
achieve the ranks of an officer. Napoleon and Hitler are often compared to each other
because just like Napoleon, Hitler also had to struggle to be accepted into society and then
found his comfort in a group although a political one 9. They were also both ambitious
and patriotic men.
Before France fell into the hands of Napoleon, the nation had been in a complete state
of chaos and instability. France, around 1790, had created a constitutional monarchy but
was undoubtedly moving toward corruption. The revolutions main objectives were clearly
stated with three words: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, all of which Napoleon
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