Napoleon Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1769 – 1821 *** Full Name: Napoleon was also known as Napoleone di Buonaparte and Napoléon Bonaparte *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on August 15, 1769 *** Place of Birth: Napoleon was born in Ajaccio, Corsica *** Family background: His father was an attorney called Carlo Maria di Buonaparte*** Early life and childhood: Napoleon grew up and spent the majority of his life in France *** Education: Napoleon began his education at a military academy at Brienne-le-Château in 1779 *** Napoleon died on May 5, 1821.
Napoleon Fact 1: Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769, at Casa Buonaparte, his family's home in Ajaccio, Corsica.
Napoleon Fact 2: He was a French military and political leader, a strong figure who supported the revolution and led France through a series of major conflicts which became known as the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon Fact 3: He came from a wealthy, noble family, his father was an attorney called Carlo Maria di Buonaparte, his mother's name was Maria Letizia Ramolino. He had seven surviving siblings of which he was the second eldest. Their names were Joseph, Lucien, Elisa, Louis, Pauline, Caroline, and Jérôme. They were baptized Roman Catholics and they were firmly disciplined by their mother.
Napoleon Fact 4: His birth name was Napoleone di Buonaparte, he changed it to Napoléon Bonaparte in the 1820s.
Napoleon Fact 5: From May 1779 to 1784, he was educated at a military academy at Brienne-le-Château. Napoleon spoke French, he had a Corsican accent for which he was teased for by other students. He was a good students, some of his best subjects included mathematics, history and geography. An examiner once declared that he thought Napoleon 'would make an excellent sailor.'.
Napoleon Fact 6: His wealthy and noble background afforded him a good education. He attended the École Militaire in Paris from 1784 where he trained as an artillery officer. Following the death of his father, his financial situation was restricted, he had to complete his two year course in only one year. He became the first student from Corsica to graduate from the elite École Militaire in Paris.
Napoleon Fact 7: Following graduation from École Militaire in Paris in 1785, he served in the French Army. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in La Fère artillery regiment. Up until the Revolution of 1789 broke out, he served in Valence and Auxonne in France.
Napoleon Fact 8: He supported the Revolution of 1789 and fought hard in Corsica with royalists and revolutionaries. He received a promotion to captain in July 1792. He fled to France with his family in June 1793 following a conflict with Paoli.
Napoleon Fact 9: With the use of large cannons, he saved the French government from collapse when he fired on the Parisian mobs on October 5th, 1795. He cleared the area, killing 1400 royalists. He was rewarded for his actions by being given command of the Army of Italy when he was just 26 years old!
Napoleon Fact 10: He made positive changes to the Army of Italy who were initially frustrated and underfed. He strengthened the army of Italy and led them to a number of victories against the Austrians. The French empire expanded making Napoleon a military hero.
Napoleon Fact 11: He married Joséphine de Beauharnais on March 9, 1796. He divorced her in 1810. They didn't have any children together and Napoleon was becoming increasingly worried about the future of his empire. He remarried that same year to Archduchess Marie Louise and she gave birth to their son in March 1811. He is often referred to as Napoleon II despite never having ruled the empire.
Napoleon Fact 12: He occupied Egypt in an attempt to disrupt the Great British empire and their trade routes to India. Admiral Horatio Nelson and his crew destroyed Napoleon's forces on August 1, 1798 during the Battle of the Nile. His unsuccessful campaign lost him his reputation and resulted in Britain, Austria, Turkey and Russia forming a coalition against France. The following year, France had to give up part of the peninsula as French armies were defeated in Italy.
Napoleon Fact 13: He was a strong political leader which helped him to form the position of first consul meaning that he was able to appoint ministers, civil servants, generals and magistrates. His new constitution was very powerful and dictated the state religion, the education and legal systems.
Napoleon Fact 14: The Napoleonic Code was introduced by Napoleon himself. It was a great legal achievement for him, one which would be used by a proportion of legal systems in the world from Japan to Quebec. The Napoleonic Code forbade privileges based on birth, declared freedom of religion, and stated that government jobs should be appointed to the most qualified.
Napoleon Fact 15: The new constitution and the introduction of the Napoleonic Code brought Napoleon popularity which led to him to become the Emperor of France. On December 2nd, 1804 he was crowned Napoleon I by Pope Pius VII. His wife Josephine was crowned Empress.
Napoleon Fact 16: On May 26, 1805, he was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. The crown is made from gold and is fitted around a central iron band. Nowadays, it is held at the Cathedral of Monza in Italy.
Napoleon Fact 17: The War of the Third Coalition occurred between August - December 1805. The Battle of Trafalgar happened on October 21, 1805. Napoleon was defeated by British Admiral Lord Nelson when his 27 British ships led by HMS Victory defeated French and Spanish ships.
Napoleon Fact 18: His attempt to invade Russia failed miserably and resulted in the loss of many soldiers. In 1812, as many as 590,000 men out of 600,000 were unable to continue in battle due to death or injury. Napoleon surrendered on March 30, 1814. He was barred from his native country for political reasons and went to live on the island of Elba.
Napoleon Fact 19: He escaped exile March 1815 and went to Paris where he returned to power and led his troops into Belgium where they defeated the Prussians on June 16, 1815. On June 18, 1815 he was defeated once again as he battled against the British.
Napoleon Fact 20: He died on May 5, 1821 in Saint Helena following earlier signs stomach problems, possibly cancer. He was 51 years old when he died. He wanted his ashes scattered on the banks of the River Seine, however, this didn't happen. His remains were returned to France where a state funeral was held. His tomb is located at Les Invalides.
Influence & Legacy of Napoleon:
He was a French military and political leader who was born into a wealthy and noble family. He received a military education and became a strong figure who supported the revolution and led France through a series of major conflicts which became known as the Napoleonic Wars.