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19 Napoleon - Western Civilization II Chapter Twenty The...

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Western Civilization II Chapter Twenty “The Age of Napoleon” Early Life and Rise to Power Born (1769) on Corsica to a family that were minor and impoverished aristocrats. Napoleon emphasized and delighted in his non-aristocratic ways such as losing his temper, cheating at cards, ignoring social politeness. His commonness endeared him to the poor and the emerging middle class. He represented the “little corporal” who made it to the top on his own. Capabilities Schooled in France through early school and then at the military academy in Paris. Primary interests in school were history, law, and mathematics. He was typical of the Enlightenment -- creative, imaginative, and ready to perceive things in a different and non-traditional light. Strengths as a leader Able to conceive plans that were very complex (combinations of military, financial, and legal) and then master the details. Capacity to inspire others, even those initially opposed to him. His belief in himself as the savior of France. The wars at the time of the French Revolution (1792-1799) Napoleon joined the French artillery as a lieutenant in 1785 (at age 16) Joined the Jacobins early in the revolution Rose rapidly in the military (becoming a captain at 23) During the period when France was at war with the combined forces of First Coalition. Appointed to be the commander of the forces at Toulon to suppress a rebellion against the Jacobin government The rebels were aided by several British ships Napoleon used his artillery to push back the British ships Allowed the French army to put down the rebellion. Napoleon was named brigadier general (at 24)
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In 1795 (during the period when the Directory was about to be installed to lead the country), Napoleon was in Paris A riot instigated by royalists broke out in an attempt to stop the moderate government (Directory) from being put in place. The mob attacked the Tuileries Palace The commander of the palace army (General Barras) had seen Napleon in action at Toulon and sent for him to help defend the Tuileries and stop the riot Napoleon loaded his cannon with grapeshot and fired directly into the mob (killing hundreds) Napoleon was promoted to major general Barras was named to the Directory Napoleon married Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796 She was a beautiful woman of French descent from Martinique. She was 6 years older than Napoleon and had two children from a previous marriage (her first husband was killed in the Reign of Terror) She was a leader of Paris Society. Napoleon’s Rise to Power Named commander of a small, ill-equipped army in Italy (Savoy) where the French were fighting the Austrians (1796) Battle of Lodi The Directory only wanted him to tie up the Austrian army in the region and protect the south of France.
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