Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most recognized names in world history, having led France to the control of most of continental Europe. In the following pages, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte from the Island of Corsica to the title of Emperor of France will be examined.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica on August 15th, 1769. He was the second surviving child of lawyer Carlo Buonaparte, and his wife, Letizia Ramolino, who had married when Letizia was 14.
At the time of Napoleon's birth, Corsica had recently changed hands from the state of Genoa to France. There was a resistance movement to this changing over led by Pasquale Paoli. Carlo Buonaparte joined this movement, but Paoli was forced to flee, so Carlo became content with the French occupation. In 1771, Carlo convinced the French to recognize his title of count, which allowed him to further pursue his legal career.Now working for the French, Carlo was now open to the new opportunities that he could offer his family. Following the tradition of lesser noble families, he sent his eldest sons off to school, sending Joseph into the Church, and Napoleon into the army.Napoleon moved on to military school in Brienne, supported by royal scholarship, where he was an outsider, mostly because of his Corsican accent and background. In 1784, he graduated as thefirst Corsican to attend the Ecole Militaire, but was by no means a great student, ranked 42nd in a class of 58.
After graduation, Napoleon was made a second lieutenant of artillery in a regiment that served as a training school for young artillery officers. Napoleon continued his education while in the army, reading much, particularly on strategy and tactics. He took hisfirst visit home in September of 1786, and this lasted for almost two years. Upon his return home, he was greeted by a much different household, as his father had passed away a year earlier of stomach cancer. Althoug…


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