Napoleon was born in a French ruled island in the Mediterranean called Corsica. At age nine he went to France to train to be in the military. He was a twenty year old lieutenant when the revolution broke out. During the revolution Napoleon status in the military sky rocketed. After a few year Napoleon had gained enough power to assume the the title of Emperor of France.
Napoleon's Empire Faces Changes
Napoleon strengthened his power with by strengthening the central government. To improve the economy Napoleon controlled prices, encouraged industry, and built new roads and canals. Also, he made a new code of laws called the Napoleonic code.
Napoleon Falls from Power
Napoleon redrew the map of Europe by creating a vast French Empire. Napoleon controlled much of Europe by force. Napoleons success boosted the idea of nationalism. Britain was the only country that remained out of Napoleons empire. After fighting with Britain the two countries started the war of 1812.
Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. This campaign lead to events that began his downfall. His defeat brought an end to the French Revolution. Many europeans who welcomed the ideas of the revolution saw Napoleon as an oppressor. Spain conducted a campaign call the hit and run against the French.
The disaster in Russia lead to a new alliance of Russia, Britain, Prussia, and Austria. In 1814 Napoleon stepped down from power. An economic downfall lead to a growth in loyalty for Napoleon. Napoleon's victory would not last long as the other armies came back to attack him again a hundred days later and made him surrender again. After this he was exiled to St. Helena.
Napoleon died in 1812 but his legacy is still remembered around the world today. No one really knows if he was a leader of the Revolution or a traitor to it but no one questions his impact on France. Napoleon's conquests spread the ideas of the revolution around the world.