Who Is Napoleon?

Napoleon Bonaparte, also referred to as Napoleon I, was a French emperor and military leader in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He conquered much of Europe during his reign as the Emperor of the French.

Napoleon was born Aug. 15, 1769 on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. He quickly rose through the ranks of the military during his service in the French Revolution from 1789-1799. Napoleon seized political power of France in 1799 and declared himself emperor in 1804. Napoleon was known as a very intelligent and skilled military strategist. Between the years of 1803-1815, he successfully expanded his empire by waging war against different unions of European nations in, what became known as, the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1812 Napoleon led a French invasion of Russia that resulted in the loss of over half of Napoleon's army and an eventual retreat by the French. This failed invasion led to most European nations turning against Napoleon and France being invaded in 1813 during the Battle of Leipzig. In 1814, Napoleon was forced to abdicate his throne and live in exile on the island of Elba. Napoleon briefly regained power in 1815 during his Hundred Days Campaign. He was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo where he abdicated again and was sent into exile on the island of Saint Helena. He died there at the age of 51.