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Napoleon was born on August 15 1769 in Ajaccio Corsica and was given the name Napoleone Buonaperte He was the second of eight children of Carlo and Letizia Buonaperte both of the Corsican-Italian gentry Before Napoleone no Buonaparte had ever been a professional soldier His father Carlo was a lawyer who had fought for Corsican independence but after the French occupied the island in 1768 he served as a prosecutor and a judge and entered the French aristocracy as a count Through his fathers influence Napoleone was educated at the expense of King Louis XVI at Brienne and the Ecole Militaire in Paris Napoleone graduated in 1785 at the age of 16 and joined the artillery as a second lieutenant After the revolution began in France he became a lieutenant colonel 1791 in the Corsican National Guard However when Corsica declared independence in 1793 Buonaperte a Republican and a French patriot fled to France with his family He was assigned as captain to an army besieging Toulon a naval base that was aided by a British fleet while in revolt against the republic It was here that Napoleone Buonaperte officially changed his name to Napoleon Bonaparte feeling that it looked more French It was here too that Napoleon replaced a wounded artillery general and seized ground where his guns could drive the British fleet from the harbor and Toulon fell As a result of his accomplishments Bonapatre was promoted to brigadier general at the age of 24 In 1795 he saved the revolutionary government by dispersing an insurgent mob in Paris Then in 1796 he married Josephine de Beauharnais the mother of two children and the widow of an aristocrat guillotined in the Revolution Early in his life Napoleon was showing signs of militaristic geniuses and knowledge for formidable strategy It was through the application of his skills and a revolutionary style of spontaneous fighting styles than gave Napoleon the opportunities which he jumped
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