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Napoleon I 1769-1821 emperor of the France who made reforms after the French Revolution One of the greatest military commanders of all time he conquered the larger part of Europe and did much to modernize the nations he conquered Napoleon was born on August 15 1769 in Ajaccio Corsica and was given the name Napoleon He was the second of eight children of Carlo Bonaparte and Letizia Ramolino Buonaparte both of the Corsican-Italian ancestry Napoleans father 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 nobility as a count Through his fathers influence Napoleon was educated at the expense of King Louis XVI in Paris Napoleon graduated in 1785 at the age of 16 and joined the artillery as a second lieutenant After the Revolution began he became a lieutenant colonel In 1793 however Corsica declared independence and Bonaparte a French patriot and a Republican fled to France with his family He was assigned as a captain to an army besieging Toulon a naval base that aided by a British fleet was in revolt against the republic Replacing wounded artillery general he seized ground where his guns could drive the British fleet from the harbor and the port fell As a result Napoleon was promoted to brigadier general at the age of 24 In 1795 he saved the revolutionary government by dispersing an insurgent mob in Paris In 1796 he married Josephine de Beauharnais the widow of an aristocrat murdered in the Revolution Also in 1796 Napoleon was made commander of the French army in Italy He defeated four Austrian generals each with superior numbers and forced Austria and its allies to make peace In northern Italy he founded the Cisalpine Republic
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