Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769–1821)
Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio, Corsica, in 1769. He was educated in France at the military school at Brienne, and in 1784 went to the école militane at Paris, from which he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1785. He had a chequered career in the early years of the Revolution, and was for a time associated with Robespierre and the Jacobins: he first distinguished himself militarily when he commanded the artillery at the siege of Toulon (then held by the British) in December 1793. His great opportunity came with the insurrection against the National Convention in Paris, on 4 October 1795, when he (nominally second-in-command) fired on the crowd and dispersed them, thus saving the Convention. He was made commander of the army of Italy: in the ensuing campaign against the Austrians he became famous at the crossing of the bridge at Lodi. His conquest of northern Italy was crowned by the treaty of Campo Formio (Oct 1797), which ceded to France Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine (and also extinguished the Venetian Republic, thus occasioning Wordsworth’s sonnet).
KeywordsNational Convention Military School Great Victory Commonplace Book Venetian Republic
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