Why was Napoleon exiled childhood glory to defeat and death

Napoleon Bonaparte

Military and French statesman, who in 1804 proclaimed himself emperor. In this article we will make you aware about Why was Napoleon exiled?

Birth Ajaccio, Corsica, August 15, 1769.
Death Santa Elena, May 5, 1821.
Occupation Military, First Consul and Emperor of France.
Cause of death Arsenic poisoning.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military man and statesman , who in 1804 proclaimed himself emperor.

Napoleon is considered one of the best strategists of all time, due to the way he improvised on the battlefield. He commanded sixty battles of which he only lost three. He knew how to motivate his soldiers, bring out the best in each one, and earn their unconditional loyalty.

His role in the French Revolution has given rise to numerous debates. For some historians, Napoleon extended the bourgeois principles of the Revolution throughout absolutist Europe , destroying the Old Regime. For others, he was a tyrant who ended the freedoms of the French and betrayed the spirit of the Revolution.

Enhance your reading: What is a vassal in the middle ages/Obligation/characteristics

Childhood and education

Napoleone di Buonaparte was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, capital of the island of Corsica.

His father, Carlos Buonaparte , was a lawyer and used to suffer financial hardship. His motherMaría Leticia Ramolino , raised Napoleon and his seven siblings.

With a withdrawn character, Napoleon liked to be alone to read works by classical authors, such as Polybius or Plutarch. He had great admiration for Aníbal Barca, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great .

His father got him admitted to the Brienne Military School , which he entered when he was 10 years old. Upon graduation at 17, he continued his studies in the artillery branch.

At the beginning of the French Revolution, in 1789, Napoleon was on leave in Corsica due to the death of his father. He supported the revolutionary process and became part of the National Volunteer Guard . But after his opposition to the independence of the island, proclaimed by a group of nationalists, he fell from grace, so he had to flee to France to save his life.

The rise to power

When Napoleon, his mother and his brothers settled in Marseille in 1793, France was governed by the National Convention which, dominated by the Jacobins , fought against royalists and counterrevolutionaries with the policy of Terror.

Thanks to the recommendation of a friend of Robespierre, he was appointed commander of the forces besieging the royal fortress of Toulon. The strategy that Napoleon planned allowed him to recover the city and gain the rank of brigadier general.

From then on, it began a meteoric rise that was consolidated during the government of the Directory (1795-1799). Then followed the defense of the Tuileries Palace against a royal uprising (1795), the campaigns in Italy against the Austrians (1796-1797), the occupation of Venice (1797) and the campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798-99) , whence he returned hailed as a hero. By then he had already married a widow five years older than him, Josefina de Beauharnais.

Strengthened by his military successes and great popularity , on November 9, 1799, Napoleon led a coup that overthrew the Directory. He then formed the Consulate (1799-1804), a government that he joined together with Emmanuel Sieyès and Roger Ducos. The majority of the French supported Napoleon’s seizure of power because they believed that a successful young general could bring political stability and military glory to the French nation.

In a short time, Napoleon restored order, signed a concordat with the Pope and concentrated in his hands the totality of power, proclaiming himself perpetual consul, in 1802, and emperor of the French, in 1804. The ceremony of his coronation took place on 2 December at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, with the assistance of Pius VII. The Pope was to crown him, but Napoleon snubbed him, placing the crown on himself and then on Empress Josephine.

Enhance your reading: List of roman emperors in order/definition of emperor/end

From glory to defeat

Napoleon’s accession to the throne was not well received by the European powers, who organized several military coalitions to prevent him from spreading his power throughout Europe. Thus began the Napoleonic wars , during which Napoleon broke up all the alliances against him one by one.

His military victories were followed by the introduction of the Civil Code (1804), which established in Europe legal equality, freedom of worship, and the abolition of feudal rights . Thus Napoleon paved the way for the rise of a bourgeoisie that based its growing power and influence on the possession of the means of production .

In 1810, at the height of his glory, he repudiated Josefina, with whom he had failed to have children, and married the Austrian Maria Luisa de Habsburgo-Lorena . The following year, his son Napoleon II was born , proclaiming him his heir and granting him the title of King of Rome .

In 1812 Napoleon, keen to unite all of continental Europe under his command , invaded Russia with an army of half a million men. Although it defeated the Russians and occupied Moscow, it could not sustain itself due to lack of supplies. The retreat in the midst of constant snowfall was a complete disaster. Only 20,000 soldiers managed to survive. Napoleon’s star was beginning to decline.

In 1813, a British-encouraged coalition defeated Napoleon at Leipzig and in no time the Allies occupied Paris. Napoleon abdicated and agreed to seclude himself on the island of Elba , over which he was granted absolute sovereignty.

Although he could have lived without deprivation on his Tyrrhenian island, he could not endure a routine life and returned to France, where he was greeted as a hero. He then recruited a new army and returned to fight his old enemies, who finally defeated him at Waterloo in June 1815. The Napoleonic Empire had come to an end.

Why Napoleon, exiled on Elba?

After the defeat of the Napoleonic armies and the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the victorious powers decided to exile Napoleon to a small island in the Mediterranean. Elba was awarded him, of which he would be appointed sovereign prince .

The French minister Talleyrand designed this outlet for Bonaparte . The victors preferred to apply a heavy hand with the French emperor, some even advocated the death of Napoleon. However, the fear of turning him into a martyr made them opt for a more lenient solution.

A golden cage

The island of Elba was a golden cage for Napoleon. Despite being nominally its sovereign, Bonaparte was guarded by hundreds of spies and by the governor of the island. In addition, he saw with bitterness how some of his friends, whom he had ennobled, betrayed him and swore allegiance to the Bourbons reinstated on the throne. His family didn’t help much either. Josefina, his first wife , died without Napoleon being able to attend the funeral. His second wife, María Luisa, did not want to accompany him into exile. And neither his son nor his brother Joseph were able to visit him in Elba.

Napoleon had lost at the age of 45 the power he had enjoyed. But encouraging news will be coming to you from Europe soon. In France, defeat had not brought internal peace. The new king had sworn to the Constitution , but both he and the old aristocracy and the Church were trying to regain their old privileges. Naturally, they ran into opposition from almost the entire bourgeoisie, the peasantry, the Army and all those sectors that the Revolution of 1789 had benefited. You couldn’t go back in time as if nothing had happened. Clashes between political factions were increasingly violent.

Napoleon’s death

Napoleon was confined by the British on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. He was accommodated in a rural house, accompanied by cooks, servants, and a group of collaborators.

The early years of captivity he was in good spirits, roaming the gardens, writing his memoirs, and hoping to escape. But with the passage of time his spirits faded. He complained of continuous pain in his abdomen, which he attributed to an ulcer or stomach cancer, but doctors diagnosed him with a liver condition.

He died on May 5, 1821 , at the age of 51 and against his will he was buried in Santa Elena. His last words are said to have been “France, the army, Josefina.”

In 1840 his remains were repatriated and housed in the Church of Les Invalides in Paris, an institution founded by Louis XIV to house war veterans.

Recent investigations revealed that his hair was impregnated with arsenic, making it very likely that he was poisoned by the British.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button