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Napoleon Bonaparte Essay

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Napoleon Bonaparte Essay Example

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Why Is Napoleon Thought to Be a Great Military Leader? Which Characteristics Helped Him to Win in So Many Battles?


Today, Napoleon Bonaparte’s (1769-1821) name is known to almost everyone. He is one of the most famous emperors in the history of human culture, the national hero of France. His personality and way of life are chasing a large number of popular stereotypes, varied stories, conflicting theories, and contradictory facts. Passing through bloody battles, he earned the fame of a brilliant military leader. Gaining one victory over the other, he subdued almost the entire territory of Europe and planned to conquer the world. Such qualities as love for science, art and literature, accuracy and organization, charisma, perfect tactical decisions and great popularity among the soldiers made Napoleon a great military leader and helped him win so many battles.

The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte: Early Life and First Victories

Napoleon’s life was uneasy, and he had to go through an arduous path from one of eight children of the poor, but noble family and make a lot of effort to end up on the imperial throne. An important role for his formation as a powerful and an influential person also had particular historical circumstances, social and political situation of France of that period. Napoleon was born in Corsica. It turned out that his birth coincided with the acquisition by France this island in Italy. Perhaps this fact and arranged for his further fate. Later he began to speak and write his surname in a French style. He enrolled in a French military school. In those years, France experienced a difficult period of change. The aristocracy had many rights and abused its power; in turn, the clergy also received many privileges that did not suit the third state (peasants, traders) who were politically disenfranchised. Most of the population were poor and had experienced difficult times. Four years after Napoleon graduated from the military school, the French Revolution took place. As a result, power in the country assumed a revolutionary government. Through Napoleon’s help to suppress the uprising against this government, he received the rank of major general. After that, Napoleon once showed himself as a successful military commander. He won in battles against the troops of Austria, Egypt. During the time of reign three-member Consulate Napoleon became the first consul becoming a significant political figure. After the revolution, the country was still in an unstable state, so Napoleon pursued an active policy to solve the problems of the country and society. In 1804, Napoleon became an emperor (“Napoleon Bonaparte – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com”, 2017).

 Napoleon’s Personality Traits and Ambitions as Keys to His Success

He made the most important and most famous victories during the Napoleonic wars. One can call the ironic fact that the great way of defeating the emperor to world domination is precisely the lack of a battle. Namely, the severe weather conditions in Russia. Even after the abdication of the throne and exile to the island of Elba, Napoleon showed his willpower. The devotion of people to their Emperor made a possible legendary battle at Waterloo. Many personal qualities helped Napoleon become a great military leader and defeat many battles. Beginning with the military school, Napoleon worked hard, loved to read and discover new information for himself. He loved art. It shows the policy that he has been conducting in the country. From the country, they conquered, mainly from Italy, a profoundly large number of works of art were exported. He is inspiring by the achievements of great personalities of the past, such as Alexander the Great. His life showed that he set himself ambitious plans, he was able to take risks and turn the badges into advantages. He attached great importance to everything that he needs for victory. He studied geography because he had to know well the terrain, history, as it opened the broader vision of his own and other countries, culture through which better understood the people against whom he fought (“What Made Napoleon a Great Leader? » Discerning History,” 2017).

Napoleon as Powerful and Influential Person

Napoleon is also known for the fact that his soldiers were very fond of him. Moreover, they not only respected him but were proud of serving in his army and admiring him. They were extremely motivated. Napoleon had a significant efficiency. His army always must be fed, have strength, the best equipment, and an excellent moral state to win in battles. He also nodded a lot of all possible moves, was able to own his emotions. According to Napoleon, “There is no man more pusillanimous than I when I am planning a campaign. I purposely exaggerate all the dangers and all the calamities that the circumstances make possible. I am in a thoroughly painful state of agitation. This does not keep me from looking quite serene in front of my entourage” (“Napoleon’s Strategy and Tactics,” 2017). Napoleon was a tactical genius and strategist. His main contribution to the tactics was the successful use of artillery, as well as the attack by small groups. Before that, the French attacked a united front. Hence, as qualities as love for science, art and literature, accuracy and organization, charisma, perfect tactical decisions and great popularity among the soldiers helped Napoleon to conduct successful military campaigns.


In conclusion, Napoleon is one of the most famous military leaders in the history of human culture. Years of his life have fallen into a difficult period in the history of France. He walked from the military academy to the imperial throne and conquered most of Europe. Such qualities as love for science, art and literature, accuracy and organization, charisma, perfect tactical decisions and great popularity among the soldiers made Napoleon a great military leader and helped him win so many battles.

Works Cited

Napoleon Bonaparte – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com. (2017). HISTORY.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/napoleon
Napoleon’s Strategy and Tactics. (2017). Napolun.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from http://www.napolun.com/mirror/web2.airmail.net/napoleon/Napoleon_tactics.htm
What Made Napoleon a Great Leader? » Discerning History. (2017). Discerninghistory.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from http://discerninghistory.com/2015/07/what-made-napoleon-a-great-leader/


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