The book, Napoleon by Felix Markham, is a biography about Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest
historical figures and legends of all time. He was born on August 15, 1769 at Ajaccio in Corsica, which
is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1779, when Napoleon was nine years old, he began his schooling
in France. He went to a church school at Brienne-le-Chataeu because his father, Carlo, wanted him to go
there. It had been noted that Napoleon had excelled at math during his time at school. He remained
there for eight years and during those years his father died of stomach cancer.
Napoleon joined the French Army in 1785 and in 1791 was promoted to first lieutenant and then to captain
in 1792. In December 1793, Napoleon was sent to Toulon, where rebels in France were being aided by the
British naval fleet. Napoleon took the place of a wounded commander. The British withdrew and France
took control of Toulon. Napoleonís victory was responsible for his being honored brigadier general at
the age of 24. In 1797, Napoleon won the war for France with the Austrians. After defeating them at the
French-Italian border, he marched over the Alps and threatened Vienna. Finally, in October of 1797,
France and Austria signed the Treaty of Campoformio, which enlarged Franceís territory. He was hailed a
hero in France. In 1798, Napoleon set sail for Egypt to stop British trade with the Middle East. The
French fleet, however, was destroyed by Britain, leaving Napoleonís army stranded in Egypt. In the mean
time, Turkey formed an alliance with Britain and Russia,!
then declared war on France. In 1799, Napoleon learned that a Turkish Army was planning to invade
Egypt. Napoleon defeated the Turks and then returned to France. He was very well respected when he
Napoleon created political alliances and seized control of the French government and he made changes,
such as, a new constitution and a three member Consulate. Napoleon made himself first consul and the
other two members were merely advisors. After ten years of revolution, the French wanted one strong
leader so Napoleon ruled France as a dictator. In June 1800, Napoleon led the French to defeat the
Austrians at the Battle of Marengo and in 1801, Austria signed the Treaty of Luneville, which reaffirmed
the Treaty of Campoformio. After this, in 1802, Britain agreed to peace by signing the Treaty of Amiens.
Russia had gotten out of the alliance against France in 1799 and for the first time in ten years, because
of Napoleon, Europe was at peace. Napoleon was still not satisfied. In 1802, the French people approved
a constitutional amendment that made Napoleon first consul for life. By 1803, Napoleon had become
president of the Italian Republic, but he wanted to stop Britai!
nís trade with the rest of Europe. He had anticipated war with Britain, so he sold the Louisiana
Territory to the United States and war with Britain began later that year.
Due to the French Senateís vote, on December 2, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself emperor. He dominated
Europe with this glorious title. A new alliance had started against France in 1805 with Austria, Russia,
and Sweden but later that year Napoleon demolished the Austrian and Russian armies at Austerlitz in
Austria. In 1806, Prussia joined Russia in a new coalition, but again, Napoleonís forces crushed the
Prussian army at Jena and Auerstedt and in June 1807, Napoleon overwhelmed Russian armies at Friedland.
Also, in 1809, he defeated the Austrians again at Wagram. Napoleon was unstoppable. After each win, the
Napoleonic Empire enlarged. In 1806, he made his brother, Joseph, king of Naples, his brother, Louis,
king of Holland in 1807, his brother, Jerome, king of Westphalia, also in 1807. Finally in 1809, he gave
his sister, Elisa, the title of Grand Duchy of Tuscany. His empire was brought to its height in 1810
when he added Holland and most of Northern Germany.
Between 1806 and 1807, Napoleon set up something known as the Continental System. The purpose of this
was to prevent British trade with the rest of Europe, hoping to destroy its economy. This system was
established by two decrees, The Berlin Decree and the Milan Decree. The Berlin Decree forbade British
ships from ports under French control and all goods belonging to or coming from Britain were seized.
These actions were more of a boycott than a blockade. The Milan Decree prevented ships from neutral
nations to