A a) Describe the personal traits and talents of Napoleon which place him in a unique position in world history.
Napoleon Bonaparte was the leader of the French army that defeated the revolution. He ultimately became the dictator ruler of France and succeeded in conquering various parts of Europe. However his methods are frowned upon, Napoleon the First and Emperor of France remains unique personality in the history of the world.
As a civilian, Bonaparte was a modest, but extremely bright man. His teachers have often praised his merits and he has also constituted a role model for his military fellows. In school and in the military he was hardworking. However he was generally quiet, he always managed to make an impression upon the people around him. His small stature had an impressive posture and he inspired both respect as well as admiration. His teachers and early commanders stated to have known that the child and then young adult Napoleon would have a bright future and would play a major role.
Napoleon was a military genius in the strategic and tactical handling of armies and although he provided no large scale reforms of armies, or their equipment and techniques, he excelled at the refinement of an art that already existed" (Corporate Training Events). The main personal traits and talents refer to an increased intellectual ability, a high capacity for work and the ability to motivate and inspire others. Napoleon was a proud and incorruptible man and his personal characteristics are indirectly presented in the numerous memoirs that were written about him. Emanuel Augustus Dieudonne, Count de Las Casas (1818) points out how after his abolish, Napoleon went to Great Britain, soughing refuge. He was however exiled to Saint Helena and he proudly accepted the decision.
A b) Describe the sequence of events which led to Napoleon's ascension to power, the consolidation of French government, the expansion of France (Napoleonic Europe) to its height in 1810, the Continental System and it's impact on future events, Napoleon's miscalculations and his astounding temporary return to power.
As a young adult, Napoleon Bonaparte associated with the ideology of the revolution and became friends with Augustin Robespierre, the brother of revolutionary Maximillien Robespierre. Bonaparte was assigned the artillery commander for the French forces in Toulon in 1793 and his success against the British troops assured him the position of artillery commander of the French troops in Italy. In 1795 he joins the Army of the West, engaged in dealing with the civil revolution in the Vendee region. His success on the 13th of October ensured him the support and patronage from the new Directory, but also fame and fortune.
Napoleon Bonaparte led a military campaign in Italy, which was successfully completed. He however did not object to the orders of attacking the Roman Pope as he believed the consequent answers from the Papal States would be tremendous. He continued his campaign in Austria, gaining control over Northern Italy and the Low States. In 17908, Napoleon refused to invade Britain as he felt that the French troops were not prepared for such a challenge. Instead, he marched to Egypt and cut Britain's access to its trading colonies in India.
With the return from the expedition, Napoleon was elected the first consul for life in the history of France - this was the most powerful position in the state. He issues numerous beneficial laws for the French population and he also commenced a second campaign in Italy. In 1801, peace treaties were signed and Europe was calm. Three years later, Napoleon was the target of an attack from the former rulers, the Bourbon monarchs, motivating Napoleon to declare himself emperor. Napoleon defeated the coalitions that were formed against him, but while on the battlefield, France reinstituted Louis XVIII. With the aid of his soldiers, he still rules for another hundred days, but he was then exiled (Dieudonne, 1818).
Describe the mission of the Congress of Vienna in the context of "Balance of Power."
In 1815, the four European powers that had overthrown Napoleon formed the Congress of Vienna. The primary mission of the Congress was to ensure that the situation with the Napoleonic wars would not be repeated. Otherwise put, they wanted to ensure the Europe would no longer face the risks of imperialism. This desire materialized in the concept of balance of power (Suffolk County Community College). It ensured peace throughout Europe as any other wars would not occur for the next four decades.
Among the most notable decisions of the Congress refer to France's deprivation of the territories Napoleon had conquered, the unification of the Dutch Republic with the Australian Netherlands, the assignment of a single ruler over Sweden and Norway or the declaration of neutrality from Switzerland (Donohue, 1999).
Dieudonne, E.A., Memoirs of Emanuel Augustus Dieudonne, Count de Las Casas: Communicated by Himself, Comprising a Letter from Count de Las Casas at St. Helena to Lucien Bonaparte, Giving a Faithful Account of the Voyage of Napoleon to St. Helena, His Residence, Manner of Living, and Treatment on that Island..., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1818
Donelson, T., the French Revolution and Its Failure, Politics, 2005, http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/02/14/142316.phplast accessed on December 11, 2008
Donohue, L., Congress of Vienna, the Chicago Unified School District, 1999, http://www.cusd.chico.k12.ca.us/~bsilva/projects/congress/vienessy.htmllast accessed on December 11, 2008
Ellis-Christensen, T., When Was the French Revolution? Wise Geek, 2008, http://www.wisegeek.com/when-was-the-french-revolution.html. Ast accessed on December 11, 2008
Hackett, L., the Age of Enlightenment, History World, 1992, http://history-world.org/age_of_enlightenment.html. Ast accessed on December 11, 2008
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Congress of Power, Suffolk County Community College, http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/westn/congvienna.htmllast accessed on December 11, 2008
Napoleon Bonaparte - Napoleon 1 (1769-1821), Corporate Training Events, http://www.corporate-training-events.co.uk/clients/Napoleon-Bonaparte.html. Ast…