In 1785, he became an officer in the French artillery and a master war tactician. As an adult he was only 5 feet 6. He used the French Revolution as his opportunity to get power. Then Napoleon was promoted because of his victory over the British. One year later, in 1774, he was put in jail for a military failure. The following year, Napoleon was asked by the new government to stop a mob of Parisians trying to overthrow them. When the mob came down the street, Napoleon fired his cannons, killing many of them. That stopped them! The government rewarded him by giving him the army of Italy.
Before he left command of his new army, he married Josephine de Beauhamals. He had many military successes in Italy, but made himself look like a hero by writing army reports that exaggerated his achievements. After success in Italy, he conquered Egypt, but eventually he lost in Syria, so he abandoned his army and returned to France.
When Napoleon returned to France in 1804, because of his reports that made him seem so great, he became emperor. Although Napoleon had lost some battles, he fascinated the French people by telling them about the strange land of Egypt. Napoleon still did not have a child with his wife, Josephine. He wanted an heir to his throne, so he divorced her and married the daughter of the Austrian king. She had his son, Napoleon II, soon after that.
Throughout the early 1800ís, Napoleon fought various battles against many European countries, called the Allies. Most of the European countries were captured by Napoleonís army. When he tried to take over Russia, he was able to occupy Moscow, but his army was caught in bad weather. Having no resources, they had to retreat and return to France. By April of 1814, he stepped down from power and was exiled to the island of Elba. The King was then restored to the French throne.
In 1815, his soldiers helped him come to France and become emperor once again. Before the allies could attack him, he attacked them. When Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo, he took the failure upon himself and gave himself to the British. The British exiled him to the Island of St. Helen and there he died in 1821.
Sewell, Max, "FAQs: Who was Napoleon Bonaparte?" http://www.napoleonseries.org/faq/who.cfm (January, 2003)
"Tyrant or Hero" http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_myth/tyrant/page_1.html (January, 2003)
Image of French flag from "Microsoft Office Design Gallery Live" <http://dgl.microsoft.com/?CAG=1> Images free for non-profit and personal use. (December-March, 2003).
Images of Napoleon and Napoleon on a horse from "ArtToday.com" <http://members.clipart.com/en/index> (2003).