A summary of Napoleon B.
Napoleon was one of the greatest military commanders in history. He has also been portrayed as a power hungry conqueror. He argued that he was building a federation of free peoples in a Europe united under a liberal government. But if this was his goal, he wanted to achieve it by taking power in his own hands. However, in the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, and created efficient governments. Emperor Napoleon proved to be an excellent civil administrator. One of his greatest achievements was his supervision of the revision and collection of French law into codes. The new law code incorporated some of the freedoms gained by the people of France during the French revolution, including religious toleration and the abolition of serfdom. The most famous of the codes, the Code Napoleon or Code Civil, still forms the basis of French civil law. Napoleon also centralized France's government by appointing prefects to administer regions called departments, which France was divided. Over the course of little more than a decade, the armies of France under his command fought almost every European power and acquired control of most of the western and central mainland of Europe by conquest or alliance until his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812, followed by defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, which led to his abdication several months later and his exile to the island of Elba. He staged a comeback known as the Hundred Days, but was again defeated decisively at the Battle of Waterloo in present day Belgium on 18 June 1815, followed shortly afterwards by his surrender to the British and his exile to the island of Saint Helena, where he died six years later. Although Napoleon himself developed few military innovations, he used the best tactics from a variety of sources, and the modernized French army, as reformed under the various revolutionary governments, to score several...
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