Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821)
was a general of the French Revolution, and the ruler of France
as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from 11
November 1799 to 18 May 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur
des Français) and King of Italy under the name Napoleon
I from 18 May 1804 to 6 April 1814, and again briefly from 20
March to 22 June 1815. Although Napoleon himself developed few
military innovations, apart from the divisional squares employed
in Egypt and the placement of artillery into batteries, he did
use the superior quality of the French army, as reformed under
the various revolutionary governments, to score some major victories.
His campaigns are studied at military academies all over the world
and he is generally regarded as one of the greatest commanders
to ever live. Over the course of little more than a decade, he
fought virtually 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 (les Cent
Jours), but was again defeated decisively at the Battle of Waterloo
in present day Belgium on June 18, 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.
Aside from his military achievements, Napoleon is also remembered
for the establishment of the Napoleonic Code. He is considered
by some to have been one of the "enlightened despots".
Napoleon appointed several members of the Bonaparte family
and close friends of his as monarchs of countries he conquered
and as important government figures (his brother Lucien became
France's Minister of Finance). Although their reigns did not
survive his downfall, a nephew, Napoleon III, ruled France later
in the nineteenth century.
Prince Achille Murat was the
nephew of Napolean Bonaparte. Prince
Murat lost his claim to the throne of France when his father
was coerced into relinquishing his reign as king and then shot.
Seeking refuge, Prince Murat ended up in Tallahassee
after a good bout of exploration and wandering the world. Upon
his arrival in his new home town, Murat traded in his title
of prince for the status of Colonel. Colonel Murat then studied
law and became a lawyer in Tallahassee. However, his true passion
lied with tending to his gardens at his plantation.
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