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Napoleon Bonaparte

Born in Corsica and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France, he rose to prominence under the First French Republic. He distinguished himself as a military commander, fighting in Italy. In 1799, Bonaparte staged a coup d'état and installed himself as First Consul; five years later he crowned himself Emperor of the French. In the first decade of the Nineteenth Century, he turned the armies of the French Empire against every major European power and dominated continental Europe, through a series of military victories - epitomised in battles such as Austerlitz. He maintained France's sphere of influence by the formation of extensive alliances and the appointment of friends and family members to rule other European countries as French client states. It appeared that through Napoleon's tactical genius, nothing could stop the French as they won a series of military victories.

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