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In 1769, Napoleon was born in Corsica to a noble Genoes royal family, but learned to be an artillery officer at mainland France. He was originally a military and political leader during the French Revolution. Under the First French Republic, he rose in terms of poltical power. He fought battles against the First and Second Coalitions. In 1804, he led a coup overthrew the provisional government, and Napoleon crowned himself emperor.
Under Napoleon, France one a series of striking victories that led to its dominance over the European continent. Using alliances and French client states, Napoleon managed to establish a sphere of influence in the region. Back home, Napoleon estblihed the Napoleonic Code, which reformed French laws and is still in place today, though it has been changed and reformed numerous times.
Despite the victories Napoleon achieved, he also had painful losses. The Battle of Trafalgar revealed a weakness to the suppossed "all-might" power of France. Threats from Russia forced Napoleon to establish a ceasefire with it. Another accomplishment was the uniting of the Spanish and French thrones, fulfilling a long-time dream of the French Bourbons. This also caused Napoleon to inherit the whole Spanish Empire.
After defeating Britain during the English Channel War, the Napoleonic Wars came to a suddent end and made France (mostly its leader) the master of all of Europe. During the War of 1812, Napoleon supported the United States against Britain. This further strengthened France and also for the first time defeated the mighty power of the British Royal Navy.
After the war, Napoleon established the First Imperial Act, which promoting building infrastructure, help provide jobs to former soldiers, and rebuilt and encouraged industrial and economic growth. Also during peace time, Napoleon established trade agreements with America, creating bond between the two countries. Napoleon also established a secret police force that was to eliminate all separist and opposition movements on the empire.
During his reign, Napoleon established a string of colonies in Africa and Asia. He managed to defeat the Turks twice in the Two Turkish Wars, gaining North Africa and Yemen along the way. Other places included Mauritania, Singapore, Madagascar, the East Indies, and Djibouti. He did suffer a set back during the War of South American Independence since it occurred during the final stage of the Napoleonic Wars and he did not have the strength to bring any of his troops there.
By the time Napoleon died in 1840, he left a legacy for Europe and the world. The French culture and influence spread around to many nations, allowing France to gain a very large status in terms of world power.