Essay Sample on Napoleon Bonaparte and the Humanities

Published: 2023-01-30
Essay Sample on Napoleon Bonaparte and the Humanities
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  History Knowledge War Personal leadership Napoleon
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1566 words
14 min read

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the 15th of August, 1769 in the Corsican city of Ajaccio (Rowell, 48). Napoleon then attended his early childhood education in mainland of France; therefore, enabling him to learn the French language. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest military leaders in Europe (Asprey, 112). Napoleon was full of determination in his leadership but certain factors led to his downfall and the decline of the remarkable political era in France. He went to military school in 1785 and rapidly rose to higher military ranks between 1789 and 1799. Napoleon Bonaparte planned for a successful coup in 1799 and crowned himself as French emperor in 1804 (Asprey, 112). His Shrewd nature and military skills enabled Napoleon to strategically wage different wars against various European nations who had formed strong coalitions.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Napoleon's Rise to Power

The industrial revolution in Europe resulted in political conflicts among different countries. The revolutionary government of France was involved in the military conflicts from 1792. In 1796, the French military led by Napoleon Bonaparte waged a war against Austria. The defeat of Austria allowed France to gain superiority because the country was the leading rival of the French government in Europe. After achieving military victory. In 1797, Austria and France signed the first Treaty of Campo Formio; therefore, allowing to territorial expansion in France (Asprey, 128). In 1795, Napoleon commanded the French navy to invade England but the French naval system was not yet ready to face the superior Royal British Navy. To avoid being suppressed by the strongest British Naval forces, Napoleon decided to change the plan. The changed plan was targeted at the Egyptian territories; therefore, wiping out all the British trade routes to India.

After the invasion and defeat of the Egyptian forces, Napoleon then strategized on how to conquer other territories like the Ottoman Empire in Syria. After the invasion of the Ottoman Empire in 1798, the French forces led by Napoleon increased political tension in Europe (Asprey, 120). In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte led the French forces in a coup. The coup made Napoleon and his forces to successfully overthrow the French Directory. The French Directory was then replaced by the consulate that comprised of three members. Napoleon became the first consul in the country; therefore, making him the leading political figure in France and entire Europe. In 1800, Napoleon led his forces against their leading rival, Austria; therefore, driving them out of Italian territories (Asprey, 102).

Arts, Architecture, and Literature during Napoleon's Rise to Power

Neoclassicism characterized Napoleon's era because the political styles were represented by gradual changes in music, architecture, arts, and literature. The changes in humanities resulted in political inspiration (Asprey, 122). Architecture and arts resulted from the culture of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The second phase of Neoclassicism included the Empire style applied during Napoleon's reign. The arts and architecture determined the decorative skills used in the political systems.

The throne used by Napoleon represented his Ingres. Furniture decoration was evident during Napoleon's reign because a lot of chairs were made according to the culture of Ancient Rome. The Napoleonic painting was based on military operations in Europe. The consideration of the military elements in was intended to glorify the superiority of Napoleon's forces and political campaign in France. The battle paintings were majorly produced in large public structures. The style of Napoleon's Empire originated from the Ancient Roman culture because of his desire to apply the essential Roman leadership virtues. The application of architecture was utilized during Napoleon's rise to power because his father was a Roman military officer and a close associate of the Italian Royal family (Rowell, 26). The architectural designs used in Napoleon's era comprised of ornaments and symbols borrowed from the ancient Roman and Greek empires. For example, the palaces and other tall buildings had simple frames made of timber. Timber was also used to make box-like constructions that were incorporated inexpensively acquired mahogany. The expensive mahogany was imported from other countries like Greece and Italy. The conquered empires also provided a lot of architectural material; therefore, improving the nature of decorations applied in the French political and military systems.

The important building was constructed and decorated using the Roman and Greek styles. The temples were constructed according to the Roman temples.

The Napoleonic painting was created themes that represented the superiority of the French forces. Baron Gros is one of the greatest artists who painted most of the structures to glorify Napoleon's military groups and their victories (Jones, 21). Research has shown that some of the paintings were represented the sufferings experienced by people during Napoleon's reign (Jones, 16). The French revolution resulted in conflicts and suffering in France and the conquered countries like Austria, Spain, Egypt, and Syria.

Some artists painted to portray the brutality of the French forces during the invasion of other empires. The artistic and architectural styles applied in the empire reflected the desire of Napoleon Bonaparte to reshape and organize the French country according to the model portrayed by the Roman Empire. The style of empire manifested itself in the decorative and visual arts. Some of the largest buildings constructed and decorated according to Napoleon's paintings style included the Madeleine church which was intended to be a temple for Napoleon's forces. After achieving at Austerlitz, Napoleon's army copied another style called Vendome Column to improve their decorative arts (Jones, 19). Napoleon's throne represented the Ingres of the empire. The throne framed Napoleon's head which symbolized a halo and had a laurel crown that encircled his initials; therefore, ensuring commemoration of the gained victories in the undertaken battles.

Vendome Column was the tallest structure constructed during Napoleon's rise to power. Napoleon directed the construction and decoration of the Vendome Column as a sign of celebrating the successful defeat of political rivals in Austerlitz.

Literature also emerged during Napoleon's reign. Historians have pinpointed that Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had a habit of humming or singing when agitated or nervous (Rowell, 24). Napoleon was interested in poetry and spoken words. Poems represented the reality of political institutions in Europe; therefore, Napoleon used them to analyze how he can strategically plan for successful invasions. Also, literature emerged and changed during Napoleon's reign because many people interacted during the battles; therefore, enhancing the ability to share information. The interaction of the French with other people from different parts of Europe like Greece and Italy resulted in literature changes in the empire. Additionally, Napoleon wrote several quotes; therefore, leading to literary changes in the French Empire.

Factors the Led to Downfall of Napoleon's Reign

Napoleon was concerned with restoring political stability after the French revolution. Napoleon worked with other political leaders to restore peace and unity in France but his operations faced a lot of oppositions from other countries. Historians have identified some potential factors that resulted in the downfall of Napoleon's reign in the French Empire. First, Russia withdrew its membership from Continental System in 1810. After the Russian withdrawal, Napoleon retaliated and commanded his army to invade into Russian territories in 1812 (Jones, 18). In response, the Russian forces applied a retreat strategy when Napoleon's army attempts to attack them. The retreat strategy allowed Napoleon and his forces to merge deeper into the central position of the country. The Russian Winter started before the French forces left the country; therefore, making them defeated by the Russian forces.

The Hundred Days Campaign and Battle of Waterloo also resulted in the downfall of Napoleon's reign. During the campaign, Napoleon was forced into exile; therefore, making it easy for other leaders to occupy his leadership position. Lastly, British, Austrians, Russians, and Prussians allied together to suppress the superiority of the French forces. All allies in Europe started to fight France because Napoleon had created rivalries with all allied countries. After the arrival of Napoleon from exile, he planned for new attacks on the allied countries (Rowell, 28). Napoleon's army was able to defeat the Prussian troops in the Battle of Ligny. In June 1815, Napoleon's troops were defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by the British forces.


In conclusion, Napoleon is one of the European legends who brought a lot of historical changes like arts, music, literature, and architecture. French Revolution determined the political structure of the country. Napoleon Bonaparte was among the greatest political and military leaders who shaped the political structures of European countries. The ambiguity and skills of Napoleon helped him in conquering many European coalitions; therefore, expanding his territorial boundaries.

Works Cited

Asprey, Robert. "The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte". Hachette UK, 2008: 120-124. Retrieved from:

Jones, Owen. "The Grammar of Ornament": A Visual Reference of Form and Colour in Architecture and the Decorative Arts-The complete and unabridged full-color edition. Princeton University Press, 2016: 17-36. Retrieved from:

Rowell, Diana. "Paris: The New Rome of Napoleon I". A&C Black, 2012: 24-68. Retrieved from:

Cite this page

Essay Sample on Napoleon Bonaparte and the Humanities. (2023, Jan 30). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism