Year: 2008 | Grade: 5
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This programmatic composition by Otto M. Schwarz reflects the adventurous life of the historical figure Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon (1769-1821) is probably the most well-known Frenchman of all time. During bis lifetime he developed exceptional military talent. He got as far as being brigadier-general, and through a coup d’état he eventually became emperor of France. A number of state reforms from his time are still valid, for example the freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State. During the regime of Napoleon, campaigns arose against a number of countries, including ltaly and Egypt. Various areas in Europe, including the Netherlands, were taken over, so that the face of continent was changed.
Only the campaign to Russia and the following Battle of Leipzig (against an allied army of Russians, Swedes, Prussians and Austrians) led to a great defeat, after which the end to Napoleon’s rule finally came. He was exiled to the isle of Elba in 1814, but he escaped in 1815, and returned to France. The period of a Hundred Days dawned: Napoleon tried to restore his power in Europe, but he was finally defeated during the legendary Battle of Waterloo. During the Congress of Vienna, representatives from Russia, Prussia, England and Austria gave rise to another redraw of Europe’s political map. Napoleon was exiled to the isle of St Helena in the south of the Atlantic Ocean, where he died on May 5, 1821. Nineteen years later, his body, was taken back to France. Napoleon lies buried in the Dôme des Invalides in Paris.