HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Napoleon Bonaparte. Engraving of French Emperor and military genius Napoleon Bonaparte (1769- 1821). Napoleon seized power during a coup d'etat in 1799, shortly after the French Revolution had overthrown the country's monarchy. His military skills enabled him to conquer much of Europe and institute reforms aimed at improving quality of life and protecting civil liberties. Free education, equality before the law, freedom of religion and male suffrage were all guaranteed under his rule. His Code Napoleon remains the basis of French Law. Defeated by Britain and Prussia at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he was banished to the island St Helena, where he died.
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