Napoleon's rise to power
Napoleon's career largely resulted from the
military innovations he
inherited from the French Revolution, such as mass
conscription which made possible the use of block tactics in order to
attack in column and eliminated the need for supply lines, thus making
French armies much more mobile. Napoleon
Bonaparte himself was barely French, his homeland Corsica having just
become part of France two years before his birth in 1769.
He thereby abandoned his army (which later surrendered to the British)
and slipped across to France. He then took part in a daring plot to
overthrow the government. The conspiracy succeeded and Napoleon became
First Consul of France in 1799.