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Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, then marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland.

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To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".

Napoleon was born on 15 August 1769, to Carlo Maria di Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino, in his family's ancestral home Casa Buonaparte in Ajaccio, the capital of the island of Corsica. This was a year after the island was transferred to France by the Republic of Genoa.

In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.

He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic.

Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over Russia and Austria at the Battle of Austerlitz, which led to the elimination of the thousand-year-old Holy Roman Empire.

In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent.

Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire.

In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July.

Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars.

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