What is a critical examination of the reason for the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to power by 1799?

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Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power in 1799 was propelled by a number of factors beginning before the ruler was even born. For instance, the Buonaparte family, as they were then known, descended from Italian nobility and had both substantial wealth and political connections. Napoleon's father was a prominent attorney, which afforded Napoleon the opportunity to receive a first-class education at a military academy in Brienne-le-Chateau, France. Napoleon was successful in school and graduated with the rank of second lieutenant.

After finishing school, Napoleon was first stationed in Valence and Auxonne. Then, the French Revolution began in 1789. At the beginning of the revolution, Napoleon returned to his homeland of Corsica, where he found difficulty navigating the contentious political environment between French loyalists, revolutionaries, and Corsican nationalists. In 1793, he and his family fled to mainland France after being accused of being too pro-French by the people of Corsica.

Later that year, Napoleon gained prominence after publishing a pro-republican political pamphlet, Le Souper de Beaucaire, in which he called for an end to the civil war. At this same time he was also promoted to artillery commander of the republican forces just before the Siege of Toulon. Over the next few years, Napoleon saw much success in the military, ultimately being promoted to Commander of the Army of the Interior, and he claimed victory at a number of important battles, including the Battle of Lodi, the Battle of Arcole, and the Battle of Rivoli. He served as a French military leader in places like Italy, Austria, and Egypt.

It was during Napoleon's time in Egypt that he learned of more internal turmoil happening in France, as other European monarchies (namely Britain, Austria, and Russia) sought to temper French revolutionaries and restore the French monarchy. Upon learning this, Napoleon returned to Paris, where he was welcomed as a hero by the French people. This was August 1799.

Once in Paris, Napoleon created an alliance with other revolutionary leaders and organized a coup d'etat to overthrow those in power. He was then named First Consul of the new French government, and his new power was confirmed by the new Constitution of the Year VIII. While the Constitution originally only granted Napoleon minor power, he rewrote it to grant himself more authority. By the time it was finished, the new constitution had essentially established France as a dictatorship under Napoleon, though it appeared to be a republic.

Ultimately, most historians agree that Napoleon's rise to power can be attributed to a combination of factors, namely, his privileged upbringing, political connections, military acumen, and strong will.

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