What event marked the beginning of Napoleon's rule?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon was associated with Augustin Robespierre, brother to Maximilien Robespierre a key supporter of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Napoleon rose within the ranks during the French Revolution to the rank of brigadier general. However, his rise to power was cut short when the Robespierre brothers were condemned to the guillotine. Maximilien was blamed for the death of a fellow revolutionary, Georges Danton, and accused of being a dictator.

Napoleon resumed duties in attempts to suppress an insurrection by the royalists. The royalists were trying to take advantage of the power vacuum caused by the demise of the revolutionaries. However, Napoleon succeeded in asserting the agenda of the revolutionary government and was promoted to the position of major general. In his capacity as general and during the European conflict, Napoleon was able to achieve key successes against other European nations such as Austria. He later participated in a coup that overthrew the French Directory and assumed the title, first consul and later emperor of France.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) Emperor of France, after successfully commanding the French military, took part in the Brumaire coup in November 1799, overthrowing the government and establishing him as a member of the triumvirate (3 man) Consulate.  France, still struggling with their Revolution, had created and dismissed several governments; by February 1800 Napoleon had established himself as First Consul, making him the military dictator of France. However, because of his victories abroad, his popularity remained high, and in 1802 France elected him Consul for Life.  By 1804 he was made Emperor of France, and he held the position until 1814.