As a youth, Napoleon was very interested in history and geography. At the age of 19 or 20, while he was a lieurenant en second in the royal corps of artillery, Bonaparte immersed himself in an assiduous study of military and political history, writing out a synopsis of every book he read. He was also deeply interested in polititcal science and was influenced profoundly by Jean-Jacque Rousseau who wrote The Social Contract.
On a trip to Paris to make negotiations for his impoverished mother whose husband had died, Napoleon was appalled at the 'red tape' and protracted methods of administrative departments. After this visit, Napoleon became very interested in politics, and immersed himself in the liberation of his native Corsica in September,1789.
These early interests fostered Bonaparte's great legal reforms (such as the Code Napoleon) while he was Emperor. Influenced by Rousseau's writing, he organized the public school system so well that all students throughout the country were on the same curriculum throughout the school year.