November 21: Rise to Power

Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

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November 21, 1791 C.E. Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte is promoted to General and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic. Ever since graduating from École Militaire, a military school in Paris, in 1785, Napoleon remained closely entangled with the military until death. Serving as an artilleryman in the Royal French Forces, Napoleon proved indecisive in his ideologies. Initially aspiring to see his Corsican homeland freed from French rule, Napoleon’s political opinions changed with the advent of the French Revolution. Supporting the newly created French Revolutionary Republic, Napoleon assumed the position of artillery commander at the Siege of Toulon against the British Empire, who refused to recognize the sovereignty of the republic. Bonaparte’s successes at Toulon proved decisive, laying the foundation for his ultimate promotion in 1791.