We already seen on the internet and even irl including a few discussions between highly intelligent people including those with educated background so many times of the meme that the French were so terrible at waging wars and running a state they needed a foreign immigrant from Italy to lead them to their greatest empire in their history while pro-French contingents would argue that during that time current countries like Germany as well as modern ethnic backgrounds like Swedish didn't exist and Napoleon lived in territory held by France so he was completely French as a result (along with the fact Italy didn't exist as a nation yet). So all the glorious achievements he accomplished should rightfully be held by the French people because he was a citizen of the then existing French kingdom.
Another flipside argument I seen is that he's proof of how France is a liberal nation because despite being a foreigner, he worked his way up to become emperor. So just like how France today has some black citizens who are in positions of considerable power in various governmental institutions of France and thus even some conservatives vouch that they are 100% French because they are model citizens, Napoleon is used by more open minded rightwingers of how anybody can make it in France to become a self-made man at the top of the system and that France doesn't see race and skin color, etc as factor.
I really strongly dislike these arguments vouching for Napoleon as a 100% French figure as well as those arguing he shouldn't be used by the French as a national symbol due to being Corsican.........
Because they ignored that he was an outcast for much of his young life from all sides from the Catholic Church to his native home island Corsica to mainstream French society and even at times his family struggled with him.
The topic is so big that I will just focus specifically on his status in France. Growing up, he was mocked by his peers for his foreign accent in the military school he attended to. In addition being from poorer nobility who now has lost much of their old wealth and glory along with his Italian background, Napoleon was short by the standards of French nobility (who made up the bulk of the military schools he attended). So he was also mocked for his height and it was used as a point about his foreign background. While the biography I read focused on major life events and his schooling experience, it did point out instances less aggressive but still racist behavior from French commoners outside of his school as a child growing up.
He suffered depression as a result and if anything in a twist of irony developed into an anti-French person and started siding with Corsican independence against France. He became committed enough that he actually went back to his home islands for a time to vouch support for the revolution against France! IN his early army career he even traveled back and forte between France and Corsica for the cause of Corsican liberation.
But there tragedy took place. I won't focus on it since its outside the scope of the main topic, but to sum up he was raised too French and thus was too liberal for his original culture. He got outcasted too from the Corsicans and long story short after experiencing so much disappointment including being rejected by leaders of the Corsican insurrection including some of his personal heroes, he abandoned the cause and left Corsica for good to go back to France where he stayed just as the Revolution was brewing.
Napoleon Bonaparte was not his birth name. He was given the very Italian Napoleone di Buonaparte at birth. Ever wondered how someone from Italy go a very French name? He married a French woman and changed his name during the process. Even before he met his first wife Josephine, he already was abandoning his original name because it was a big block to his career on top of the discrimination he faced as he lived in Paris for further studies in that time period. So even onto adulthood he still faced racism. Falling for a French daughter of a plantation owner with some minor title just made him realize the need to Frenchify his name even in more.
This is all a simplification of this part of Napoleon's life that has been very forgotten esp in general history texts and he eyes of the general public. But I really cannot sand the arguments hat "he lived in the kingdom of France" or "Nationalism did not exist yet so Napoleon would not have been considered Italian" and "he's proof of he self-made immigrant who becomes rich and respectable by adopting French ways" so touted by people seeking to defend him as a national treasure of France. It completely ignores the racism he faced growing up in the country.
Don't get me wrong I'm just as critical of the critiques who use the "he's an Italian" and " a foreigner leading the French" arguments too. Its just as ignorant and completely turns a blind eye to how Napoleon got outcasted by his own people from Corsica and issues he had with his family (some who were Corsican patriots) as well as the troubled history he had with the Catholic Church because he was too liberal and scientific.
He was simply an outcast from so many groups and the stuff I read points out to a rumor that he even attempted suicide during his early teen years.
So I truly hate both side's contentions even though I specifically focused on his state as social pariah in France. But I focused specifically on the pro-French argument for this time because all the arguments like "Italy wasn't a country yet" completely ignores the various city-states along with kingdoms and ethnic backgrounds across the modern Italian map that existed during Napoleon's time as well as the fact that while modern nationalities like Ukranian didn't exist yet, not only was racism already a thing between white Europeans a Nappy's birth, but the whole reason he became obsessed with the glory of France was because of his need o prove he was French after years of being an outcast and even hating the country he immigrated to. So much of his obsession about expanding the French empire wasn't just simply huge ego and unchecked personal ambition but a psychological reflection of how much being an outcast impacted his psych.