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 Napoleon Bonaparte 

What do you think of Napoleon?
He was a tyrant 52%  52%  [ 14 ]
He was an insignificant ruler 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
I don't like him very much because the napoleonic wars, but he was OK 26%  26%  [ 7 ]
He was a liberal and a good ruler 19%  19%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 27

 Napoleon Bonaparte 
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Thanks iliti hvala! :D He really fascinates me, like no other!


Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
I find him very passionate, intelligent, ambitious, and interesting in many aspects.

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Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
I disagree with people calling Napoleon a warmonger. Apart from that, he did many things to modernize our country, and many nowaday's French institutions stemmed from his reign. What is more, he was not responsible for the wars he had to wave, but had to fight back agaisnt foreign powers that did not recognize him, and thus France. Consider the case of Israel, surrounded by states that refuse to acknowledge its existence. The other European coutries were in favour of Metternich's principle of "legitimacy" that they implemented in Vienna after the final defeat. Despite his endeavors to reassure his allies and show that he had put an end to the troubles of the Revolution, he never found any reliable ally. It was a struggle for France's very existence, and not a matter of personal ambition, even if the two were entwined.

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Last edited by Ludy on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:51 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon's actions may have been guided more by necessity than ambition, but the man was full of personal, ruthless ambition. As I've said in other posts, I could never stand him. I think he was a little rodent who stole the French crown that did not, and would never fit him.

That said, one must give credit where credit is due. He was a very strong and effective tyrant; if Louis XVI had had Napoleon's traits, perhaps the Revolution would never have happened.

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Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:06 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
What do you mean by "a little rodent" ? Do you diapprove of somebody for a lesser social class reaching responsible posts ? In many way, Napoleon was far more competent than most of the kings of France. Unfortunately, social and political prejudice brought endless war and all this turmoil France went through. I don't believe in Metternich's legitimacy though, but in merit, being quite a liberal.

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Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Ludy wrote:
What do you mean by "a little rodent" ? Do you diapprove of somebody for a lesser social class reaching responsible posts ? In many way, Napoleon was far more competent than most of the kings of France. Unfortunately, social and political prejudice brought endless war and all this turmoil France went through. I don't believe in Metternich's legitimacy though, but in merit, being quite a liberal.


It is not that he achieved a responsible post; I admire that he did so on merit and not connections. No, he showed himself to be a lowly man in my view by crowning himself 'Emperor,' reaching for a title that is hereditary, not self-appointed, and in doing so, seeking---one might even say begging & bribing---approval from the class of royalty that he had always claimed to disdain. This makes him hypocritical in the extreme. His further actions revealed him to be egomanical and self-serving..... a rodent.

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Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:02 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
At least rodents are cute and fluffy i.e. bunnies.

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Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Christophe wrote:
Ludy wrote:
What do you mean by "a little rodent" ? Do you diapprove of somebody for a lesser social class reaching responsible posts ? In many way, Napoleon was far more competent than most of the kings of France. Unfortunately, social and political prejudice brought endless war and all this turmoil France went through. I don't believe in Metternich's legitimacy though, but in merit, being quite a liberal.


It is not that he achieved a responsible post; I admire that he did so on merit and not connections. No, he showed himself to be a lowly man in my view by crowning himself 'Emperor,' reaching for a title that is hereditary, not self-appointed, and in doing so, seeking---one might even say begging & bribing---approval from the class of royalty that he had always claimed to disdain. This makes him hypocritical in the extreme. His further actions revealed him to be egomanical and self-serving..... a rodent.


Well, it more or less boils down to the same thing. It goes without saying that those who do have connections and titles do not need to be ambitious. To quote Marguerite de Valois (la Reine Margot) "I never had any ambition, I never thought I needed to have any." It's thus easy to dismiss those who had to climb the social ladder, deeming their ambition vulgar, in a way. Of course, he was self-serving. Wasn't Marie-Antoinette self serving when she decided to inform foreign armies in order to save her family ? It was a harsh period, people had to be ruthless if they wanted to achieve their goals.

Napoleon only meant to put an end to the Revolution's woes and looked for legitimacy in then eyes of European leaders. That is the reason why he became an emperor. I agree, he had no principle. I think it's the best you can expect from a leader at a time when ideologies brought about so many slaughters. Besides, if ou read his life story, you will agree that he remained very conservative throughout his life. First, he supported the monarchy, but was dissappointed by its weakness. Then, he was amazed by the trouble provoked by the Revolution and supported a military order. I doubt he ever betrayed the few principles he had, that is to say, order. At last, Empire, although it was an authoritative regime (in many ways more authoritative than the monarchy), had nothing in common with monarchy. It was another kind of regime, based on revolutionnary ideas, but military and authoritarian. Even the nobilty is in no way to be likened with the former nobilty. A title is but a title, the reality of the regime remains, and the other European statemen were so aware of it that they never accepted Napoleon's regime, calling him an "usurpateur".

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Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:03 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
A very good analysis, Ludy. I do always enjoy reading your contributions, they help to balance out views here. Whilst I cannot say I am a big fan of Napoleon, he was the best leader they could of had at the time. I'm sure many of the decisions he made were out of necessity, such as imposing military rule whilst the city was under turmoil. It's just that he never revoked that. I do like that he respected the monarchy, to a degree, and called Marie Therese, "the only man in the family'!

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Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:59 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Délicate fleur wrote:
A very good analysis, Ludy. I do always enjoy reading your contributions, they help to balance out views here. Whilst I cannot say I am a big fan of Napoleon, he was the best leader they could of had at the time. I'm sure many of the decisions he made were out of necessity, such as imposing military rule whilst the city was under turmoil. It's just that he never revoked that. I do like that he respected the monarchy, to a degree, and called Marie Therese, "the only man in the family'!


Thank you ! I am glad we get to discuss other subjects than MA on this board, for obviously we all tend to agree on the main topic, so there we can have actual debates.

Well, to sum up my views,I think that Napoleon had the mentality of what we call now the "middle class", a very modern mentality indeed. He was ideologically neutral and favoured social order as well as a certain social mobility : his view as regards to finance were deeply more conservative than Louis XVI's for instance (he thought that "a state should be run like a family"), and you can clearly notice the influence of his social background. He was not a democrat, he never was, so I don't think it is fair to blame him for being a dictator (it is not a hint at your comment). For, he once was fascinated by Rousseau, not only did he finally reject him, but one shouldn't also be oblivious of the fact, that Rousseau himself was in no way a democrat. He had modern principles as regards to social mobility, law, and so on, and created what we now call "Etat de droit", but I can't remember where he ever talked about democracy, and that, contrary to Robespierre. Then he was a soldier, and as you said, he did have certain values of honesty, in a way, and respect towards his opponents. He esteemed anybody that displayed courage and a certain intellectual honesty, and yes, he admired Marie-Thérèse, who was in may ways, the most honest, courageous and coherent women of her family. I must say I utterly agree with him on this point, and, I suppose, so will you ! :wink:

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Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
I suppose it is a pre-determined code that those who support the ancien régime must despise those that come after it, like Napoleon. But he admired the Royal family, to a degree, and brought many beneficial reforms to France, such as the Napoleonic Code, which is still in use today. I just don't like some aspects of his character, and the treatment of Josephine, although I can understand his rejection for dynastic and legitimist reasons.

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Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:59 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
I admire Napoleon, he was really facinating, but still i just dont like him as a person, and in some ways as a ruler for he was never as liberal as he could have been i mean the press had to be read and approved by him or those who worked for him and did he not employ spies in towns so they could report to him on anything bad that was about him, i also heard that during his rule the prisons were full of people who were cought by those spies , and did he not re-introduce slavery?

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Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:23 pm
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
Yes Napoleon did reintroduce slavery, which was confined to French-owned islands in the Carribean. On the other hand, he favoured and spurred abolition of serfdom as well as spread the rule of law in occupied countries.

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Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:40 am
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Post Re: Napoleon Bonaparte
I recently attended the "graduation" ceremony in the military school Saint-Cyr (the French West Point) and it was both touching and funny when a group of men dressed up like the Emperor and his marshalls rode accross the field where the newly appointed officers were marching. It felt it was quite moving that such a tribute was paid to him, especially in a shool he himself turned into a brillant military school. Not to mention that before one of his sisters was educated in the original Saint Cyr. Of course, much has been changed. Namely, the shool is no longer located in Paris, but in Brittany, but still.

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Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:15 pm
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