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Poll Question: Who was really Napoleon Bonaparte?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
21 [19.44%]
31 [28.70%]
55 [50.93%]
1 [0.93%]
This topic is closed, no new votes accepted

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Vlad Catrina View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vlad Catrina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Napoleon
    Posted: 31-May-2005 at 08:14
I admire Napoleon Bonaparte, but I don`t know what other people think.
I consider him a legendary emperor, and a good civilian, too. He founded modern egyptology, a great thing.
A man who, around 1800, conquered western Europe (except Britain), Northern Africa, and Northern Italy, is a legend. In Napoleon`s case, a romanced legend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 13:20
I was raised with you view, but then started absorbing the Anglo-Saxon perspective on Napoleon.

The man's actions seem closer to those of a dictator.

At the same time, he did spread the ideals of the French Revolution and the legal changes of the French code throughout Europe.

An interesting question is, how many of the positive legacies that we commonly attribute to Napoleon came from him and how many were the result of the spirit of the French revolution?

One could argue that Napoleon rode a wave of change that was going to happen in any case. At the same time, I am sure that Napoleon must have been the main architect of many of his deeds.

Since I am not an expert on Napoleon, I will let other with more knowledge answer the question.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 13:38
IMO he's both a hero and a tyrant.
He modernized Europe, and spread the ideals of Enlightenment, but at the same time was responsible for millions of deaths and ruled like a tyrant.
He is too complex and many-sided to be put in one category , but he was definately one of the most important men in modern history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vlad Catrina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 13:59
I think the same thing as you. I suppose he is one of the most complex people in history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 16:12

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

but at the same time was responsible for millions of deaths

again, what millions?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 18:07

Temujin:

Bonaparte was not responsible for genocide or death camps, or mass starvation as a weapon (like in U.S.S.R. in 1930s), but the turmoil of war from 1792 to 1815 was the result of The Revolution that Bonaparte personified after about 1796.  Due to strong resistance, The Revolution could only be spread by force, other than in the Netherlands and the Rhineland.

Possibly 2,000,000 Frenchmen were lost in these wars, and who knows how many Russians, Austrians, Prussians and other Germans, not to mention Spanish, Italians and English.  Many perished, and Bonaparte was the most prominent leader of this time period.  Much responsibility rests with him and his policies, but the long term results of The French Revolution were of course very positive. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 19:01
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

but at the same time was responsible for millions of deaths

again, what millions?


mainly caused by his wars. The invasion of Russia claimed 500.000 lives, and IIRC an equal number of people died in the peninsular war. That makes a million already.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vlad Catrina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2005 at 13:24
Napoleon was imperialist, but played an important role in the French Revolution. I don`t know what to think.
And about those deaths, he was "punished" for them!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2005 at 14:18

Originally posted by Mixcoatl Mixcoatl wrote:

mainly caused by his wars. The invasion of Russia claimed 500.000 lives, and IIRC an equal number of people died in the peninsular war. That makes a million already.

those numbers are not casualties numbers but soldiers that either deserted or were not serviceable for combat due to illness etc, only a comparatively small number actually died in combat. if France had losses of 1Million men that means the whole army was eradicated completely, so i wonder who ever fought at Waterlo. and why blame napoleon for the losses, do you blame rainfall on butterflies?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2005 at 17:50

The wars of the French Revolution lasted, with few interruptions, from Valmy in 1792 to waterloo in 1815.  Due to the nature of Bonaparte's strategic method, that is the DESTRUCTION of the opposing army on the field, battles were enormously destructive of manpower.

Armies on campaign were still subject to loss from exposure, disease, and desertion.  The Grande Armee that invaded Russia in 1812 consisted of about 600,000 soldiers including Bavarian and Austrian auxilliaries allied (temporarily) with France.  Probably 500,000 of these died during the campaign.  On the field at Borodino, 60,000 Russians were killed.  The Bavarian Corps of 25/26,000 lost 80% of their men.  As Russia fought a "scorched earth" campaign, many civilians were left destitute and without shelter in the Russian winter.  No one knows how many of them perished.

Who was the responsible party?...the Russians did not invade themselves.

As the social changes in France matured, each year saw the conscription of sizeable numbers of soldiers (citizens at first/cannon fodder later) and as many as 100-200,000 were conscripted each year.  Of course some professionals became veterans who served for many years, but the wastage was great in Spain and in Russia.  As far as the biggest battles at Austerlitz (1805), Jena (1806), Friedland (1807), Aspern-Esslingen (1809), Wagram (1809), Borodino (1812), Leipzig (1813) and Waterloo (1815), there were routinely 35-50,000 killed on each side!  The armies were larger and were used more aggressively by France, and the other powers imitated them.  There were something like 100 battles total not counting all other casualties that would have resulted in deaths.  For the unfortunate soldier, it does not matter how he dies, he is still dead.

Obviously, in most cases, the majority of soldiers in the field and on campaign generally survived...the Russian campaign was a disastrous exception.  Whoever motivated this must bear the responsibility.  Bonaparte was a great general, a good administrator, a pretty good diplomat, and probably the greatest "man of action" ever, but a lot of people paid for that with their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2005 at 17:53

Vlad:

I don't know what books you have available, but there are some pretty good ones about Napoleon and about his campaigns, and about the French army that fought them.  I'll get together some titles and post them here.  Give me about a day or so.

Mike

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 15:48

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

there were routinely 35-50,000 killed on each side! 

read my post above!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 16:29

Temujin:

Have you read anything, or did Allah give you this wisdom? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 16:42

Vlad:

See if you can find the following at the library:

David Chandler.  "The Campaigns of Napoleon"  (Wars and operations) 

Robert Elting.      "Swords Around a Throne"  (about the French army)

R. Elting & V. Esposito  "Atlas and History of the Napoleonic Wars" compiled for the U.S. Military Academy Dept. of Military Art & Engineering.  A very good source with all the maps and detailed descriptions and analysis of the campaigns and major battles.

Have fun! 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 16:45

Temujin:

Are you Arab (Moslem/Christian), Mongol or Scandinavian?  Give us a clue?  !!!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 17:36
is my nationality of any importance?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2005 at 17:51

Temujin:

NO, no importance

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 15:39
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

The wars of the French Revolution lasted, with few interruptions, from Valmy in 1792 to waterloo in 1815. 

There is a not unreasonable case to be made that the "French Revolution" lasted some 80 years - from the outbreak in 1789 to the establishment of the Third Republic, which then lasted some 70 years - almost as long as the preceding period of turbulence.

Those 80 years included three monarchic periods (a brief attempt at constitutional monarchy under Louis XVI, a return to the Bourbons under Louis XVIII, and another fling with constitutional monarchy under Louis Philippe), a short-lived republic under Robespierre and co., a dictatorship under Napoleon, two Napoleonic empires (Napoleons I and II), with a short-lived Second Republic after 1848, with each stage lasting an average of ten years. A long-lasting bounce from one revolution to another.

And that doesn't include the Paris Commune.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 15:48
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

there were routinely 35-50,000 killed on each side! 

read my post above!

There were 5,000 roughly killed at Trafalgar, probably a little under 2,000 (but 5,000 has been estimated) at the Nile. And there were of course far fewer men involved in the great sea battles than the land ones).

As for voting in the poll - none of the above has to be it. Napoleon was a brilliant general, a considerable politician and an autocrat. I fail to see how he can be said to have spread the ideals of the French Revolution in Europe, since he suppressed them at home.

But his longest-lasting legacy must surely be the codification of laws and legal principles embodied in the 'Code Napoleon'. I doubt that any single individual since Justinian has had such a permanent impact on European legal systems (and, for that matter, in Louisiana )

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2005 at 15:28

The most dangerous moment comes with victory.
                                                                         óNapoleon Bonaparte

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