Would Europe be better or worse today if Napoleon had conquered it? Watch

sammynorton90
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#1
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I always thought Napoleon was nothing more than a tyrannical, evil dictator, just an early version of Hitler. I'd always been told things like 'he had a law that meant a man had complete control over his wife and children' and just had a picture of him as this short, angry fascist, like Hitler. I grew up reading and watching 'Sharpe' and just generally getting the black and white view that he was the bad guy.

But reading about him I've began to think was he actually that bad? And especially when you consider the time he lived in and the alternatives available to his rule. He gave stability to France after the Revolution in a time the Jacobians where causing chaos and mayhem and pretty much taking France to the dogs. And the countries that opposed him mostly had Monarchs that where a lot more tyrannical and oppressive of the people than he was.

He was actually very forward thinking and progressive for his time. He wanted to get rid of the amount of power the church had that was hindering France's progress, and wanted more of a focus on Education and Science and he gave the Jewish population and other ethnicities in France more rights than they had ever had.

Yes, many people died because of the wars he launched, but think about how many people have died in wars to enforce 'Democracy'. Why would a United Europe, under the rule of a seemingly forward thinking and for the time, liberal dictator, have been worse than the oppressive Monarchies still in place a lot of Europe at the time. As I've said the amount of wars caused by him may have been wrong, but to complete a revolution you have to fight those that oppose it, or to use a cliche, 'to make an Omelette you have to break a few eggs'.
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Tonn
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The problem that he had was that the society that he created was one based on warfare, the concept of the fiscal military state overtaking politics, to the extent that peace became impossible.

Also, Napoleon's actions created strong German nationalism. It is widely acknowledged that prussian nationalism and the state were initialed by opposition to french interventionism. as a result, the concept of a universal peace was unlikely.

Finally, Napoleon was still a dictator. By defeating Napoleon, Britain, and the example of parliamentary democracy and the gradual expansion of the franchise spread. This was quite possibly the most influential factor in the development of the western world. if it was replaced by demagogery we cannot tell what would happen.

Then again, I'm english and raised in the whig perspective.................

Napoleon recreated poland? that was nice of him.....
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pol pot noodles
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The whole argument is irrelevant, because ultimately the peoples of Europe have the right to decide who rules them. Zimbabwe would be financially better off it was annexed and integrated into the UK, but I doubt too many Zimbabweans would support the idea.
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Don John
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
The whole argument is irrelevant, because ultimately the peoples of Europe have the right to decide who rules them. Zimbabwe would be financially better off it was annexed and integrated into the UK, but I doubt too many Zimbabweans would support the idea.
Zimbabwe's run by a psychotic racist who seems to think that the UK still wants colonial control.
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Josh_Dey
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here come the history students :afraid:
this is not going to end well...:no:
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by Don John)
Zimbabwe's run by a psychotic racist who seems to think that the UK still wants colonial control.
That's irrelevant. A lot of country's would be better off as part of another. The UK would be financially better off as part of the United States, but that aint ever happening.
Likewise whether of not Europe would have been 'better' off under Napoleon doesn't matter, because they didn'[t want to be part of the French empire and had every right to fight for their freedoms. He started the conflict, not them.
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humanrights
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anything would have been better than the current era of mass immigration and multiculturalism which is destroying europe.


europe would probably be in better shape if hitler had won.......
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ScheduleII
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We might have been more chivalrous and less calculating if Napoleon had won...
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