Has history been too harsh on napoleon bonaparte? Watch

GnomeMage
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The Brits seem to demonize napoleon bonaparte and reduce him to nothing more than a tyrant. But can a tyrant have so many loyal men ready to die for him?

Look at a real tyrant like saddam hussein, when he die, people rush to break his statue, or gadaffi who were dragged through the streets.

The french people loves napoleon, they were eager for his return from elba, so much that the soldiers sent to intercept napoleon defected , can an oppressor be so loved by his own people?

You blame him for waging war, for the deaths of battle, remind me again, who was the one who started attacking france to contain the revolution?

History is written by the victors, and as we know, napoleon lost, and gone with him the right for his truth to be remembered. The British surely would not have gave a man they hated so much any good virtues to be kept in the pages of history.

We all know the Brits only hate him for one reason, because he spreads the ideals that would threaten the monarch.

I think Napoleon is a treasure of human civilization, he inspired many to believe that determination and hard work triumphs over birth privilege, that impossible only exists in the dictionary of fools. Napoleon is a hugely contradictory character, and i believe that the negative side is more a result of propaganda than facts.

Was history wrong about napoleon bonaparte? That he is not a tyrant, but a liberator, idealist, an icon of liberty?
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Protagoras
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(Original post by GnomeMage)

The Brits seem to demonize Napoleon Bonaparte

We all know the Brits only hate him for one reason, because he spreads the ideals that would threaten the monarch.
True dat.

Dis steez..
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Arbolus
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(Original post by GnomeMage)
The Brits seem to demonize napoleon bonaparte and reduce him to nothing more than a tyrant. But can a tyrant have so many loyal men ready to die for him?

Look at a real tyrant like saddam hussein, when he die, people rush to break his statue, or gadaffi who were dragged through the streets.

The french people loves napoleon, they were eager for his return from elba, so much that the soldiers sent to intercept napoleon defected , can an oppressor be so loved by his own people?
Napoleon was a benevolent dictator, but a dictator nonetheless. Had he stayed in France I expect the other European powers could have come to a settlement with him, but he didn't. It's his warmongering which caused other countries to demonise him, rather than his domestic politics.

You blame him for waging war, for the deaths of battle, remind me again, who was the one who started attacking france to contain the revolution?
It was the French Republic which first declared war on Austria, not the other way around. Even if it wasn't, can you really blame the Austrian emperor for doing everything in his power to help when his sister's life was in danger?

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T-BONE44
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(Original post by Arbolus)
It was the French Republic which first declared war on Austria, not the other way around. Even if it wasn't, can you really blame the Austrian emperor for doing everything in his power to help when his sister's life was in danger?

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It was the French Republic who declared war on Austria in 1792, however not Napoleon. He had influence until the end of the 1790's. In 1803, it was Britain who declared war on France, breaking the short lived Treaty of Amiens. In 1805, when Napoleonic France declared war on Austria, it was to allow France to defeat the Austrians and Russians separately before they linked together, as they were planning to do.
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The Dictator
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A great man, my all time hero.
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DraftMeteor
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(Original post by GnomeMage)
But can a tyrant have so many loyal men ready to die for him?
By this logic Hitler was even less tyrannical given that he was elected democratically, whereas Napoleon came to power through the Coup of Brumaire. And the fact that Hitler inspired an entire nation to fight for him. The German military was incredibly loyal for the most part, with the failed assassination attempt only a result of German military leaders realising that Germany was doomed if Hitler remained in power, as he drove the war effort into the ground.

And Napoleon was all but a king in name. He named himself Emperor, made the title hereditary, and rigged all elections towards his own outcome. Even his 'greatest legacy', the Code Napoleon was most likely authored by advisors an assistants, rather than himself. He manipulated and exploited conquered nations in Europe by enforcing conscription, and forcing other nations to take the economic brunt of his Continental Blockade to make sure France never felt the hardships of his tyrannical regime, thereby ensuring the loyalty of his own citizens. This loyalty finally failed him after the battle of Leipzig where he failed to rouse the citizens of Paris into the defence of their own capital.
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MattyR2895
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(Original post by T-BONE44)
It was the French Republic who declared war on Austria in 1792, however not Napoleon. He had influence until the end of the 1790's. In 1803, it was Britain who declared war on France, breaking the short lived Treaty of Amiens. In 1805, when Napoleonic France declared war on Austria, it was to allow France to defeat the Austrians and Russians separately before they linked together, as they were planning to do.
It's somewhat disingenuous to say that it was Britain that broke the peace in 1803. The T.o.A. was extremely generous to the French. Napoleon kept intervening in areas outside the frontiers granted to him by the treaty, and Britain had attempted to protest Nap's actions before declaring war on him. Napoleon forced Britain's hand.
The formation of the 3rd coalition in 1805 was a response to Napoleon's expansion further in to Italy.
It's naive to think that the Allies started wars with Napoleon merely because of ideological differences. Napoleon's imperialism forced the Allies to act, often out of fear that as Nap's power grew he would become a threat to their own nations, which was evidently a justified fear, by his invasions of Prussia, Spain and Russia, among others.
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angelcake123
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I should read this as a form of revision but nah x

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tpizent
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(Original post by DraftMeteor)
By this logic Hitler was even less tyrannical given that he was elected democratically, whereas Napoleon came to power through the Coup of Brumaire. And the fact that Hitler inspired an entire nation to fight for him. The German military was incredibly loyal for the most part, with the failed assassination attempt only a result of German military leaders realising that Germany was doomed if Hitler remained in power, as he drove the war effort into the ground.

And Napoleon was all but a king in name. He named himself Emperor, made the title hereditary, and rigged all elections towards his own outcome. Even his 'greatest legacy', the Code Napoleon was most likely authored by advisors an assistants, rather than himself. He manipulated and exploited conquered nations in Europe by enforcing conscription, and forcing other nations to take the economic brunt of his Continental Blockade to make sure France never felt the hardships of his tyrannical regime, thereby ensuring the loyalty of his own citizens. This loyalty finally failed him after the battle of Leipzig where he failed to rouse the citizens of Paris into the defence of their own capital.
DraftMeteor is British. Some things are not true. The others are misinterpreted. Conscription is completely normal in times of war. Almost every country (in that time even more than now) that didn't make conscription in the war would be destined to lose. Napoleon didn't even start the war, so you can't really blame him for anything. Also, forcing other nations to make the Continental Blockade is not really such an economic brunt as presented. And to say that by introducing the Continental Blockade and conscription, he exploited other nations, then the USA is exploiting the whole NATO for rising their defense budget (comparable with conscription with Napoleon) and forcing them to make economic sanctions towards Russia and some other nations (comparable with the Continental Blockade with Napoleon) which is harming the NATO members more than the Continental Blockade did. Also customs on import of goods from the EU to the USA exists. That would mean that the USA is exploiting NATO more than Napoleon exploited the other nations. The stuff with the Code Napoleon and Battle of Leipzig are simply not true, so I don't think I need to clarify anything. I know that Brits like to demonize Napoleon, but you need to be objective.
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Onde
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On one side he removed feudalism from much of Europe and introduced the Napoleonic Code, but on the overhand, I believe he was responsible for the deaths of 4% (?) of the population of Europe.

In my view, the loss of life cannot justify the positive aspects.
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tpizent
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(Original post by Onde)
On one side he removed feudalism from much of Europe and introduced the Napoleonic Code, but on the overhand, I believe he was responsible for the deaths of 4% (?) of the population of Europe.

In my view, the loss of life cannot justify the positive aspects.
If I calculated well, in Napoleonic wars died approx. 1.2% (for Austrians the number of deaths is from 1792 - 1815, while Napoleonic wars lasted from 1803 - 1815) of the population of Europe. I don't think Napoleon is responsible for Napoleonic wars as he didn't start the Napoleonic wars. The Brits started the Napoleonic wars by declaring war on Napoleonic France (Napoleon not yet an emperor, but First Consul) braking the Treaty of Amiens. Later, most of Europe declared war on him and his allies trying to stop the revolutionary ideas. Napoleon declared war on another nation only twice; to Russia in 1812 and Spain in 1808, but it was when they were already preparing to turn against him. In contrast, in total, other countries declared war on Napoleonic France a few dozen times. He was usually the first one offering peace even when he wouldn't gain anything with it. Napoleon never declared war on Great Britain, Austria, Prussia etc. Russia declared war on Napoleonic France a few times before before Napoleon declared war on Russia in 1812. You could argue that if Napoleon didn't declare war on these countries, why did he conquer them? Well, most of them were actually dependent on France (he didn't annex them). If we are to compare this to another war, like WW2, the Allies did actually take over Germany, Italy, Japan etc. They didn't annex them, but they changed governments (as Napoleon did in some cases) and made them dependent (Germany and Berlin between 4 areas where each part was dependent on the other nation; later 2) on respective countries. Also, the Allies declared war on neutral countries multiple times throughout the WW2 (Australia and Netherlands declared war on Portugal while Portugal stayed neutral throughout the war, UK invaded Iraq, Faroe Islands and Iceland etc.). To conclude, I don't think Napoleon was any more responsible for the deaths in Napoleonic wars than Allies were for the deaths in WW2.
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Guppies
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Napoleon isn't as black and white as other historical figures such as Hitler and Stalin. He has so many good and bad points. He did introduce the Napoleonic Code that influenced law systems of other countries, introduced freedom of religion, removed feudalism in parts of Europe, and the metric system. At the same time, he reinstated Slavery in Croatia and was sexist, and he was a dictator.

He also revolutionarized warfare.

Napoleon wasn't that of a warmonger that popular history would like you to believe. He only declared war on two countries in the Napoleonic War, Spain and Russia.

In my opinion, i view Napoleon as a man ahead of his time.
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tpizent
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(Original post by Guppies)
Napoleon isn't as black and white as other historical figures such as Hitler and Stalin. He has so many good and bad points. He did introduce the Napoleonic Code that influenced law systems of other countries, introduced freedom of religion, removed feudalism in parts of Europe, and the metric system. At the same time, he reinstated Slavery in Croatia and was sexist, and he was a dictator.

He also revolutionarized warfare.

Napoleon wasn't that of a warmonger that popular history would like you to believe. He only declared war on two countries in the Napoleonic War, Spain and Russia.

In my opinion, i view Napoleon as a man ahead of his time.
Are you sure that he reinstated slavery in Croatia? Where did you find that? Can you give me a link or something? I've never heard of it...
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Guppies
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(Original post by tpizent)
Are you sure that he reinstated slavery in Croatia? Where did you find that? Can you give me a link or something? I've never heard of it...
i made a mistake. sorry. I was meant to say haiti, a former french colony. Don't know why i said croatia. But then he reinstated slavery not just in haiti.
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tpizent
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(Original post by Guppies)
Napoleon isn't as black and white as other historical figures such as Hitler and Stalin. He has so many good and bad points. He did introduce the Napoleonic Code that influenced law systems of other countries, introduced freedom of religion, removed feudalism in parts of Europe, and the metric system. At the same time, he reinstated Slavery in Croatia and was sexist, and he was a dictator.

He also revolutionarized warfare.

Napoleon wasn't that of a warmonger that popular history would like you to believe. He only declared war on two countries in the Napoleonic War, Spain and Russia.

In my opinion, i view Napoleon as a man ahead of his time.
The Slave Trade Act 1807, officially An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom prohibiting the slave trade in the British Empire. Although it did not abolish the practice of slavery, it did encourage British action to press other nation states to abolish their own slave trades. Many of the supporters thought the Act would lead to the end of slavery. Slavery on English soil was unsupported in English law and that position was confirmed in Somersett's Case in 1772, but it remained legal in most of the British Empire until the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. Slave Trade Act 1807 made the purchase or ownership of slaves illegal within the British Empire, with the exception "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and Saint Helena.

Regarding that Napoleon re-introduced slavery in sugarcane-growing colonies in 1802, I think that we should mention that Britain abolished slavery in 1833 (although it still actually continued) - which is 31 years after Napoleon's re-introduction of slavery just in sugarcane-growing colonies. Although it is a step back, in that matter he was no worse than his enemies (like Britain). If we are to speak about human rights in the countries, we should mention (as you did) that he abolished feudalism in large part of Europe which led to Revolutions of 1848. All his enemies were feudalist. He also gave people freedom of religion.
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