Napoleon despotism

Instead, he retired to La Grange and the life of a gentleman-farmer, while his son served as a sergeant in the army until

Napoleon despotism

Hitler took the most powerful country in Europe and wrecked it for a generation, demonstrating in the process how not to run acontinent.

But Napoleon — another case entirely. He took a country in the throes of acute fiscal crisis and social unrest and made it the dominant power in Europe; he oversaw the shattering of the old ruling order across the continent; he reformed the government; and he transformed the very idea of what politics could be and man could do.

All of these achievements proved to be irreversible. Those historians who over the past decade or so have had fun denouncing him as the first totalitarian dictator have it all wrong: One proof of this is his immortality.

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But when Napoleon died on St Helena inmuch of Europe and the Americas could not help thinking of itself as a post-Napoleonic generation. His presence haunts the pages of Stendhal and Alfred de Vigny. The raw material for the future Napoleon myth was provided by one of his St Helena confidants, the Comte de las Cases, whose account of conversations with the great man came out shortly after his death and ran in repeated editions throughout the century.

De las Cases somehow metamorphosed the erstwhile dictator into a herald of liberty, the emperor into a slayer of dynasties rather than the founder of his own. It was on this already vast Napoleon literature, a rich terrain for the scholar of ideas, that the great Dutch historian Pieter Geyl was lecturing in when he was arrested and sent to Buchenwald.

There he composed what became one of the classics of historiography, a book entitled Napoleon: For and Against, which charted how generations of intellectuals had happily served up one Napoleon after another. Like those poor souls who crowded the lunatic asylums of midth century France convinced that they were Napoleon, generations of historians and novelists simply could not get him out of their head.

The debate runs on today no less intensely than in the past.

The ‘retour des cendres’ in 1840

Indeed, the man and his times are very much in fashion and we are living through something of a new golden age of Napoleonic literature. So what kind of Napoleon does our generation need?

The last one tried to pull him down off his pedestal, to emphasise the violence and the love of power that drove him, even to represent him as precursor to the dictators of the 20th century. This rather silly approach has thankfully now largely been abandoned.

There are good reasons to go along with this. After all, although Roberts does not dwell on this point, Napoleon did more than anyone to redefine the meaning of greatness itself — by showing to later generations not only that the individual counted, but more importantly to most of our predecessors, that talent mattered more than birth.

Glory depended on achievements not status, and no one worked more tirelessly than Napoleon to have an effect on the world. Roberts demonstrates this very well. One might describe Napoleon at the start as a hard-working artillery officer, except that it was so much more than just hard work. The graft, the hours spent in meticulous preparation, were always there.

But his embrace of details was allied to an instinctive understanding of the larger picture, great personal courage, historical insight based on his constant reading, and, above all, perhaps, an appreciation of the moral and psychological dimensions of command and government.

He chose his advisers well, and eclectically, and he understood that the best treatment for opposition was to absorb it rather than to crush it.Napoleon Debate: Enlightened Despot HOW SHOULD A LEADER BEHAVE?

Son of the Revolution vs Enlightened Despot ~~~~~ Thesis/Introductory: (overall point) Napoleon’s purpose was to restore order, security, and efficiency out of the revolution’s chaos, but Napoleon’s goal was not for the sake of the French but for his own gain.

Chagrined by this, and dissatisfied with Napoleon's despotism, he remained for some time inactive; but in received the command of the third corps d'armee, and greatly distinguished himself at Smolensk and the Moskwa, in consequence of which he was created prince of Moskwa.

Despotism is a state of government where a ruler has absolute power. In modern usage despot and despotism is almost always pejorative. The word comes, originally, from the Greek despotes literally meaning ‘master of the house’ and usually translated as ‘lord’ or ‘owner’ (Douglas n.d.).

In the Byzantine Empire Despot was an official court title bestowed on the heir apparent. Napoleon Despotism Essay Enlightened despotism is when there is an absolute ruler, in some cases a tyrant, who follows the principles of the Enlightenment through reforms. Permitting religious toleration, allowing freedom of the press and speech, and expanding education are a few main guidelines to being and enlightened despot.

“Napoleon I is sometimes called the greatest enlightened despot. Evaluate this assessment in terms of Napoleon I’s policies and accomplishments.

Napoleon despotism

Be sure to include a definition of enlightened despotism in your answer.”( – #4) “Napoleon was a child of the Enlightenment.” Assess the . The French Revolution and Napoleon [Charles Downer Hazen] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Any one who seeks to understand the stirring period in which we are now living becomes quickly aware that he must first know the history of the French Revolution.

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