Napoleon: Hero or Villain

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Is Napoleon a great hero or a dastardly villain

Hero
22
69%
Villain
10
31%
 
Total votes : 32

Napoleon: Hero or Villain

Unread postby Jordan » Thu May 19, 2005 11:57 pm

Do you think Napoleon is a hero or villain? Actually I have a paper that I need to do on this and personally I am thinking of making my thesis that he was a hero. I will hold out on voting though till I hear some nice arguments from all of you.
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5902
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Unread postby bodidley » Fri May 20, 2005 12:09 am

Napoleon failed to keep the peace after he won his wars, and his ambition and constant wars with the Coalition of monarchies killed millions of people. However, the Napoleonic code has been the foundation of the Republics of continental Europe and ended serfdom wherever Napoleon conquered. The continental nation Napoleon failed to conquer, Russia, never adopted the code and as a result the obsolete, inefficient, and brutal system of serfdom brought the Russian empire down and into 80 years of violence and suffering.

I would argue that if it were not for Napoleon the EU and all of the "democracies" of Europe besides the U.K. would not exist.
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Unread postby Jordan » Fri May 20, 2005 12:41 am

Napoleon made a number of other reforms as well. He needed to in order to gain support. Remember that just before Napoleon's time the Revolution had taken place. Napoleon had to give people certain rights or else they would rebel again. He set up a better law code, gave people the right to practice their religion (including Jews which was a fairly new thing in Europe at the time), set up schools called lycees where gifted children could potentially earn scholarships (which would later give way to public schools; Napoleon helped public schools become a possibility) and reduced the economic crisis in France. He was known to be an excellent administrator.
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5902
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Unread postby urbanterrorist » Fri May 20, 2005 12:57 am

I don't know. When I was young I used to think that Napoleon was one of the greatest generals ever. But as I grew up I realized than he too had flaws. One of his worst traits was that like Cao Cao, he would stop at nothing to fufill his ambition. Napoleon wasn't even French yet he grew to up become of one the France's most feared general.
Villian No. But he sure wasn't a saint.
They miss the whisper that runs any day in your mind,
"Who are you really, wanderer?" and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold the world around you is:
"Maybe I'm a king. -William Stafford
User avatar
urbanterrorist
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 2278
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Schlachthof Fünf

Unread postby Jordan » Fri May 20, 2005 3:24 am

urbanterrorist wrote:I don't know. When I was young I used to think that Napoleon was one of the greatest generals ever. But as I grew up I realized than he too had flaws. One of his worst traits was that like Cao Cao, he would stop at nothing to fufill his ambition. Napoleon wasn't even French yet he grew to up become of one the France's most feared general.
Villian No. But he sure wasn't a saint.


He was an interesting guy though. The world owes a lot to him. He tried to establish a peaceful republic over Europe (of course through war), found the Rosetta Stone and embraced ideas of the previous philosophes. He was ruthless at times and did make some great mistakes. He occasionally acted pompous and as an absolute monarch but also was more liberal-minded than any ruler in Europe at the time. One of the reasons many rulers opposed him was because they feared that the people were becoming too strong in France and a revolutionary movement would spread through Europe so that the people would rebel against their lords and rally behind Napoleon till he conquered all of Europe. This is proved when at the Congress of Vienna they tried to make Europe more conservatively monarchist. (Where rulers had absolute power)
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5902
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Unread postby bodidley » Fri May 20, 2005 4:49 am

The war between the Republic and the monarchies was well underway by the time Napoleon came to power. I don't think his ambition was to unify the continent under one central government, because there were plenty of times when he had the monarchs hostage and he had destroyed all of their armies, but he signed treaties that left them in power and let their Empires keep substantial territories. If he had made like Ying Zheng and killed them all there would probably only be a few countries in Europe today. This brings up questions of motive. I think he led his country through war because he wanted to be remembered forever as the greatest conqueror who ever lived. That kind of ambition is damning in my opinion, but the benefits of Napoleon's legal and social reforms today are undeniable.
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Unread postby Jordan » Fri May 20, 2005 6:37 am

Perhaps. He basically conquered Spain and put his brother in charge of it, he reformed the republic of Venice into a conquered territory state and he forced the Pope into exile, effectively destroying the Papal States. The main reason why he kept rulers in charge of territory was political. Charles II who ruled over a large Empire stretching from Austria, to Spain, to the Netherlands, and bordering Turkey knew that governing a vast territory was difficult and Napoleon did this too. He installed favorable rulers or tried to get the support of rulers in order to reduce the task while still maintaining power in conquered areas. These conquered territories allied with Napoleon but not necessarily under his direct control were called satellite states. He claimed that he wanted to conquer Europe in order to build a vast and more liberal republic.
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5902
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Unread postby bodidley » Fri May 20, 2005 7:13 am

While the Papacy effectively ceased to exist as a political state, after the signing of the Concordat the Pope returned and Napoleon put a stop to radical atheist groups that had grown out of the revolution in France and were killing people for being either religious or associated with the Church.

I'm not just reffering to the indirect rule of the satelleite states. After Austerlitz, and after Friedland when the treaty of Tilsit was signed, Napoleon could have established satelleite states in place of the Prussian, Austrian, and even the Russian Empires (in the case of Russia at least destroy its leadership) but he signed peace treaties and recognized their sovereignty. Although, Napoleon did force his Code on the Prussians and Austrians.
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Unread postby WeiTreize » Fri May 20, 2005 3:19 pm

I think that Napoleon was a villain because he took over a country in the middle of a war and for what he did to other countrys during his wars.
"A single death is a tragedy;A million deaths is a statistic."
-Joseph Stalin 1945
WeiTreize
Academic
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:29 am
Location: Sekigahara 1600 A.D.

Unread postby No Bu » Fri May 20, 2005 3:21 pm

I remember this question from my World History class that was in the text book talking about the simularities of Napoleon and Hitler. It always annoys me when people compare Napoleon to Hitler because of his ambition. They say Hitler was the next Napoleon which is far from true. Hitler slaughtered millions of people. Napoleon on the other hand broke no law but was seen as a threat so he was only banished. I think he saved France after the Revolution so therefore I see Napoleon as a hero. :)
Every soul is like a moon, it has a dark side.
User avatar
No Bu
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:04 am
Location: Drifter

Next

Return to World History Deliberation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved