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

Total votes : 32

Re: Napoleon: Hero or Villain

Unread postby Zappa » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:11 pm

those states weren't occupied by people of a different language and ethnicity

So your saying the german language is the same as the french?

I totally agree with the unification part. Without Napoleon, Germany would never have been unificated or at least it would have taken longer. I think what Napoleon wanted was to form provinces which could be governed easier than 100 of little states, this way he could benefit more from them, Im not sure if he thought about the consequences though. Eitherway I guess for Poland France was more like a liberator than a occupier, so they loved them, but seeing it more critical Napoleon manipulated them like all the other puppet states he founded, which didnt change their feeling towards him.
As the world changes,war comes and goes and with it might,wealth,right,freedom and land changes its owner,however the only thing that will always remain is the death,that comes with it.
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Re: Napoleon: Hero or Villain

Unread postby Jordan » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:13 pm

So your saying the german language is the same as the french?

No. I was comparing the german situation to the Poles. I admit that my statement there was a bit confusing though so I'll clarify:

The Germans were occupied by a myriad of small-time rulers, the Austrians and the Prussians. It was extremely heavily fragmented among the small-time rulers before Napoleon came about. In comparison to the Poles though, most of the rulers in Germany were ethnically and linguistically German. In Poland, the rulers were German and Russian because the country was partitioned among Prussia, Russia and Austria. None of those ruling parties were Polish unlike in Germany where the majority of small-time rulers, austrian rulers and prussian rulers were German.

In this sense, what Napoleon did in creating the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was different than what he did in combining the German states into larger governmental units. In Poland he placed the Poles back on top, at least nominally. In Germany, the nominal rulers were German before, during and after Napoleon. That's why I suggested that what Napoleon did in those places was not the same. In Poland he was actually taking power away from the Prussians, who had been occupiers of the region, and giving it back to the Polish people that the Prussians had conquered. In Germany he was just merging smaller German units into larger ones.

The Poles were happy to treat with the French because the French gave them a greater degree of independence, at least nominally, than the Prussians, Austrians and Russians. They also didn't look down on them as much as the previous conquerors.
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Re: Napoleon: Hero or Villain

Unread postby princeherry » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:56 am

Depends on ones definition of both. He was a man of his time who wielded political power in a time when brutality was hidden in the undercurrents of dignified society. He institated many reforms that improved life for the people of Europe in general and his political work helped shape Polish and German nationalism that led to the eventual formation of the two independent states. He was responsible also for the murder of political opponents and supported brutal reprisals on rebels in Spain and Egypt. The way that a normal person is judged he would probably be classified as a villian but men/women in power can't be judged in the same way as normal people.
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