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Old November 19th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #61

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
Or perhaps it was something to do with preventing mass murder and the terror of revolution from reaching the streets of London and other European capitals?

EoR
Oh yes fear of revolution was the key factor, it scared the establishment so much they even started to care for the urban poor. No i am not being sarcastic the great reform movements of the late 18th Century coincided with the onset of the French revolution. Events in Paris drove both our domestic and foreign policy.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:13 AM   #62
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Oh yes fear of revolution was the key factor, it scared the establishment so much they even started to care for the urban poor. No i am not being sarcastic the great reform movements of the late 18th Century coincided with the onset of the French revolution. Events in Paris drove both our domestic and foreign policy.
I'm not British (half-Norwegian, half-Chinese actually), but I agree, the French revolution brought a lot of good social reform to the world, much of it motivated by fear.

To keep on addressing Jeroen's worldview... as we know the Revolution motivated actions against France, and while the revolution was vicious at times the First Coalition was clearly unjust. However with time the European powers (including Britain) began to accept it, some made peace and others even allied itself with the new France and Bonaparte when he came to power; Revolutionary France was a part of a wider, international context. What the Bonapartist will have us believe is that Britain was an implacable and eternal enemy of France, and that the continental nations were in their right minds when they made alliances with Napoleon and deeply confused whenever they acted against him.
Britain was almost alone at times, the continental nations largely aligned in Napoleon's favor, yet somehow these allied nations would see their ends of the alliances largely ignored and the less fortunate among them invaded.

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Old November 20th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #63

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I'm an admirer of the Emperor (that's what I call Boneparte often)....but I think its incorrect to put all the blame on the British....Ambition is the drive for both (French/British/other). Both were expanding nations and their struggle was normal.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:21 AM   #64
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There is certainly a lot to admire about Bonaparte. He was a brilliant strategist and good at implementing legal reforms in foreign countries (when not seizing their assets and men to fuel his wars), however I must disagree that their struggle was normal.

Napoleon unified his enemies through constant, unending ambition. He was a compulsive glory seeker to whom it was extremely difficult to rest on his laurels, in particular if recently defeated he would seek out a great victory to blot out the blemish of defeat. He would also prefer to avoid memories of defeat (witness for example how he failed to massively reinforce the Spanish theater in favor of the more glorious goal of invading Russia). While a tactical and strategic genious, and extremely charming (and a PR genious on a domestic level as well as in the art of managed diplomatic summits (in particular in his first summit with Aleksander he is charming and friendly in a forward and close manner, but above and beyond all - he presents himself as grand)) he is also lacking of understanding of the psychology of his allies in a petty manner, treating them sometimes as vassals, other times as junior partners, but never equally, and his understanding of his opponents is even worse, his attitude is one of denial verging on delusion when he is subject to a losing streak - when he finally realizes he has lost his chances for a decisive battle against Russia he continues to expect a peace offer from his friend which will return the status quo, at this stage he refuses multiple peace treaties by war-weary opponents that would involve a managed loss, and one very generous one at an equally late stage which Aleksander only approved since he was certain Napoleon would refuse (do note that Aleksander at this point, thouroughly divorced from his earlier friendship and share in Napoleon's glory, believes himself to be carrying out God's plan).

Perhaps the best thing he did was unintentional, the bonds he forced his enemies to forge and the agreements made in the Congress of Vienna ushered in the first openly conscious international balance of power that would last for sixty years; and far more successful than its first successor, the League of Nations, though relying more heavily on bilateral bonds and informal ties.

Anyway, the book I'm heavily paraphrasing i 'Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815' by Charles Esdaile.

Judge for yourself.

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Old November 20th, 2012, 05:41 AM   #65

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Come on you know your self that he didn't slaughtered people. The powers of Europe invaded his territory and so he needed men to oppose them.
Let me point out Napoleon's invasions of Egypt, Haiti, Spain, and Russia as counter-examples.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #66
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I think you'll find it was a bad thing for most people, they didn't call it the terror for nothing and Napoleon did not bring about a bloodless equality.

EoR
So how to you feel about the activities of the Holy Alliance? Britain strove to put those guys in the driver's seat, and succeeded.

Reactionism might not have been a threat to Britain, but it certainly was to everything else on the continent.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #67
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Monsieur Buonaparte threw away French lives more callously than any other general exactly because he did fight four other major powers and many minor ones, often at the same time, over a period of little less than twenty years, just to satisfy his personal ambition of universal conquest.
What was at stake was what kind of society at least France would be from that point onwards.

No Napoleon fighting all those wars with as much success, and odds are good the kind of new society that emerged would have been aborted early. It bought something like 15 years of the new kind of French society to establish itself, and then the changes couldn't be undone by the reactionaries on their return.

Worth it? Depends entirely on viewpoint. It's one of these emergent situations where the bloodshed, sacrifice and suffering in peoples' minds have to translate into something worth it all.

And a challenge is still that for all the death and destruction, and Napoleon's eventual defeat, Europe still spent decades putting on revolutionary repeat performances, not to get Napoleonesque bouts of conquering, but to get societies that would work different from the traditional ones.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 08:49 AM   #68
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Perhaps the best thing he did was unintentional, the bonds he forced his enemies to forge and the agreements made in the Congress of Vienna ushered in the first openly conscious international balance of power that would last for sixty years; and far more successful than its first successor, the League of Nations, though relying more heavily on bilateral bonds and informal ties.
And bloodshed.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #69
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Another zombie thread?
Is there no more recent discussion on our favorite universal conqueror wannabe?

Must confess I missed the last posts addressed to yours truly here

Those of our AK7 (and who would imagine, our Jero too) are indeed full with (regularly duly apolgetic) misconceptions, but for any reason my guess is that they are not holding their breath while waiting for my insight after so many months.

On the other hand this is a different story: QUOTE=Larrey;1263205]What was at stake was what kind of society at least France would be from that point onwards.

No Napoleon fighting all those wars with as much success, and odds are good the kind of new society that emerged would have been aborted early. It bought something like 15 years of the new kind of French society to establish itself, and then the changes couldn't be undone by the reactionaries on their return.

Worth it? Depends entirely on viewpoint. It's one of these emergent situations where the bloodshed, sacrifice and suffering in peoples' minds have to translate into something worth it all.

And a challenge is still that for all the death and destruction, and Napoleon's eventual defeat, Europe still spent decades putting on revolutionary repeat performances, not to get Napoleonesque bouts of conquering, but to get societies that would work different from the traditional ones.[/QUOTE] Not to rain on anyone's parade, but at the risk of overstating the obvious again (and again and again) Monsieur Buonaparte didn't attempt Universal conquest for the social welfare of France or any other population.

Au contraire, he attempted such Universal conquest knowingly against any elementary welfare (and life expectancy) of any such population.

His motives couldn't have more evidently been just his own personal never-ending and ostensibly pathological ambition and hunger of power.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #70

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I personally think it was because of the British because with almost every coalition the British were funding it and telling the powers of Europe to oppose Bonaparte. Some of his campaigns were his own intend but the majority was organized by the frightened coalition partners because they were scared that their Monarchy would fall. So when people say that Napoleon was a war hungry bandit then that is an insult on him.

But I want to hear your opinions.
well while that is true in a sense it is also a double edged sword as the reverse was true for the other side as well. for the other powers of europe it was a matter of their interest that they fight as this was a fight for supremacy in europe. the other powers had reason enough to oppose France's rise as it was bringing down their superpower status. such a cold calculated war which was fought for no other reason then power is dressed up in nationalism to please the masses. these wars need to be looked at in the context of the time and in that time countries went to war for the sake of supremacy.

prussia invaded silesia in 1741 for just such a reason, as did russia when invading ottoman territories or viceversa, and the british did it with india or other overseas territories. it was simply the way things were done so its a little hypocritical for any one side to accuse the other of warmongering and aggressive invasion when they were all doing it.
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