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Old December 8th, 2012, 05:33 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
You must be kidding.

Certainly not when the own patriotic citizens of the occupied nations were being systematically as cannonfodder for the aforementioned universal conquest campaign against remote populations that have never done anything against the very homeland of the recruits.

Certainly not when hundreds of thousands of French men were being so futilely and massively wasted just for the personal ambition of a single man.
Well Sylla all the statements you say here apply also on the other monarchs of the time.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 06:09 AM   #102
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Well Sylla all the statements you say here apply also on the other monarchs of the time.
You know, cheap apologetic moral relativism (in addition already repeated and duly rejected ad infinitum all along Historum) is not what this thread is calling for.

What this thread has been actually desperately calling for from the very beginning has been some nice relevant hard evidence on the life of the average person under the Buonapartist yoke.

Let say like some examples posted by yours truly.

Not that you may be so lonely in such position either, of course:
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Originally Posted by Rongo View Post
Nice post. I agree with this and your subsequent posts and those of irishcrusader. Chalk one up for Nappy!
So, any guesses?

Last edited by sylla1; December 8th, 2012 at 06:14 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #103
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I've thought about responding seperatly, but it is to much to respond to I've noticed. Goo arguements on both sides and some of them I already shared with you. Yes Napoleon was a reformer and yes at the same time responsible for a lot of suffering. BUt place both of those in context and something will notice to you as well you will be forced to look at both aspects with a different view.

- Constitution
- Civil Code
- Religious Freedom
- Social Freedom
- Sewer System
- Metric System
- Educational reform

These reforms were higly uncommon at that time. And yes some of them started under the Revolutionary Regime, but it was Emperor Napoleon who crowned each of this reform. This was mainly possible because of the order he brought back to France. The Revolution and Napoleon brought something new. Their reforms were not just based to keep the plebs quite or to gain personal power, but for the people and to give them something in return of being their subjects. And no, I am not naive and yes some of his reforms like a new sewer system were used as gifts to keep the Bonapartist Regime popular among the people. But the majority of reforms were used to both modernize France and to improve the lives of those who live in it.



Then the more negative aspects of his regime, or by some members called his personal ambitious universal conquest. Well first of all Napoleon never intended to form a Universal French Empire and even if he wanted he simply didn't have the navy for it. Second as I explained more then ones on this forum is that in the majority of the Napoleonic Campaigns the first shot was not fired by the French, but by a combination of Austrians, Prussians, British, Russians etc.

Take all coalition wars separately for example:

First Coalition: Was a coalition formed between most of the European monarchs to put an end to the dangerous revolution in France.

Second Coalition: Was formed during the Directoire regime. Napoleon was fighting in Egypt (still as response to the First Coalition) and the Austrians made good use of this fact and back stepped France in Italy.

Third Coalition: Was result of the British abandonment of the Peace of Amiens by Britain. The same country convinced Austria and Russia to take up arms again against the Corsican Ogre.

Fourth Coalition: A desperate Prussia joined the already broken Third Coalition later, but was decisively crushed as was Russia who also still remained in this coalition.

Fifth Coalition: Britain again managed to convince the Austrians to go to war with France again and the moment Francis I saw Napoleon having troubles in Spain he found a way to attack France in the back.

Sixth Coalition: Was the result of NApoleon's failed campaign into Russia in 1812 and was joined by much of the European powers.

Seventh Coalition: After Napoleon's peaceful return from Elba and with no intentions to take up arms again, the Austrians, British, Prussians and Russians declared war on him nevertheless.

Then the Peninsular Campaign, yes this campaign may have be seen as a personal conquest of Napoleon, but also this has to be seen into context. It was never the intention to conquer Spain, the French Army merely want to pass trough to Portugal to annihilate the ulcer in the south.

And Russia, as this subject is discussed long and hard it will most likely be known that both Alexander as Napoleon share the same amount of blame in this war.

As you see the wars between 1799-1815 were hardly the result of the personal conquest of one man, but mainly the results of a displeased European Monarch gang who put everything on the line to annihilate all that was French and to bring France back to the situation before 1789.

As I said as well, Napoleon had most of the blame in Russia and Spain (not all, but most), but did his campaign differ much from British intervention in the America's, Spain's carnage under the Indian population, the Holy Roman Emperor's religious wars in Germany, the slaughter of the Crimean war or the war of 1866 against Austria by Prussia? War was a way to by European nations to convince other nations of their interests. And Napoleon in those two war did not more then follow in the footsteps of both his predecessors and successors.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeroenrottgering View Post
I've thought about responding seperatly, but it is to much to respond to I've noticed. Goo arguements on both sides and some of them I already shared with you. Yes Napoleon was a reformer and yes at the same time responsible for a lot of suffering. BUt place both of those in context and something will notice to you as well you will be forced to look at both aspects with a different view.

- Constitution
- Civil Code
- Religious Freedom
- Social Freedom
- Sewer System
- Metric System
- Educational reform

These reforms were higly uncommon at that time. And yes some of them started under the Revolutionary Regime, but it was Emperor Napoleon who crowned each of this reform. This was mainly possible because of the order he brought back to France. The Revolution and Napoleon brought something new. Their reforms were not just based to keep the plebs quite or to gain personal power, but for the people and to give them something in return of being their subjects. And no, I am not naive and yes some of his reforms like a new sewer system were used as gifts to keep the Bonapartist Regime popular among the people. But the majority of reforms were used to both modernize France and to improve the lives of those who live in it.



Then the more negative aspects of his regime, or by some members called his personal ambitious universal conquest. Well first of all Napoleon never intended to form a Universal French Empire and even if he wanted he simply didn't have the navy for it. Second as I explained more then ones on this forum is that in the majority of the Napoleonic Campaigns the first shot was not fired by the French, but by a combination of Austrians, Prussians, British, Russians etc.

Take all coalition wars separately for example:

First Coalition: Was a coalition formed between most of the European monarchs to put an end to the dangerous revolution in France.

Second Coalition: Was formed during the Directoire regime. Napoleon was fighting in Egypt (still as response to the First Coalition) and the Austrians made good use of this fact and back stepped France in Italy.

Third Coalition: Was result of the British abandonment of the Peace of Amiens by Britain. The same country convinced Austria and Russia to take up arms again against the Corsican Ogre.

Fourth Coalition: A desperate Prussia joined the already broken Third Coalition later, but was decisively crushed as was Russia who also still remained in this coalition.

Fifth Coalition: Britain again managed to convince the Austrians to go to war with France again and the moment Francis I saw Napoleon having troubles in Spain he found a way to attack France in the back.

Sixth Coalition: Was the result of NApoleon's failed campaign into Russia in 1812 and was joined by much of the European powers.

Seventh Coalition: After Napoleon's peaceful return from Elba and with no intentions to take up arms again, the Austrians, British, Prussians and Russians declared war on him nevertheless.

Then the Peninsular Campaign, yes this campaign may have be seen as a personal conquest of Napoleon, but also this has to be seen into context. It was never the intention to conquer Spain, the French Army merely want to pass trough to Portugal to annihilate the ulcer in the south.

And Russia, as this subject is discussed long and hard it will most likely be known that both Alexander as Napoleon share the same amount of blame in this war.

As you see the wars between 1799-1815 were hardly the result of the personal conquest of one man, but mainly the results of a displeased European Monarch gang who put everything on the line to annihilate all that was French and to bring France back to the situation before 1789.

As I said as well, Napoleon had most of the blame in Russia and Spain (not all, but most), but did his campaign differ much from British intervention in the America's, Spain's carnage under the Indian population, the Holy Roman Emperor's religious wars in Germany, the slaughter of the Crimean war or the war of 1866 against Austria by Prussia? War was a way to by European nations to convince other nations of their interests. And Napoleon in those two war did not more then follow in the footsteps of both his predecessors and successors.
So aside of the customary perennial endless absurd excuse that absolutely all the fifty-plus battles and the perpetual universal conquest were just pure self-defense from the innocent Buonaparte, the only point abov even remotely related with the OP is the legislation equally systematically used as an excuse for universal conquest, which was of course hardly just his purely personal original contribution and which Buonaparte himself as a paradigmatic tyrant of a totalitarian state & system created by him was never forced to obey to begin with.

Which part exactly of "relevant hard evidence" has been so complex for me to explain here?

Where's absolutely any single piece of relevant hard evidence that may show any objective positive impact of such nice legislation on the daily life of the average person of either the occupied Europe or even France itself?

Because myriad totalitarian states have enjoyed from equally beautiful legal principles.

Not that any point of this post wouldn't have been duly explained myriad previous times, of course.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 10:30 AM   #105

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Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
I think we need to take this subject one piece at a time. Right now we are jumping all over the place...This is just too big of a subject to take in a single bite. Some of the sub-subjects we should discuss individually.

The institution of French style governments in places previously controlled by a different state, and how the French governments were better or worse.
moving on to the next part this one i feel will be a bit tricky.

with the civil code in place in those states under french domination things would undoubtedly have become better for all involved. there is ample evidence of greater property and administration in some regions such as Naples which before had been one of the most poverty stricken and undeveloped areas in europe. under french control it saw greater prosperity and better administration then it had ever experienced.

the downsides of all this then being the heavy use of conscription and questioning in these regions. it was especially bad in prussia during the preparations for the russian invasion as people had almost their whole livestock and as such whole livelihoods taken from them. i thinks it fair to say that in less developed regions like Naples, northern italy or Poland the french were welcomed for the better administration and prosperity they brought, these people having already previously been under the control of other states so it was really on a switch of one to another. yet those nations that had greater development and independence clashed a lot over nationalism which created a bitter divide in a lot of cases. the higher classes in these areas suffered more and had more at stake leading to more resistance to the french.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #106

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishcrusader95 View Post
moving on to the next part this one i feel will be a bit tricky.

with the civil code in place in those states under french domination things would undoubtedly have become better for all involved. there is ample evidence of greater property and administration in some regions such as Naples which before had been one of the most poverty stricken and undeveloped areas in europe. under french control it saw greater prosperity and better administration then it had ever experienced.

the downsides of all this then being the heavy use of conscription and questioning in these regions. it was especially bad in prussia during the preparations for the russian invasion as people had almost their whole livestock and as such whole livelihoods taken from them. i thinks it fair to say that in less developed regions like Naples, northern italy or Poland the french were welcomed for the better administration and prosperity they brought, these people having already previously been under the control of other states so it was really on a switch of one to another. yet those nations that had greater development and independence clashed a lot over nationalism which created a bitter divide in a lot of cases. the higher classes in these areas suffered more and had more at stake leading to more resistance to the french.
Yes Irish, I've noticed much of the same. Replacing the previous government with a new French one had vastly different effects in different places across the Empire.
One of the most extreme negative examples being Spain. We can only guess how things would have gone differently had Joseph not been raised to King of Spain. Perhaps no Spanish Ulcer. Who can say?

Other places faired better. As I mentioned earlier Italy was in my opinion one of the biggest benefactors. Life for the common Italian man was certainly improved under French rule, largely for the reasons stated in my post #58 on page 6.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 05:19 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Do you mean the traitors and lavish collaborationists with the brutal invaders?

Click the image to open in full size.

Actually, he did, and hardly just him.

Such stuff was as overtly and proudly acknowledged as the fate of the Nazi collaborators would be a century and a half later,
This deserves a Godwin point. Congrats !

So they were "traitors" and "collaborationnists". Agreed, traitors to absolutism and to the Bourbon dynasty which was quite a good thing for Spain. Not all afrancesados joined Joseph by personal interest.

The afrancesados were as multiple as the so-called "patriots" that included not only real patriots and liberals but also ultraconservatives and religious fanatics. If some of those afrancesados were real traitors because they didn't have Spain's interest in mind while joigning Joseph' side, others weren't.

Those "enlightened" afrancesados wanted to keep monarchy alive in Spain, as they feared the anarchy that seemed to appear in the provinces not under the control of french military. They were in an in-between position into the classification established by Miguel de Artola between liberales (in favour of a Constitution) and serviles (absolutists).

Artola again explain that from a european point of view the arrival of the afrancesados in Spain in 1808 can be seen as a return to Aufklärung and enlightened despotism after the absolutism of Charles IV. Their ideals were liberty, homeland and national sovereignty. They always defended the latter against the more federalist view of Napoleon, following the pactist tradition.

If the collaboration cannot be denied, the reason of the collaboration can easily be considered positively unlike the collaboration with Nazis.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #108
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This deserves a Godwin point. Congrats !

So they were "traitors" and "collaborationnists". Agreed, traitors to absolutism and to the Bourbon dynasty which was quite a good thing for Spain. Not all afrancesados joined Joseph by personal interest.

The afrancesados were as multiple as the so-called "patriots" that included not only real patriots and liberals but also ultraconservatives and religious fanatics. If some of those afrancesados were real traitors because they didn't have Spain's interest in mind while joigning Joseph' side, others weren't.

Those "enlightened" afrancesados wanted to keep monarchy alive in Spain, as they feared the anarchy that seemed to appear in the provinces not under the control of french military. They were in an in-between position into the classification established by Miguel de Artola between liberales (in favour of a Constitution) and serviles (absolutists).

Artola again explain that from a european point of view the arrival of the afrancesados in Spain in 1808 can be seen as a return to Aufklärung and enlightened despotism after the absolutism of Charles IV. Their ideals were liberty, homeland and national sovereignty. They always defended the latter against the more federalist view of Napoleon, following the pactist tradition.

If the collaboration cannot be denied, the reason of the collaboration can easily be considered positively unlike the collaboration with Nazis.
Congratulations aside, Herr Hitler was not mentioned in my original post, so the post above is ultimately just a cheap fallacious Straw Man.

But if he & his Nazi would have been mentioned, the analogy of reductio ad Buonapartium would in fact have been perfectly valid, so Godwin's Law would have still not applied, as it is just for fallacious comparisons.

At the risk of overstating the obvious, the rationalization of absolutely any collaborationism, even the most treacherous, certainly including any collaborationism with any universal conqueror wannabe like Monsieur Buonaparte or the Nazi (or the Soviets, if you would prefer so) could always be considered "positively"; just ask Laval or Gomulka.
It's just a matter of some shameless opportunistic moral relativism.

Last edited by sylla1; December 10th, 2012 at 06:13 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #109

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Napoleon freed the Jews didn't he?
And his code of law seemed to have given France some stability after Robespierre's frankly baffling legal system in which 'virtue' would prove ones innocence.

Frankly though, if he made life for the French better, that's great. But ultimately his ambition was personal glory, he was a great man and great men are remembered long after the bones of their victims are dust.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #110

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Found an interesting book about life in Napoleonic France. Here's an excerpt:

Quote:
For peasants and agricultural workers, the greatest reward was the expansion of propety holding. According to one historian, "The revolution turned the French peasants into free men on free land. However, this freedom did not simply drop into their laps." In fact, the right to acquire land did not always translate in to the ability to buy it until the Napoleonic period when banking and currency were stabilized and peasants had more resources. By the time Napoleon had completed two years as First Consul, one third of the auctioned, available lands was in the hands of peasants. By the end of his reign as Emperor, the tally was 60 percent, although most of the plots were of modest size or small. At the same time, a rural middle class, holding larger parcels of land, came into existence.

Source: The Age of Napoleon - Susan Punzel Conner - Google Books
Much more interesting material in the source document.

Last edited by Rongo; December 10th, 2012 at 09:56 AM.
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