Originally Posted by Brunel
Napoleon did give equality to everyone, you are right.
Except he didn't give equality to women. He once said that "women should stick to knitting."
Again, except if you were a woman and, most likely, poor.
Except if you were a woman (stick to knitting, ladies).
Again, except if you were a woman or if you were poor.
Was he really different then the attitude most men had towards woman at that time? You must understand that pretty much until the World Wars most woman were still expected to stay in the kitchen. He did little more then sticking with the time he lived in. And remember he boosted a lot of very manly aspects such as military duty, discipline, patriotism etc etc, things woman were not as into as man at that time at least, and most likely stll. But I will agree if we would compare it to this time then his view towards woman is rather insulting. It's all about time periods though.
Where do you get the poor thing from?
Lefebvre: Son of a Miller
Suchet: Son of a Silk-manufacturer
Mortier: Son of a Farmer
Oudinot: Son of a Brewer
Bessieres: Son of a Barber
Massena: Son of a Tanner
Murat: Son of a Inn-keeper
Lannes: Son of a Farmer
Ney: Son of a Barrel-Cooper
All these were Marshals of France, the highest rank anyone could achieve after Napoleon. And look at their humble backgrounds, don't tell me those things I mentioned were just for the rich, cause they clearly weren't.
Old Boney did establish lycees - selective secondary schools - designed to train the future leaders and administrators of France. However, a third of the places were reserved for the sons of officers and civil servants.
In the end he did introduce them, and still a majority was of no officer or civil servant background. It was much better arranged then it the rest of Europe.
His introduction of a national bank in France in 1800 was hardly innovative. The Bank of England - of which most modern central banks are based - was founded in 1694 and the Bank of Sweden was founded in 1668.
It did help the people though, doesn't matter if it was later. Royalist France didn't do it, revolutionary France didn't do it, Napoleon did however.
I can't see how the introduction of the metric system improved eveybody's lives. If you're poor and destitute I hardly think the introduction of a poxy measuring system is going to improve matters for you.
How about creating a better infrastructure because of this and so create more jobs? That must have bettered the lives of many Europeans.
Napoleon wasn't very glorious when he deserted his army twice - in Egypt in 1799 and in Russia in 1812.
First of all Egypt, yes he did. But what could he do? Stay and die or get captured by the British. In France he had a future, for his man it wouldn't have mattered if he had stayed or left. The results would have been the same.
Russia is a far different matter. The moment the French army had crossed the Berezina it was save and could return into peaceful lands without much opposition. He left it in capable hands of his Marshals, and returned as soon as he could when he had dealt with the coup that was attempted in Paris.
It was simple logic, and had nothing to do with cowardliness or disloyalty.
Napoleon hated the masses. He once described them as "la vile populace."
He loved France and he loved it's people, but yes he hated the masses. You know why? Simple because of the experience he had with them. He saw how the masses humiliated the French king Louis XVI and forced him to wear the red liberty cap. He saw the Tuileries get stormed and the Swiss Guard butchered. He faced 20,000 royalist at the 13 vendémiaire and managed to beat them. He knew what the masses could create and what they could destroy. That's why he was so urgent to halt the revolution, finish it and bring France and it's masses into peaceful waters again.