Were there any people in countries that fought against Napoleon that openly admired him, and/or defended his actions?

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
#12
Napoleon is the only one man (two centuries ago) in the world who has inspired more writters than the Christ (twenty centuries ago).Why ?
I think a combination of three factors:

(a) He is a great conqueror-figure, empire-builder, hero-adventurer of the same kind as men like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, who attract great fascination from men in particular in a way that hardly needs explaining. One could say that there is a sort of cult of Napoleon as the image of a certain sort of 'greatness' (viewed by some in an amoral fashion as a sort of force of nature, and unequivocally admired by others who hold a rather vulgar and old-fashioned idea of where human greatness lies).

(b) He was one of the most notable individual figure in the history of Europe in the last 200 years, affecting that history in innumerable ways both for good and bad, where it is most apparent but not necessarily most deep. Most of the writers that you mention are doubless Europeans and Westerners whose interest and knowledge is centred on that period; and he is comparable in that respect to Hitler and Stalin, about whom an immense literature has also grown up.

(c) There was liberal side to Napoleon, he spread revolutionary and enlightenment ideas that have been important to the development of Europe and the West during this particular period, which also happens to be the period where there was an explosion in the publication of books. His legacy in that regard is of course disputed, and that only adds to the flow of publications. He is relevant to the history of ideas as well as that of mere force, and he had a sort of genius as an organizer and administrator, even if not as a thinker of any depth or originality - in this one might say that he was as much an Augustus figure as a Caesar figure (even if he did not set France on a firm course in the same way as Augustus did, the Caear side of him got in the way of that).
 
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Feb 2016
4,312
Japan
#13
The idea is exact, but pardon me to correct you since the word “Enfancados” doesn’t exist and is quite odd.

The “Afrancesados”, literally both in Castilian and Portuguese “the French ones”, was the depreciative name called to the supporters of the ideals of the French Revolution, and later of Napoleon, not for the same motifs. I think that you are correct for their exile for the Spanish, for the Portuguese case it was somewhat different: in the sequence of the first French (and Spanish) Invasion by Junot, in 1807/8, and the departure of the Court to Brazil, the Portuguese army in the continent was almost all disbanded by the French and was formed the Portuguese Legion in service of the French. This Legion soon departed from Portugal and was widely used by the French until 1814. Their officers were quite fond of the ideals of the French Revolution, and some were Masonic, like for instance the general Gomes Freire de Andrade, an officer in the Legion, returned to Portugal after the Napoleonic fall, and that in 1817 was arrested, had a simulation of a trial, and was executed, due an attempt of a Coup D’état in Portugal against Beresford, since the court was still in Brazil, and Beresford was the strong man in the continental Portugal.

The execution of Gomes Freire de Andrade led to a strong anti-British sentiment, and contributed later to Beresford downfall in Portugal in 1820.

Anyway the Afrancesados ideals were relevant in the Civil War that Portugal had between 1832-1834.
Your quite right. My spelling of the word was a guess.
 
Sep 2016
1,103
Georgia
#15
Napoleon is the only one man (two centuries ago) in the world who has inspired more writters than the Christ (twenty centuries ago).Why ?
I believe that would be Alexander the Great, actually. Alexander was in so many mythologies or folklore of different people and cultures. So many historical works were written about him, that hardly any historical figure can provide a competition ( probably Caesar ). ,, Romance of Alexander '' was very popular throughout centuries.

Even in my nation's history. In Georgian historical sources of IX - XII centuries, you will find how authors try to compare some of the kings to Alexander the Great. Hell, there is even mythological tale of how Alexander invaded Kartli/Caucasian Iberia.

Alexander was admired by Hannibal, Caesar and Roman civilization itself, Charles XII and etc. Titus Livy was actively trying to prove in his work that Alexander would be defeated by Romans.

Dante talks well about him in the Convivio and De Monarchia.

Alexandre le Grand was a tragedy in five acts by Jean Racine, first stages in 1665.

In 1868 Tchaikovsky contemplated writing an opera featuring Alexander the Great, taking place in Greece and Babylon and centering on the relations between Hebrews and Greeks. The plot would have featured a Jewish woman falling in love with Alexander and for his sake leaving her Jewish lover, who eventually becomes a prophet. However, though surviving Tchaikovsky letters include details of this planned opera, its plot and characters, he finally abandoned this plan and chose instead for an opera with a Russian background.

Alexander's exploits are one of the most well-documented ones of Antiquity.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,724
Republika Srpska
#16
I believe that would be Alexander the Great, actually. Alexander was in so many mythologies or folklore of different people and cultures. So many historical works were written about him, that hardly any historical figure can provide a competition ( probably Caesar ). ,, Romance of Alexander '' was very popular throughout centuries.

Even in my nation's history. In Georgian historical sources of IX - XII centuries, you will find how authors try to compare some of the kings to Alexander the Great. Hell, there is even mythological tale of how Alexander invaded Kartli/Caucasian Iberia.
This is really fascinating. Even the Slavs have stories about Alexander, most notably the story of Alexander's Donation. What is also interesting is that certain authors from the early modern period (people like Hanibal Lucić and Dinko Ranjina) claimed that Alexander had been a Slav, a Serb to be more precise.
 
Likes: Gvelion
Sep 2016
1,103
Georgia
#17
This is really fascinating. Even the Slavs have stories about Alexander, most notably the story of Alexander's Donation. What is also interesting is that certain authors from the early modern period (people like Hanibal Lucić and Dinko Ranjina) claimed that Alexander had been a Slav, a Serb to be more precise.
Yeah, it is. Alexander captured imagination of so many people from different cultures throughout thousands of years. Even after more than 2000 years after his death, his fame and legacy is still going strong. Almost every kid in Georgia knows or at least heard about Alexander and his conquests. I had same experience in Russia as well.

Alexander was also inspiration for some characters even in such things like anime or manga from Japan.

There are Indians who try to claim that Alexander lost Hydaspes or that he was afraid of Nanda Empire. That their historical figure was greater and etc. All of that, because of a man who barely lived to be 33 years old.
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
#18
I believe that would be Alexander the Great, actually. Alexander was in so many mythologies or folklore of different people and cultures. So many historical works were written about him, that hardly any historical figure can provide a competition ( probably Caesar ). ,, Romance of Alexander '' was very popular throughout centuries.

Even in my nation's history. In Georgian historical sources of IX - XII centuries, you will find how authors try to compare some of the kings to Alexander the Great. Hell, there is even mythological tale of how Alexander invaded Kartli/Caucasian Iberia.

Alexander was admired by Hannibal, Caesar and Roman civilization itself, Charles XII and etc. Titus Livy was actively trying to prove in his work that Alexander would be defeated by Romans.

Dante talks well about him in the Convivio and De Monarchia.

Alexandre le Grand was a tragedy in five acts by Jean Racine, first stages in 1665.

In 1868 Tchaikovsky contemplated writing an opera featuring Alexander the Great, taking place in Greece and Babylon and centering on the relations between Hebrews and Greeks. The plot would have featured a Jewish woman falling in love with Alexander and for his sake leaving her Jewish lover, who eventually becomes a prophet. However, though surviving Tchaikovsky letters include details of this planned opera, its plot and characters, he finally abandoned this plan and chose instead for an opera with a Russian background.

Alexander's exploits are one of the most well-documented ones of Antiquity.
Excellent points here, but less will have been written about him simply because he lived at the time when he did. Relatively few writings were transmitted until the invention of the printing press, and relatively few books and articles were published before the further explosion in the 19th Century, as a result of the development of a mass readership and of acadmeic institutions etc. So because Napoleon was an Alexander-like figure who lived at the right period - beginning of th 19th Century - and so much more was recorded about him in the first place, a great many more books and articles will have been written about him, as a result of this accident of timing, partty because of the growth of publication and partly because he has been of special interest to people who have lived lived at the time of that growth in the places where most books and periodicals have been published (i.e within Europe and the West). It is not because he has been of greater interest and importance than countless other figures from an earlier period that he has attracted this disproportionate interest in print, other factors are plainly involved.
 
Likes: Gvelion

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,544
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#19
The Slovene poet Valentin Vodnik was all delirious about Napoleon and the French when they created the Illyrian Provinces. However I don't think he wrote pro-Napoleon stuff before Austria lost and certainly not after the Provinces got back under Austrian rule. He actually got in trouble then. He was one of the few Slovenes to think favourably of the French occupation because the French lifted the Slovene language to equal status and it got used in schools more (especially higher schools). It's funny actually because Vodnik was a priest and we know Napoleon wasn't really friends with the Church. Most others in the Provinces saw the French as a niusance because the taxes were high, men had to join the army (which many successfully evaded and became highway robbers and bandits, known as "rokovnjači" who supposedly had magic powers obtained from talismans in form of a dried cut off child's hand - it was a problem that only got comoletely solved a couple of decades later when the gendarmerie was established in Carniola) etc.


Vodnik's poem Ilirija oživlena shows great enthusiasm about the French. It seems there is no English translation though.
 
May 2017
860
France
#20
The Portugal Legion was composed with 40 % of portuguese soldiers and with 60 % of spanish soldiers from the north of the Castilla,Estremadura and Galicia (registers of Vincennes).Among the ancestors of my mother,daughter of the ultimate spanish tankist of the "brigade Pavlov" during the civil war of 1936-1939 (Balconete,province of Guadalajara,were was defeated Mussolini in 1937) i have found two "afrancesados":Juan Terrero,soldier of the Guadalajara infantry s regiment,affected in Danmark, and who refused to pass in England in 1808.Affected in the Joseph Napoleon s regiment,he died in a german hospital in 1813.The other,Rafael Retuerta,from Valhermoso de Tajuna,near Balconete,engaged in the quarters of "Cogolludo la francesa" for the same regiment, and died in Belgium in 1814.This country was friend with France since the victories of the duke of Vendome during the war of succession of Spain (1701-1713) in Brihuega and Villaviciosa against the English-Austrian troops of Lord Stanhope and the Earl von Stharemberg.