Would a surviving Napoleonic Empire have eventually sought to expand outside of Europe?

Mar 2016
559
Australia
#31
A well connected General with some political pull, his appointment to the army of Italy was due his political connections rather than proven ability.
Yes, his appointment was due to his political influence - or rather, his new wife's political influence - but the decision to invade Northern Italy had nothing to do with Napoleon. The Austrians were there, and it was the easiest theatre to push them back in, since there was already heavy fighting along the Rhine. If Napoleon wasn't sent to Italy, someone else would have been. You're dramatically overestimating how much political influence Napoleon had in early 1796.

It's not that uncommon for historians to say that Egypt was Napoleon's idea.
I've never seen this claimed by any serious historian. Can you provide a few sources to back this up?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,318
#32
I've never seen this claimed by any serious historian. Can you provide a few sources to back this up?
here's a quote of Napoleon writing to Tallyrand, in Sept 1797 urging an Egyptain Expedition.

In a letter dated September 13, 1797 , from the commander of the Amry of Italy ; in it he was astonished to read Napoleon's declaration that : "We Must Seize Egypt..."

- Page 17 "Napoleon in Egypt" Paul Strathern

here's Napoleon riases it with the Directory about teh same time

"Napoleon however had otehr Ideas. For reasons that are not quite clear, at some piont in the Italain campaign teh French Commander's eyes turned east. Egypt certinbaly crossed his mind as his next objective, he raised the idea several times in letters to the Directory"

- Page 61 "Napoleon's Wars" Charles Esdaile
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,318
#33
Yes, his appointment was due to his political influence - or rather, his new wife's political influence - but the decision to invade Northern Italy had nothing to do with Napoleon. The Austrians were there, and it was the easiest theatre to push them back in, since there was already heavy fighting along the Rhine. If Napoleon wasn't sent to Italy, someone else would have been. You're dramatically overestimating how much political influence Napoleon had in early 1796.
I Did not Say Napoleon influenced decision to invade Northern Italy.
 
Mar 2016
559
Australia
#34
here's a quote of Napoleon writing to Tallyrand, in Sept 1797 urging an Egyptain Expedition.

In a letter dated September 13, 1797 , from the commander of the Amry of Italy ; in it he was astonished to read Napoleon's declaration that : "We Must Seize Egypt..."

- Page 17 "Napoleon in Egypt" Paul Strathern

here's Napoleon riases it with the Directory about teh same time

"Napoleon however had otehr Ideas. For reasons that are not quite clear, at some piont in the Italain campaign teh French Commander's eyes turned east. Egypt certinbaly crossed his mind as his next objective, he raised the idea several times in letters to the Directory"

- Page 61 "Napoleon's Wars" Charles Esdaile

Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts, p. 161:

Although the idea of invading Egypt has been variously ascribed to Talleyrand, Barras, Monge (albeit only by himself), the encyclopaedist and traveller Constantin de Volney and several others, in fact French military planners had been considered it since the 1760s, and in 1782 Emperor Francis' uncle, Joseph II of Austria, had suggested it to his brother-in-law Louis XVI that France annex Egypt as part of a wider plan to partition the Ottoman Empire.
After the Revolution, the idea of invading Egypt had appealed to both French radical idealists for its promise of extending liberty to a people oppressed by foreign tyrants, and to more calculating strategists such as Carnot and Talleyrand, who wanted to counter British influence in the eastern Mediterranean.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,318
#35
Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts, p. 161:
None of this rules out Napoleon urging such a measure himself. Which I have provided sources for Napoleon doing so both to Tallyrand and teh Directory, and by a time where his status was much increased than when he was first appointed to the Army of Italy,. That others had simialr thoughts is noyt denied.

There is reaosnable evidence that Napoleon was involved in determining the campaign. He certianly was given carte blanche once appionted. he was not without influence at tis piont.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,318
#36
It's unfair to blame Egypt on him, because he was just a general at the time, and had no political power. The French government were interested on invading Egypt even before Napoleon was attached to lead the army. Napoleon's invasion of Palestine and march on Syria was definitely of his own initiative though, and the Directory had to restrain him from his fantasies of marching through Persia to India.
Napoleon had already dictated the terms of peace to Austria against the wishes of the Directory and got it to stick. To say he was without political power at this point is not correct.
 
Mar 2016
559
Australia
#39
Of course, as world-conquest normally does include expanding beyond its own continent, no?
I don't know if you're joking or not, but Napoleon never planned on "world conquest". He said on multiple occasions that he was happy to share dominance of Europe with Russia, and was content to let Britain have a large colonial empire so long as they left him alone on the Continent.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,318
#40
I don't know if you're joking or not, but Napoleon never planned on "world conquest". He said on multiple occasions that he was happy to share dominance of Europe with Russia, and was content to let Britain have a large colonial empire so long as they left him alone on the Continent.
Napoleon was not embarking on world conquest, but he was not good at sharing, it was toptally foriegn to his perosnaility, once he had half a grip on something, the imperfecton, any functioning did not work peorperly from his persp[ective would grate and annoy and his natural reaction was to impose order, his order. Once he hafl a hand on something , he woudl evenrtually take total control to make it "work properly" *form his perspective.

Did he really need to dictate Rusisa's trade policy? Did he really need the Duchy of Oldenberg? Working with equals , give and take, sharing, just was not his thing.
 

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