Sunday, January 4, 2009

Napoleon: Enlightened or not?

There is no doubt that Napoleon was an intelligent man. He was an excellent military leader. Napoleon's fall was that his entire empire was based on military supremacy. As Hanjae said, some countries agreed to French rule for short-term benefit, but the people's loyalty belonged to their own countries, not to Napoleon and the French. Napoleon didn't realize that he couldn't simply use force to keep his empire together. In my opinion Napoleon was not enlightened. His greatest strength was his military, but quite frankly he didn't have very much else going for him.


The Captain said...

beI see your point Sam but I can't help but disagree. Napoleon did so much for France and Europe in general in uniteing them. For example, he abolished nearly all the guilds and feudal/manorial style of governments. He also created a common tax in France (the land tax) and established a uniform means of measurement throughout Europe, the metric system. It can't be denied that he was enlightened.

periculum said...

I agree with you Sam. Napoleon was undoubtable an intelligent individual, but he was by no means enlightened.

Rob Martin said...

I see what Elise is saying about abolishing feudalism however I hardly think that ending a failing type of government and creating a mathematical system qualifies as enlightening. He was based solely on military supremacy and that was his downfall.

Hanjae Lee said...

I think he was enlightened in a sense. The problem was though that the dominance of France increasingly relied on its millitary power under Napoleon. Britain was another source that pushed Napoleon to be unfamous in the continent.

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