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Thread: Napoleon’s Legacy

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    Napoleon’s Legacy

    So yesterday was the 200th Anniversary of Napoleon’s death. Macron laid a wreath at his tomb, and apparently this has caused an uproar amongst France’s blacks as he reinstated slavery in the colonies. But others look past his faults and laud his military genius who actually conquered Europe for France - at least for a while.

    My assessment though is pretty poor, and not merely because of the slavery issue. He not only destroyed democracy in France, he made it difficult to survive for a century or more after his death. He was a tactical genius, but a strategic fool. Invade Russia? His decision to escape Elba and return to France was just mind boggling stupid. He was a victim of his own hubris. He never stood a chance to defeat the allies at Waterloo. He got bogged down in Spain at a crucial time and failed to adequately secure his lines of communication throughout his empire. He was just too full of himself, like Hitler in many ways. He cared nothing of the untold suffering he brought to millions.

    But show me differently.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    ......... He cared nothing of the untold suffering he brought to millions.

    But show me differently.
    But brought joy to millions with the tasty Napoleon...


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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    ......... He cared nothing of the untold suffering he brought to millions.

    But show me differently.
    But brought joy to millions with the tasty Napoleon...

    Not to mention the brandy.

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    I don't know what French people think of him, but his tomb is one of the more impressive sites in Paris.


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    Veteran Member none's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    I don't know what French people think of him, but his tomb is one of the more impressive sites in Paris.

    no fuck, here is my monument and disconnect.
    you know god damned well what they think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    So yesterday was the 200th Anniversary of Napoleon’s death. Macron laid a wreath at his tomb, and apparently this has caused an uproar amongst France’s blacks as he reinstated slavery in the colonies. But others look past his faults and laud his military genius who actually conquered Europe for France - at least for a while.

    My assessment though is pretty poor, and not merely because of the slavery issue. He not only destroyed democracy in France, he made it difficult to survive for a century or more after his death. He was a tactical genius, but a strategic fool. Invade Russia? His decision to escape Elba and return to France was just mind boggling stupid. He was a victim of his own hubris. He never stood a chance to defeat the allies at Waterloo. He got bogged down in Spain at a crucial time and failed to adequately secure his lines of communication throughout his empire. He was just too full of himself, like Hitler in many ways. He cared nothing of the untold suffering he brought to millions.

    But show me differently.
    he was lacking in the 6'4" area.

  7. Top | #7
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    He promoted science. Created a legal structure. Promoted education.

    A liberal autocrat?

    He gave positions to incapable relatives, Napoleonic Nepotism.

    Like all dictators he did not know when to quit and enjoy success.

    As a military leader he was good at capitalizing on opportunities in war, but was a lousy long term planner. As he got carried away with himself he thought by simply ordering it impossible tasks wold be accomplished.

    He beieved in his own myth in the end. Like Hitler and the Trump wannabe Napoleon.

    Overall I'd say he was on the plus side historically speaking. In our nauseating PC culture only the negatives are considered.
    Last edited by steve_bank; 05-07-2021 at 05:25 PM.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    In our nauseating PC culture only the negatives are considered.
    A reminder that this is in reference to someone literally creating a novel legal institution to enslave human beings on the basis of their race, and ordering his troops to slaughter the adult population of the recently liberated nation of Haiti to restore fee-simple ownership over its children.

    Jesus, why can't people forgive the little things?

    Obviously, Napoleon did both good and bad things. My first academic interest was in archaeology, a discipline which profited greatly from the sponsorship of Napoleon during his reign. But if people aren't willing to just casually overlook slavery and other cruelties, that doesn't make them unreasonable. We should reject those things, and condemn especially those in history who had a choice, knew they had a choice, knew they had the power and authority to make that choice, and chose to place hundreds of thousands of people into hopeless bondage. Napoleon was in a nearly unique position in history at that point, and he chose his own aggrandizement over the rights of other human beings.

    I see nothing "nauseating" about condemning that choice.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    The guy was an opportunist. He was for liberty and a republic when that helped his career; he was for slavery and monarchy when that helped his career.



    Beethoven admired his liberalism so much he dedicated a symphony to him -- and then angrily scratched the dedication out when Napoleon crowned himself Emperor.

    Still, this being TFT, we should remember Napoleon's greatest service to the cause of free thought.

    "There was a discordant hum of human voices! There was a loud blast as of many trumpets! There was a harsh grating as of a thousand thunders! The fiery walls rushed back! An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle. The French army had entered Toledo. The Inquisition was in the hands of its enemies." - Edgar Allan Poe

  10. Top | #10
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    Nobody ever measures up to ideals.

    JFK was a moral pig. Women in the WH was an open secret no tne in the media talked about. His family man image was a fraud.

    His greatest im[pct was creating a positive hope for the future in the middle of the Cold War, and sending us to the moon. That cretated the American can do nothing is impossible environment I inherited as an engineer. It spurred technology.

    It is now cliche to attack the failings of those we consider the founders. Yet they gave us the COTUS and a durable framework for civil change and peaceful transfer of power. In the day that was an incredible step forward. It created the framework that ultimately led to civil rights and a black president.

    What did Pantaloon inherit as a system? Was it stable or chaotic with people loosing their heads? What did he bring in terms of civil stability and institutions? What did he leave behind compared to what he stepped into.

    It is easy to stand in isolation and moralize having never carried any real responsibility.

    I believe Napoleon lifted restrictions on Jews and disenfranchised the Catholic church.

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