Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Re: The Real Military Dictatorship

'The accusation of military dictatorship has been cast at the Consulate. But nothing actually supports this claim. Bonaparte consistently asserted the superiority of the civil over the military. To give just a few quotations: "There are thirty million of us, united by enlightened ideas, property and trade; three or four hundred thousand soldiers are as nothing faced with this mass," and again "Soldiers are only the children of the citizens. The army is the nation." Thibaudeau reports Bonaparte's remark to the Council of State: "I have no hesitation in saying that when it is a question of pre-eminence, this belongs indisputably to the civil."...It would be more precise to talk of a "dictature de salut public" (dictatorship of public safety) of the Roman sort. Napoleon was careful to recall it on St Helena: "When I put myself at the head of power, France was in the same state as Rome was when it was said that a dictator was needed to save the Republic. All the most powerful peoples of Europe were united against France. In order to succeed in its resistance, the head of State had to have at his disposal all the strength and all the resources of the Nation."' -Jean Tulard, "The empire. Dictatorship? Monarchy?"

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The Real Military Dictatorship
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Not a dictator ...
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Bourrienne Again?
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A Military Coup?