Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Re: Napoleon and the Kings
In Response To: Napoleon and the Kings ()

1) Liberty and Equality were the work of the Revolution, not of Napoleon, they put him in power, he can't be given the credit for them.

Equality of citizens was the baseground of new french society, and respected by Napoleon, something no other european country could claim.

2) When Napoleon became First Consul he was actually the head of government, every move he made thereafter strengthened his control and removed the checks on his power. He abolished the Tribunate, purged the judiciary and ruled through the Senate. When the legislative corps dared to criticise him in 1813 (and they were calling for more liberty as well as peace) he dismissed it.

Francis I, Whilhelm and Alexandre I did not come to this extreme measures. They just did not bother about assembly.

3) As Emperor he was crowned in a religious ceremony, he adopted ceremonial costumes and brought back all the ritual of the old courts, favouring former nobles as courtiers.
6) In order to have an heir he married (out of all the women available) a Habsburg princess and not only named his son as King of Rome but had the child reared as a king; he was planning a new palace in Paris for him at the time of his downfall.

Perhaps he would not have taken the dress of hereditary monarch, if the (replaceable) Consul would not have been the target of numerous murder attempt and coalition by righteous sovereigns.
And even if inclined to have noble courtiers for decorum and social reconciliation, he empowered key-men due to their talents and obedience, not their birth. Another thing god-chosen monarchs were late to discover.

4) He backed the concept of promotion by merit as far as it suited him, persistently promoting family members well beyond their competence..

I completely agree, to give official functions to a dynasty, backed by efficient public servants, should not be normal behaviour in any modern state.

5) After he became head of state he established no new Republics and turned the existing ones into kingdoms. The occupants of the countries were given no say in the matter.

Contrary to the habit of monarch (including UK), to organize ballot each time they invaded someone.

7) He showed his support for equality by establishing a new nobility: while they did not have the same privileges as the old nobility they were given the right to pass down property intact to their heirs who were also given courtesy titles - regardless of merit.

Equality does not exclude to distinguish an elite. It just guarantee that this elite will not escape law and tax paid by the others. Titles did not imply any privilege.

So basically, Napoleon was not as fully a democrat as he should have been. But by recognizing citizenship and organizing state on new rules, he was perhaps a bit ahead of other heads of state of his time, and established new patterns of government (you probably missed Civil Code and modern administration because they were irrelevant for the subject ?)

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Napoleon and the Kings
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and "le soin de pouvoir ...."?
the silly--and unsupported--claims about Naps bein
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Sidney Smith
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Wow! Another Excellent Post.
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Gov. treatment of Smith
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Maida was not a 'Decisive Victory'
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The Failure in Calabria...
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Spot On.
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By the time of Bayonne
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The precipitant of invasion ...
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Slightly different circumstances
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Facts and Research
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*NM* merci pour la manche *NM*
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French Peasants and Russian Serfs...
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Lannes
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Biography of Lannes
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Fitzgerald, Lord Robert Stephen (1765-1833
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AR Disney, A History of Portugal (vol 1)
Warre's perhaps?
Pedreira and Costa - Joăo VI O Clemente
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What goes around ...
Portuguese History
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OT-With Some Guts Behind It
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You could go even further if you wished Susan
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