Napoleon Series Archive 2016

Re: Treason and Rebellion are Punishable by Death

Napoleon instigated the aggression by a ridiculously bellicose foreign policy based on unrealistic objectives. Let us recall that it was Napoleon's own Marshals who turned on him in what was essentially a coup itself, otherwise the war would've continued in 1814. Showing quite clearly that he was much like any other ruler, dependent on his supporters. And when they deemed him unstable they would move to depose him themselves. Napoleon would've fallen eventually wether by foreign or French hands.

Some of the marshals mutinied in 1814 forcing his abdication. However, that abdication was contingent upon Marie-Louise being appointed as regent for Napoleon II. That idea, supported by the marshals that mutinied and what they tried to achieve, was stillborn because of Marmont's treason in turning his corps over to the allies without the troops' knowledge or assent. Caulaincourt's memoirs are excellent for this episode. The marshals were furious, especially Ney, as to Marmont's duplicity.

Regarding anyone's foreign policy during the period it is usually overlooked that Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were all expanding empires and their goals would clash. Alexander wanted Poland and took Finland. Austria wanted her former possessions in northern Italy back that she had lost in 1796-1800. Prussia wanted to control and possess Germany, as did Austria. Great Britain wanted her foreign policy dominant on the continent and paid the subsidies to have it done. Prussia's 'war of liberation' was nothing more than 'liberating' as much of Germany under her suzerainty that she could grab.

The crowned heads of Europe were scared to death of Napoleon and felt their own crowns somewhat wobbly with the success of the French Revolution. Divine Right, feudalism, religious intolerance, were all in danger with Napoleon's rise to power in 1799-1800. The question might be asked who would you prefer to live under? Napoleon or the assorted 'divine right' monarchs who governed, not by the rule of law, but by decree and a collection of autocrats and oligarchs. Great Britain lived under increasing loss of rights and liberties during the period as well as parliamentary corruption and the seizure of overseas colonies from all and sundry that she could get her hands on.

Blaming Napoleon for the wars of 1805-1812 is not only historically inaccurate, it is nonsense and a continuation of the allied propaganda of the period.

I didn't say he did so well, I said he did about as well as Napoleon.

What did he do to surpass Napoleon's sweeping internal reforms?

Peace in Europe so long as Napoleon is calling the shots works in a generally dictatorial sense, and as catchy as comparing the Congress of Vienna to Pirates is, it was a necessary congress to try and redraw the map of Europe after 20 years of war, in which whole swathes of territory were altered to create buffers for France. But we can go into the, unrealistic, land hungry, failings of those nation makers some other time.
I don't quite see the logic in the allies causing all the later trouble when their intention was depose Napoleon, surely it all traces back to source.

The allies' intention was their own self-aggrandizement as the frenzied division of loot at the Congress of Vienna clearly demonstrates. Seems to me there is a definite double standard here-if Napoleon and the French did it, it was wrong; if Great Britain and the continental allies did it, that's OK. And that viewpoint is not only ahistorical, it's nonsense.

Messages In This Thread

Sir Sidney Smith
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Allís Well, That Ends Well.
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What is war good for ?
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Oh, the injustice
Historical Inquiry
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Perhaps This Will Help...
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Allied Abject Cruelty
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Murder is murder
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British Military Justice
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Admiral Byng - a better example
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Re: Treason and Rebellion are Punishable by Death *LINK*
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Russian censorship under Alexandre Ier *LINK*
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Dynasties.
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Source for the Lefebvre anecdote
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Thanks, another slight variation
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Et Tu Marshal?
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Re: The Military Oath
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Re... worth a look?
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Caulaincourt: a reliable source now?
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Re: Official sanction of local leaders
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