Napoleon Series Archive 2016

Re: Treason and Rebellion are Punishable by Death

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.

Yes, but the Marshal's mutinied because it was better for France for Napoleon to come to terms, Marmont's surrender persuaded Napoleon to do so. Had he refused Ney made it quite clear, the army would not follow him.

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.

That is fair to say. Because everyone, Napoleonic France included was in a war of aggrandisement, this was not a war about liberty, not at a high level anyway, at the top it was all power and pragmatism and asserting dominance. What I am saying is Napoleon shares in the blame of it all and that though he may not have instigated some of the wars, his posture incited them, but not that he was the sole arbiter.

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.
When it comes down to it, I am convinced than Napoleon was in basic terms no different from any other autocrat after 1805. It makes no difference where they came from, but that he chose to continue his rule as a Caesar rather than a servant of the people.

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

I think it is unfair of you to suggest I believe one thing for one side and then am duplicitous in my approach to the other. And I deeply regret anything I might have written to cause you to pose this post in such a manner.

Back to the point, which originally was the justice and legality of certain dubious executions, we were not talking just of everyone, we were talking of Napoleon specifically, and you have catagorically stated many times it's not his fault, yet he bears as much blame as anyone and to many... indeed many European powers at the time... powers who hated each other as much as Napoleon in some cases, (As was evidenced at Vienna), was a threat to the right of Kings, and the sovereignty of nations and whether it is because Napoleon was too progressive a ruler, or that this brand of liberty was too advanced for the time is a matter of opinion. What matters is what they thought then, not what we can construe now.

Josh.

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Sir Sidney Smith
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Russian censorship under Alexandre Ier *LINK*
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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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