Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Comparison of Belligerents' Foreign Policies

The usual practice on the different message boards and among some published authors is to vilify Napoleon and France for her aggressiveness and empire building in Europe.

But what of the other warring nations? Russia, Austria, and Prussia, along with Great Britain were all expanding empires and acted accordingly. They were enemies of France and launched coalition after coalition against France and later Napoleon undoubtedly because Napoleon took large chunks of territory when he was successful in 1805, 1806, 1807, and 1809-all wars which were begun by his enemies.

But what of the territory claimed and taken by the allied powers. Great Britain greatly increased her overseas empire at the expense of the Dutch and French. Prussia and Austria both wanted to be dominant in Germany and Austria wanted northern Italy back. All three dismembered Poland during the Revolutionary Wars, and Russia warred against Sweden and Turkey, taking Finland and later the Duchy of Warsaw in 1814.

Seems to me there is enough blame for the wars to go around and to lay the blame only on France the Napoleon is both ahistorical and logically incorrect.

Basically, the trend is to blame France and Napoleon and excuse her enemies, no matter what those enemies actually do.

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The Big Corporal?
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