Was Napoleon the Child or Heir of Revolution?

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Was Napoleon the Child or Heir of Revolution?

By | May 2013
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INTRODUCTION
This paper aims to discuss the rise of the extraordinary military leader namely Napoleon Bonaparte-a small man who left behind a huge legacy for the entire world. He rose to stardom at a time when France was suffering from gruesome socio-economic conditions; hence, the French Revolution of 1789 contributed towards his rising fame. At the grass root level, it will explore the causes of the French Revolution and how Napoleon rose to power. Some of the factors that will be discussed are as follows: society under the ‘Ancien Régime’, economic conditions, financial difficulties, influence of other successful revolutions, introduction to revolutionary ideas and age of enlightenment, existence of absolute monarchy. It moves on to analyze whether Napoleon Bonaparte was the child or betrayer of the French revolution. It will also assess whether Napoleon Bonaparte met all the goals of French Revolution namely liberty, equality and fraternity while he repeatedly proclaimed that his efforts reflected him as the ‘savior’ of the Revolution. It also aims to make a brief comparative study of the various efforts that Napoleon made which supported the ideas of the Revolution while others that sharply diverges from it. This paper will also discuss the second major theme: how did he blunder to glory by capitalizing on his opponents’ mistakes? It is surprising that even at a distance of two centuries; the extraordinary career of Napoleon Bonaparte exerts a great appeal. Some have granted him the status of a military genius, pointing to his command of the battlefield, his expertise and competence as an organizer and his charismatic leadership. Others, however, have proposed that there were significant blind spots in his strategic thinking, debating that he relied greatly on the work of his predecessors and that he was an improviser who ‘scrambled’ to victory rather than an effective forward planner. Some of the particular traits that will be discussed are: mastery at...
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