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#1 duzco2

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:45 PM

Hey my friend needs to help to prove that Napoleon was NOT an excellent leader using these points The Directory, Napoleonic France, Civil Code, Continental System, Military Issues!!! We need this for a debate in AP world for tuesday and was wondering if you guys had any ideas on how to prove this.

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:36 PM

Hey my friend needs to help to prove that Napoleon was NOT an excellent leader using these points The Directory, Napoleonic France, Civil Code, Continental System, Military Issues!!! We need this for a debate in AP world for tuesday and was wondering if you guys had any ideas on how to prove this.


Welcome to the Forum.

Well, that's quite a big subject, isn't it? We will go away and see what we can find. To start you off, here's a few thoughts about Napoleon not being an excellent leader regarding "Military issues";

Waterloo
1812 Invasion of Russia (managed to lose almost all of a massive army)
Never fully conquered Portugal or Spain from 1808, indeed never fought there after 1809; the Peninsular War helped lead to his ultimate defeat
Never really understood naval warfare and thus was never able to conquer Great Britain
Egypt 1799; ran away back to France to take political power and left his army to fend for itself

Hope that this is useful for a start.

#3 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:49 PM

Hey my friend needs to help to prove that Napoleon was NOT an excellent leader using these points The Directory, Napoleonic France, Civil Code, Continental System, Military Issues!!! We need this for a debate in AP world for tuesday and was wondering if you guys had any ideas on how to prove this.


Basically, you need to find information about these topics which you can use against 'Napoleon'. Some are easier than others, for instance the military examples I gave you before. Others are more difficult, but here are a few pointers:

The Directory; have a look at how he dealt with the attempted royalist coup on 5th October 1795, the 'whiff of grapeshot'. How often did he disobey his orders? Examine how much looting took place during his campaign in Italy in 1796. By 1797 the Directory was effectively dependent on Napoleon. Having basically run away from Egypt, Napoleon took over power from the Directory in the coup d'etat of the 18th Brumaire.

Napoleonic France: well, it becomes a police state, doesn't it? Google Fouche, the Duc d'Enghien etc. to see what I mean. It all looks good but government became increasingly centralised and militarised in many ways. By the latter years there were thousands of men trying to escape conscription. Where does the money come from? Think about looting from conquered states. Oh, and who brought back the monarchy?

Civil Code: hmm, bit tricky this one. Perhaps you could argue that it made the husband much more important than the wife and children in families? Otherwise can't really quarrel with it that much except that Napoleon imposed it on lots of other places and then carried on running an unjust military dictatorship based on military force and a secret police.

Continental System: Whatever happened to 'free trade'? Also, although it caused Britain lots of problems (including the War of 1812 partly), it harmed the economies of the French and their allies, helped cause the Peninsular War and the breakdown of relations with Russia which led to the disastrous 1812 campaign.

Maybe I have given you a bit too much help there...

Best of luck.




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