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  • Originally posted by Emtos View Post

    Which is lies and BS. Countless cities and villages were destroyed by the Napoleonic wars. Millions of lives were lost.
    If you don't agree, then post something that supports your opinions. Using pejorative and accusatory terms such as 'lies' and 'BS' does not help your case at all and merely makes you look both argumentative and without merit in your opinions. JC Herold is a recognized Napoleonic historian.

    If you want to discuss historical figures and eras, then act and post with historical sourcing. You never seem to do that and merely attack those with whom you disagree.

    Which cities did Napoleon destroyed? Moscow was burned by the Russians, not the French. And the coalition allies destroyed far more than Napoleon did. And the British conducted a terror bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, targeting the civilian population-something Napoleon never did.
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Massena View Post

      If you don't agree, then post something that supports your opinions. Using pejorative and accusatory terms such as 'lies' and 'BS' does not help your case at all and merely makes you look both argumentative and without merit in your opinions. JC Herold is a recognized Napoleonic historian.

      If you want to discuss historical figures and eras, then act and post with historical sourcing. You never seem to do that and merely attack those with whom you disagree.

      Which cities did Napoleon destroyed? Moscow was burned by the Russians, not the French. And the coalition allies destroyed far more than Napoleon did. And the British conducted a terror bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, targeting the civilian population-something Napoleon never did.
      JC Herold is certainly an idiot and nappy fanboy to write stuff like this.

      Napoleon wanted to destroy Saint Basil's Cathedral which is basically terrorism.

      French are responsible for the destruction of Zaragoza, Smolensk, Moscow and other cities.

      There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Emtos View Post

        JC Herold is certainly an idiot and nappy fanboy to write stuff like this.

        Napoleon wanted to destroy Saint Basil's Cathedral which is basically terrorism.

        French are responsible for the destruction of Zaragoza, Smolensk, Moscow and other cities.
        In actuality, JC Herold is very critical of Napoleon in his books. Have you read any of them?

        Again, support your opinions with credible source material instead of making pejorative comments about a credible Napoleonic historian. If you cannot support you allegations, then your postings on this subject are basically worthless.

        Again, it was the mayor of Moscow, Rostopchin, that set fire to Moscow, not Napoleon or the French. In point of fact, Napoleon had his troops fight the fires.

        Smolensk was the site of a major battle in 1812. How much of the city was 'destroyed?'

        Saragossa was the site of two sieges and the city was not 'destroyed. It was a center of Spanish resistance and was attacked and taken in that context. How much have you read of the two sieges?
        Last edited by Massena; 18 Jul 20, 05:55.
        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

        Comment


        • How much do you actually know about Napoleon and the period? Perhaps the following might help you. Perhaps you could post at least a sampling of the books you have read on Napoleon?

          From the memoirs of Baron Fain:

          ‘Equality of rights was everything in Napoleon's eyes. He saw all the good of the French revolution expressed there is a single phrase, and he brought great honor on himself by keeping this vital principle safe and sound. He overestimated the gratitude that would one day be his for this, while the orators of the counterrevolutionary party proclaimed from their side that ‘his greatest triumph for posterity would be having defended against all rebellions of the human spirit a social order about to disintegrate.'
          ‘As for the running battle that Napoleon waged against ideologists, it is enough to remember that there is ordinarily little agreement between great kings and philosophers. Thomas assures us that their greatness is shocked and repelled.'

          From the former Bishop of Malines de Pradt:
          ‘Napoleon has been portrayed as a man-eater, a brutal and ruthless! Nothing could be further from the truth. His bark was worse than his bite; the storm clouds dispersed in a hail, a hurricane of words to which he himself attached no importance the next moment. I have heard him say, following a fierce outburst against one of his relatives: ‘The poor wretch! He makes me say what I do not think and what I would never have meant to say!' A quarter of an hour later, he would call back those he had abruptly dismissed and return to those he had offended: I have had this experience.''

          From Baron Agathon-Jean-Francois Fain, Napoleon’s Secretary, contained in Napoleon: How He Did It, the Memoirs of Baron Fain First Secretary of the Emperor’s Cabinet, 185:
          ‘Far from being evil, Napoleon was naturally good. If he had been evil with so much power at his disposal, would he be reproached for two or three acts of violence or anger during a government that lasted fifteen years!’


          From The Superstrategists by John Elting:

          ‘Napoleon reigned as a true emperor, lawgiver, and builder. His Code Napoleon, which modernized and systematized French law in clear language, is still the basis of French law and has world-wide influence. He built no new palaces but left a mighty heritage of harbors, highways, bridges, drained swamps, and canals. He planted trees along his roads; set up a government office to protect France's forests, lakes, and rivers; gave Paris better water and sewer systems, its first public fire department, an improved opera, and the modern system of street numbers. Wherever his rule ran, there was freedom of religion, basic human rights, better hospitals, orphanages, and public sanitation…He encouraged vast improvements in French agriculture and built up an enlarged system of public and private education. Just as important was his emphasis on competence and honesty in his officials. All careers were open to men of talent who would serve loyally, regardless of family background or political orientation. Also, he balanced his budgets; even in 1814 France had practically no national debt. And he ruled as a civilian head of state, never as a military dictator.'-144-145,

          From the Napoleonic Revolution by Robert Holtman:
          ‘In addition to the Civil Code, five other codes were drawn up. The Rural Code was never adopted; those which went into effect were a Code of Civil Procedure in 1806, a Commercial Code in 1807, a Code of Criminal Procedure in 1808, and a Penal Code in 1810. The Penal Code was both progressive and reactionary; reactionary in that it provided for severe and unjust penalties-among them branding, and the cutting off of a hand for parricide in addition to decapitation; progressive in its provision for minimum and maximum rather than fixed penalties. The Code of Criminal Procedure was reactionary in that it permitted arbitrary arrest and partially reestablished the secrecy of court proceedings that had prevailed during the ancient regime; the accused could no longer hear the testimony against him.'-93.

          ‘The Imperial police has been slandered. It was arbitrary, that was in its nature; that's why in free countries people disapprove of a so-called [ministry of] general police…For my part, I can guarantee that, in all the ministerial correspondence, I never saw anything that could offend the conscience of an honest man, and I often found there liberal principles that would vindicate, if that were possible, an institution condemned at all times by public opinion…If one considers the obstacles and the perils that ceaselessly threatened the Emperor and the Empire, I can guarantee that in terms of arbitrary actions the imperial police remained far inferior to the police in states that were more solidly established.'-Antoine-Clair Thibaudeau, prefect of Bouche-du-Rhone.

          ‘I was as perfectly free as I am in England, I went whithersoever I was desirous of going, and was uniformly received with the same politeness and hospitality as while pace still subsisted between the two countries [Britain and France]. I never witnessed harsh measures of the government but towards the turbulent and factious; I saw everywhere works of public utility going forward; industry, commerce, and the arts encouraged; and I could not consider the people as unhappy, or the government as odious…I have found speech everywhere as free in France as in England; I have heard persons deliver their sentiments on Bonaparte and his government, whether favorable or unfavorable, without the least reserve; and that not in private companies only, among friends all known to each other, but in the most public manner, and in the most mixed societies, in diligences, and at tables-d'hote, where none could be previously acquainted with the character or sentiments of those with whom they were conversing, and where some one among the company might be a spy of the police for anything that the others knew to the contrary-yet this idea was no restraint upon them.'-Anne Plumptre, A Narrative of a Three Years' Residence in France…from the year 1802-1805


          From ‘Imperial France in 1808 and Beyond by Thierry Lentz contained in The Napoleonic Empire and the New European Political Culture edited by Michael Broers, Peter Hicks, and Augustin Guimera:
          ‘That the regime introduced by Napoleon was an authoritarian regime can hardly be disputed. That we can characterize it simply as a dictatorship however seems excessive…the presence of opposing powers, the durability of certain principles limiting the action of the executive, and the circumstances themselves all contrived to reduce the head of state's room to maneuver.'-26.
          ‘Once this justification for the definition of the regime as a military dictatorship has been eliminated (that based on the origins of the regime), we can ask whether the First Empire was a military dictatorship. And the answer is no.'-27.

          'It is unlikely that the army has ever played such a limited role in France, and it certainly did not play a practical role in the maintenance of law and order, a task which was fulfilled by the gendarmerie and the police.'-Gilbert Bodinier
          ‘Napoleon was constantly on guard against the generals' ambition and the people's discontent; he was unceasingly occupied with stifling the one and preventing the other. He was seen throughout to observe the greatest reserve as regards his generals; he always kept them at a great distance from him.'-Chaptal.
          ‘We often get the impression that the army had a predominant place in Napoleonic society, and this impression is fuelled by the fact that many generals accepted posts of responsibility at the heart of its institutions and administrative bodies. The presence of military pomp and grandeur at the numerous ceremonies and the precedence accorded to superior officers seem like further proof. It is important, however, to put these facts into perspective, even though, during this period of conflict, the army gives the impression of being one of the mainstays-more symbolic, it must be said, than active, at least domestically speaking-of the imperial regime.'-27.

          ‘Despite appearances, the First Empire was not a military dictatorship. We can therefore trust Napoleon was sincere when he said: ‘Military authority has no place or use in the civil order. The Emperor appears to have earned the respect of Roederer who, immediately post-Brumaire, stated that he (Napoleon) was ‘the most civilian of generals.'-30

          ‘Napoleonic power was not exerted arbitrarily but within established judicial norms. The fundamental law of the First Empire was the evolutionary series of reforms begun in 1789, which Godechot called the ‘irreversible options': equality before the law, the abolition of feudalism, and a constitutional and representative government. With a few organizational readjustments (the concentration of the executive, the reorganization of national representation, the division of the legislature) there was constitutional activity under Napoleon, which could even be described as lively. Understanding the interpretation, application and evolution of these constitutional principles without being constrained by ‘liberal thought'-dominant today but not at the time-allows us better to understand the evolution of the Napoleonic state as it gradually but ineluctably advanced towards the ‘legislation' of the exercise of power in France.'-31.

          ‘Bonaparte was already a partisan of strong government, as can be seen in his letter to Talleyrand, itself a sort of first draft for his constitutional project: ‘In a government in wich every authority emanates from the nation, in which the sovereign is of the people, why include in the legislative power such things that are foreign to it?…The power of the government, in all the breadth I give it, should be considered the true representative of the nation, and it should govern in according to the constitutional charter…It would comprise the entirety of the administration or the execution, which is by our constitution conferred on the legislative power…[The] legislative power, impassive, without rank in the Republic, without eyes or ears for that which surrounds it, would have no ambition and would no longer inundate us with a thousand circumstantial laws which are self-defeating through their very absurdity, and which make us a lawless nation with three-hundred large tomes of laws.'-32.

          'Truly it is difficult to conceive of a constitution which offers more guarantees for the rights of the people. It is difficult to leave less to the arbitrary judgment of the head of the government. The limits of power are clear and unconfused.'-Chaptal

          ‘Apart from its leader, the State now stood at the center of French society. One author has even written of a ‘Napoleonic Revolution.' Napoleon succeeded where Louis XVI and his ministers had failed in the 1780s. He strengthened and modernized the state, again imbuing it with both unity and authority.'-34-35.

          ‘…Bonaparte spared France from a violent, military dictatorship. The Napoleonic regime made its soldiers obedient tools of the government, not a state within a state…The gradual tightening of the Napoleonic regime is of course irrefutable. But to criticize the consular and imperial seizure of power, is to do so in the name of the French Revolution, a revolution which had little respect for the principles it sought to impose on the world.'-35

          From Owen Connelly’s Napoleon’s Satellite Kingdoms, 340-342:
          ‘In all the kingdoms constitutions had been granted, if not strictly applied; Westphalians remembered that even peasants had sat in the Standeversammlung; legislative power over taxation had been practiced (Holland, Westphalia, Italy) or promised (Spain and Naples). The Code Napoleon [Code Civile] had either been applied or held up as a model; equality before the law had become an established principle; jury trial had been introduced; civil and religious liberty had been guaranteed, and minority groups elevated to full, active citizenship (notably the Jews of Holland and Germany). Guilds and other economically privileged groups had been suppressed, and internal tariffs condemned if not abolished. The political and economic power of the churches had been reduced, and the confiscated properties of nobles and churches pledged (if not always devoted) to public welfare and education.’
          ‘Most important, perhaps, the kingdoms left behind a coterie of trained personnel-bureaucrats, judges, magistrates, soldiers-who were familiar with the most efficient systems extant for the administration of government, finances, law, and armies. Not until the return of the restored rulers, (absent five to eighteen years) did these men fully realize how much their attitudes had changed, and how truly careers had been ‘open to talent.’ They, together with liberals and intellectuals, both former enemies and former friends of Napoleonic government, constituted the core leadership of revolutionary movements of the early nineteenth century.’
          ‘The idea persists that the satellite kingdoms were ‘robbed’ for the benefit of France. One envisions wagons rolling toward Paris with coin for the imperial treasury and revered works of art for the Louvre. To dismiss the latter quickly, many of the paintings and objects were legitimately purchased, and still belong to the French government. As to treasure wagons, many rolled from France into Spain; few indeed came from the kingdoms to France. The states contributed largely by supporting French troops within their borders; much of the money they supplied was spent locally, either by army buyers or the troops themselves, to the benefit of native merchants and producers. Because of the cost of the Spanish War, the French taxpayer’s burden was increased by the holding of the satellite kingdoms. Moreover the tax rate in France was always higher than in the kingdoms, which added to the general fear of annexation. Trade agreements favored France, and the Continental System caused distress, but native merchants managed to make immense profits anyway, especially in Italy and Naples. Further, despite economic dislocations, there were some permanent gains-new industry, new crops, and much technological improvement. Everywhere, the value of broad tariff-free trading areas was demonstrated, positively on a small scale )Italy, Westphalia, Naples), and negatively on a larger one.’
          ‘The kingdoms (and the empire generally) also set precedents in problem-solving by legislation (decreed or voted), by which the governments asserted the right, in principle, to rearrange any and all areas of national life. In the long run this legacy, valued property of all national governments, whatever their political systems, would overshadow all others. Napoleon did not originate the process, nor was it a French innovation, though Louis XIV and the Committee of Public Safety had used it most masterfully, and the latter immensely widened its scope. Napoleon and his rulers, however, demonstrated it more fully in more areas than had anyone else before. Aside from constitutions and mandatory administrative, legal, and judicial reform programs, there were laws requiring smallpox inoculation and land redistribution, ordering the establishment of public schools and new industries, granting specific guarantees to minorities, and a hundred other things. Not all were implemented, but success was sufficient to orient progressives toward reform from seats of power. Napoleon’s answer to all ills-legislate, administer, enforce-has been echoed ever more widely and loudly by every generation since his time.’

          Connelly, 345-346:
          ‘For all their conflicts, Joseph never ceased to defend Napoleon. ‘The war, prolonged by the enemies of France, forced extreme measures’ he wrote testily in 1833 to madame de Saint-Ouen, whose book on the Empire offended him. The Emperor had defended the people of Europe against the ‘oligarchy,’ as they now knew, because ‘the masses, who judge only by instinct…sense truth and justice…’ Perhaps not, but Napoleon still holds the fascination of men a century and a half after his fall. He was much more than a conqueror.’
          ‘The Emperor’s satellite rulers, except for Eugene given derisive treatment by the architects of the Napoleonic legend, still get short shrift in the histories of the era. Yet they were all extraordinary men, who, each in his own way, tried to serve his people. Louis was remembered with affection and Eugene with respect from the time of their departure. Jerome’s scandalous reputation has endured to this day, though it was temporarily eclipsed by the behavior of the restored duke of Brunswick and elector of Hesse. Nevertheless his government’s constructive work was admitted, if grudgingly, even by the nationalistic German historians of the nineteenth century, and more fully by later ones…Joseph, wrote the former rebel Toreno, ‘…would have captivated the Spanish if they had not already been so gravely wounded as to honor and pride’ and gave him credit for his progressive efforts. The more reputable Spanish historians have consistently elaborated on this theme. In all the former kingdoms some nostalgia was generated for the Napoleonic regimes, the more where the restored rulers were arbitrary and oppressive, as in Spain. When Joseph died in 1844, men who had earlier been his bitterest enemies, including former guerilla chiefs, sent their respects.’



          We are not now that strength which in old days
          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
          Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
          To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

          Comment


          • Further...

            Napoleon’s Reforms

            If you can, please list anything remotely similar to these needed reforms, many of which were in effect in France long after the exile and death of Napoleon.

            -Introduced the Civil Code, followed by other legal codes such as a new Penal Code.
            -Restored the Church.
            -Completely revamped French public and private education. Napoleon spent more money on education than on any other civil function.
            -Built roads, canals, harbors, bridges, and drained swamps.
            -Established orphanages and hospitals, and public sanitation.
            -Established a Paris fire department.
            -Established the prefect system.
            -Reformed the National, later Imperial, Gendarmerie.
            -Guaranteed basic civil rights.
            -Guaranteed freedom of religion.
            -Granted Jews full citizenship.
            -Introduced gas lighting.
            -Introduced the smallpox vaccine.
            -Abolished feudalism within the Empire.
            -Trees were planted along France’s roads.
            -Established a government office to protect France’s forests, lakes and rivers.
            -Established better water and sewer systems for Paris.
            -Balanced his budgets and established a sound financial system.
            -Because of his insistence on public finance, the franc became the most stable currency in Europe.
            -Encouraged and sponsored improvements in agriculture.
            -Insisted on honesty in his officials and established an agency to ensure that occurred.
            -Was a patron of the arts.
            -Established the Legion of Honor, open to all both civil and military.
            -Established France’s first bureau of statistics.
            -Reestablished horse-breeding in France.
            -Improved French industry.
            -Brought full employment, stable prices, and an improved balance of trade.
            -Law and order was reestablished in France after the chaos of the Revolution.
            -Pardoned the emigres and encouraged their return to France.
            -Established a system of auditors to encourage ‘virtue’ and to root out corruption.


            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • The "Best generals of all time"- the Mongols, starting from Kublai Klan by a large margin. Their society was very complementary part of their war machine.

              perhaps only Alexander the Great rivaled them.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                The "Best generals of all time"- the Mongols, starting from Kublai Klan by a large margin. Their society was very complementary part of their war machine.

                perhaps only Alexander the Great rivaled them.
                What was their opposition?

                And they left nothing of value behind them and they went back to the Steppes as they were before. Their legacy of slaughter and annihilation is not a thing to be proud of.
                We are not now that strength which in old days
                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Massena View Post

                  And they left nothing of value behind them and they went back to the Steppes as they were before. Their legacy of slaughter and annihilation is not a thing to be proud of.
                  Their ruthlessness, discipline to their kind/leaders, and peculiar nature of their people/ culture/society was a major driver of their military success. The Mongol trooper was a born horseback rider, archer, and hunter & could fight with high morale without pay.

                  The Ancient Greeks, despite possessing great merit in civilization, were also quite militaristic and users of many slaves.

                  Comment


                  • hmmph, I answered too soon. "Moral judgements" isn't part of the thread topic I don't think? This is not ACG politics

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                      hmmph, I answered too soon. "Moral judgements" isn't part of the thread topic I don't think? This is not ACG politics
                      When discussing warfare, moral judgments are always relevant.
                      We are not now that strength which in old days
                      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Massena View Post

                        When discussing warfare, moral judgments are always relevant.
                        There is no such thing as "moral judgements".
                        There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                        Comment


                        • That comment says it all for your total postings on these forums.
                          We are not now that strength which in old days
                          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                          Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                          To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                          Comment


                          • You simply cannot grasp that a world exists beyond US of A.
                            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                            Comment


                            • Useless and mendacious. I would suggest the development of a moral compass.
                              We are not now that strength which in old days
                              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                              Comment


                              • In Mongolia, your "moral compass" will not worth more than horse excrements.
                                There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                                Comment

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