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Political Leadership: Napoleon Bonaparte

Political Command: Napoleon

A study in political authority: Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the very most contentious and polarising information in world history. Some historians such as J David Markham and David P Jordan consider him to be the epitome of the revolutionary challenges that preceded him and even the natural continuation of the France Revolution. Others such as Paul Johnson and Claude Ribbe see Napoleon as an autocratic ruler who not only used and abused the People from france Trend but also proceeded to rule in a totalitarian manner. These contrasting views do, to some extent, illustrate how adept Napoleon was as a politics innovator. In changing and unsettled conditions that needed both a solid head and paradoxically the lessons of the Revolution of representation by plebiscite and the throwing away of the 'Ancien Plan', Napoleon was in effect able to straddle both divides so efficiently it is still difficult to get to the bottom of his control. I am going to show how through Napoleons skill, effort, intelligence and even chance, he had not been only in a position to straddle this divide but set and achieve his goals atlanta divorce attorneys region of French contemporary society and government, and even Europe.

Most people know Napoleon by the wars that endure his name in the early 19th century, the fatalities caused by these and the Empire he built. It is clear that Napoleon had aims which were military by design and goals which could only be carried out by armed service ends and even though these are obviously a fundamental element of his leadership, it's important to note that his sociable and political jobs were as important, or even more significant, when looking at Napoleon as a political leader. It's the social and politics aspects of his rule that I shall focus on.

Napoleon's swift ascent to power, in 1799, on the back of the French Revolutions successes and in the end it's failures, found France in a fragile position both internally and in Europe. The Revolution had introduced such massive change in social and politics arenas from that of the 'Ancien Plan', that France didn't have a workable position on every part of life in France from the current economic climate, education and federal government to the chapel. There have been hostile nations eyeing the French land in its point in time of weakness, especially Austria and Prussia, which only offered to hasten the need for inner workings. Napoleon therefore acquired two key responsibilities in front of him - which themselves contained multiple key goals - make France workable again and keep France and its territories secure from hostile states. As Markham declares, "France was looking for somebody who could protect the advantages of the Revolution while bringing credibility back again to government"

Napoleon was very brilliant in his leadership for the reason that he didn't come with an overbearing ideology, differing with both the revolutionaries and the 'Ancien Regime' and with this he previously an exceptional knowledge of where he had a need to position himself never to only remain strong in his own position, but to build a strong France and Empire, as Dwyer expresses:

"Napoleon eradicated the factionalism that acquired torn the united states apart. . . The advantages of a unified code of rules. . . economic and financial reforms and the Concordat with the Catholic Cathedral. . . Were all made to create the public, economic and political stability necessary to consolidate and maintain power. "

The results of the meant that the positions Napoleon needed on the home issues at hand are remarkable in essence to that of Tony Blair and the 'third way' doctrine. As Norman Davies expresses, "The eventual offspring (of Napoleons legislative agenda) often contains strange hybrid creatures, neither ancien seafood nor revolutionary fowl. "

For case the Revolution dismantled all hereditary headings and classed every resident as the same, Napoleon however created his own hierarchical system predicated on merit, thus at the same time creating the much-needed steadiness of the time without betraying everything that the Trend stood for. Indeed the 'Code Napoleon', the grand laws system Napoleon created was, as Davies says, "a middle course between the Roman laws of the south and the customary law of the north, between egalitarian ideas of 1789 and authoritarian, propertied reaction of the Directory. " Further directing out Napoleons success is Emsley in 'Napoleon':

"Napoleon Brought inner steadiness to France following the upheaval of the revolution. He fostered reconciliation between old and new elites and restored the Catholic Cathedral - on his own conditions. The 15 many years of Napoleons rule witnessed significant reorganisation within France. "

It is clear then that Napoleon does flourish in his goals of fabricating a stable and strong France capable of governing and retaining its position - in simple fact growing it's position - on the entire world stage. However it is simply insufficient to convey what ideology - or lack thereof - Napoleon adopted in determining the type of political innovator he was. It is important to state how he worked in creating his legislative plan and exactly how effective this is in his politics control throughout his guideline.

Napoleon is fabled for his long hours and incredible capability to not only determine multiple memos and letters, legislation and laws, at the same sitting down for vast periods of time but for also using great levels of information accurately from the most notable of his brain.

"He (Napoleon) was extremely hard working and able. . . When in Paris he was known regularly to sort out much of the night time, going to bed at 10pm, growing at 2am. . . His days and nights in Paris were then filled up with conferences, readings and fixing documents and receiving petitions, with food being ingested while he was standing up or on the move. His insatiable thirst for, capability to soak up, knowledge allowed him to go over science with researchers, and to issue, at advanced and with experts, record, geography, books. . . He expected regular records. . . and he read them. "

Napoleons clear controlling nature and ambition does provide strength in his political leadership. A strength in a great deal as that it is this mans desire and drive which not only received him to his goals but empowered him to ensure that things were being run just how he envisioned them, the correct way. In this manner of dealing with command could be down to the good bundle of money that Napoleon certainly seemed to gain during his job both along the way up even though in electricity, as Markham puts it, "Some. . . have advised that he (Napoleon) simply experienced incredible good fortune and was always at the right place at the right time. The second option was certainly often true. . . The trip to Egypt come(s) to mind. " But this sense of fortune and attempting to make the almost all of it may not be the reason for Napoleons managing way in electric power. Before he gained ability his ambition and jealousy of those in power at the time is greatly quoted, "I wish to undermine the Republican get together, but limited to my own income rather than that of the early dynasty. . . As for me. . . I have tasted expert and I will not give it up. I have made the decision that easily can't be the master I will leave France. " It could seem then that the seeds for his controlling and overbearing characteristics as a politics innovator were sewn before he even experienced power.

This leads to both his clear weakness and ultimately his failing as a politics leader. Not only the insistence on controlling and influencing all aspects of the legislative agenda but the tight grasp he held those putting into action the agendas in, designed that as Johnson state governments, "He (Napoleon) cannot rule on the long-term basis. Nobody has have you ever been faster than he was at overturning existing governments, establishing new administrations, and imposing constitutions to fit them. None lasted more than a few years, some just a few months. . . It always bore hallmarks of his impatience and his lack of tenacity in sustaining the long term. " It would seem to be paradoxical that though his great process and success was taking stability and competence in the management of French affairs at home, as the Empire grew, so do the inability in controlling it all. That is probably understandable when you look at some events where this controlling nature is highlighted such as, "In a single week, shortly after becoming Viceroy of Italy, Eugene de Beauharnais received 21 characters providing advice and instructions, a few of them running to many internet pages (from Napoleon). " It really is precisely this degree of depth and control that helped make France so strong and stable, which finally made the control of the empire so uncontrollable and unpredictable.

The lack of heirs to control and have ready to follow him in ability may well have been part of the weakness in his leadership. It really is hard to assume he'd have pressed so difficult, such a long time for an empire as big as he does if he understood that he previously someone he could mould into his place watching continue his work, this too might have compounded his controlling nature. The fact that the siblings he had, after he put them into vitality in differing nations, his sibling Joseph in Spain for illustration, let him down so miserably in nearly all cases, can have added in this respect as well. All this brings about his political and military overstretching which would eventually lead to his downfall.

Part of the legacy of Napoleon, up to a tool for his control over both the people of France and the empire, and a continuation of his character as a political head, was his great ability in propaganda. "Nothing lies like a Napoleonic bulletin. " Is a common understanding of the energy Napoleon possessed in the artwork of getting the masses and the elite to comprehend and support what he desired them to comprehend and support, a lot of what we would call 'spin' nowadays, just as much as propaganda. Markham points out the role Napoleon used propaganda in effectively:

"In media-centred times. . . we take for granted advertising and propaganda. . . In Napoleon's lifetime, such self-promotion had not been nearly so wide-spread. . . Napoleon, however, realised the worthiness of such activities and was quick to use them to promote his surge to electricity. His proclamations, bulletins and characters to the federal government were all written with his own interests at heart. . . His Italian and Egyptian campaigns became, in the eye of the general public, crusades of good against wicked, those of an enlightened hero resistant to the barbarians. "

So not only was he a politics head of great ambition, confidence, intelligence, hard work, good fortune and control but also a head who knew how to use new techniques and funnel them for his and the countries own ends. Like many market leaders nonetheless it was several same characteristics that brought so much glory, which also brought the finish. The overt self-assurance and control, forcing the hard working man to pursue too much, too early without doubting, or allowing those around him to question enough, the merits of certain decisions.

Why I talk about propaganda as a part of Napoleons legacy is basically because Napoleon used it therefore throughout his amount of time in electric power, via portraits, sculptures and even after he kept electric power through the written expression in his autobiography. "Napoleon possessed always been aware of how to best portray himself and his achievements. . . Napoleon manipulated the arts and the marketing towards his personal glory. . . Performers were commissioned and prizes were offered for works celebrating key moments of his job. Historical precision was less important than the image presented in both paintings and sculptures. " To a large extent this clever way of endeavoring to secure a legacy has worked. When looking at Napoleon we doubtlessly think of pictures and paintings we've seen. For a lot of people finding Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' portrait of Napoleon on the imperial throne or the famous image of Napoleon crossing the Alps by Jacques Louis David, is all they have to go on, Napoleon from these images appears very much how he wished to be remembered, a successful, dashing, Emperor.

There are other aspects of course to his legacy, one major part being that he helped bring Europe, especially what we now call Germany and central European countries, not only up to date in conditions of the politics and social institutions inside the nations, but also economically as well. Moreover before Napoleon handled mainland Europe with his Empire, Europe was made up of several, often splintered, expresses. After Napoleon kept power once and for all in 1815, the face of Europe searched completely different. Their state composition, divided up by the Allies, was completely different and much of the existing point out system is therefore part of Napoleon's legacy. For example "Thomas Nipperdey began his acclaimed record of nineteenth-century Germany with the words 'In the start was Napoleon. '"

The other significant legacy Napoleon left was the 'Code Napoleon', the packages of laws, governing system and administration. As Emsley states, "The administrative system and structures that were to govern France for the nineteenth and twentieth generations were essentially those that emerged during the Consulate. " And you may see exactly why the 'Code Napoleon' does survive, "The universal privileges of citizenship, and of equality before the law, were established. In family law, civil marriage and divorce were retained. . . This Code has profoundly inspired the cultural development of at least thirty countries. "

It is clear that Napoleon Bonaparte was a very astute and complex political head and also one of great importance. Napoleons determination and ambition to succeed may have been the real reason for both his climb and fall. "Few people have had more effect on history than Napoleon Bonaparte. He's the grandest possible refutation of these determinists who carry that happenings are governed by forces, classes, economics, and geography alternatively than by the power of wills of men and women. . . Few people of ambition have failed to see Bonaparte as an exemplar or a spur. " Though I do not trust all the sentiments within the last quote, I agree with the latter. The utter brilliance of the man, who, however you consider it has result from a background of mediocrity and middle income, to rule France in ways which benefited both himself, his region and Europe as a whole, is an inspiring example certainly to me. His genius is of course exceptional, but the attention to fine detail, the hard working mentality and the ability to successfully negotiate a tough balancing act, is simply as inspiring. He obviously had some imperfections both personally and politically but I take my enthusiasm not really much from every coverage he handed down but what attitude he held, and that is nothing but inspiring.


Davies, Norman (1997) Europe - A BRIEF HISTORY. Pimlico.

Dwyer, Philip G. - edited by - (2001) Napoleon and Europe. Pearson Education.

Dwyer, Philip G. and Forrest, Alan - edited by - (2007) Napoleon and his Empire - Europe, 1804-1814. Palgrave Macmillan.

Emsley, Clive (2003) Napoleon - Conquest, Reform and Reorganisation. Pearson Education.

Johnson, Paul (2002) Napoleon. Phoenix.

Markham, J. David (2003) Napoleon's Road to Glory - Triumphs, Defeats and Immortality. Brassey's.

McLynn, Frank (1997) Napoleon - A Biography. Pimlico.

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