Was Napoleon's Reign a Benevolent Dictatorship?
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This paper discusses how Napoleon's reign was a mixture of benevolence and brutality. The paper addresses Napoleon's recklessness and indifference to religion and human beings and his sacrifice of thousands of men in the Napoleonic Wars of 1800-15. However, the paper also shows how emphasized charity, looked after orphans, offered freedom and equal rights and was very benevolent to the Jews.
From the Paper:"The standard for revolutionary leadership for most of the world was set by Napoleon I, the celebrated French general and emperor whose real name was Napoleone Buonaparte. Although due to ruthlessness, he has been widely known as the model opportunist of great ambition and talent who emerged out of the wreckage of revolution to inherit power by brilliantly combining a certain lip-service to revolutionary ideals with implementation of those aspects of the original revolutionary program that advanced his popularity and legitimacy while aborting all the others, he was really a legend. The disastrous end of the Second Empire in 1870 damaged the Napoleonic legend and gave rise to a new anti-Napoleonic literature, best represented by Hippolyte Taine's Origines de la France contemporaine (1876-94). World Wars I and II, however, together with the experience of the 20th-century dictatorships, made it possible to judge Napoleon more fairly and justly. Any comparison with Stalin or Hitler, for example, can only be to Napoleon's advantage. Napolean I was tolerant, he released the Jews from the ghettoes, and he showed respect for human life. Brought up on the rationalist Encyclopedie and on the writings of the Philosophes of the Enlightenment, he remained above all a man of the 18th century, the last of the "enlightened despots." One of the gravest accusations made against Napoleon I is that he was the "Corsican ogre" who sacrificed millions of men to his ambition. Precise calculations show that the Napoleonic Wars of 1800-15 cost France itself about 500,000 men; i.e., about one-sixtieth of the population."
Cite this Research Paper:
Was Napoleon's Reign a Benevolent Dictatorship? (2003, October 01) Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/was-napoleon-reign-a-benevolent-dictatorship-37111/
"Was Napoleon's Reign a Benevolent Dictatorship?" 01 October 2003. Web. 17 June. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/was-napoleon-reign-a-benevolent-dictatorship-37111/>