Was Napoleon the Child or Heir of Revolution?

9 September 2016

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 Regime’, 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.

Was Napoleon the Child or Heir of Revolution? Essay Example

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 the battlefield, command and control, planning and improvisation.

An interconnected line of argument is that his inevitable collapse owed as much to his own shortcomings and mistakes as it did to the limitations of his opponents. Indeed it is possible to distinguish the origins of Napoleon’s imminent breakdown in the very characteristics and virtues that initially helped him to rule the continent of Europe. This final argument will demonstrate that Napoleon is the greatest commander the world has ever seen. He undeniably created the modern warfare both in scale and conduct despite the presence of several loops in his tactics.

This paper is divided into three main sections. The first main section exclusively focuses on Napoleon Bonaparte being the child or betrayer of French Revolution. Its first sub-section elucidates the causes of French Revolution. The second sub-section focuses on the assertion that Napoleon was the child or betrayer of Revolution by examining whether its goals of liberty, equality and fraternity were fulfilled by illustrating both sides of the argument.

The second main section focuses on Napoleon at war and his shrewd military skills and elaborates whether his craftsmanship contributed towards success or sowed seeds of his ultimate decline. The first sub-section is on Napoleon’s exhibition of mastery and valor in terms of command and control, planning and improvisation at the battlefield. The second sub-section talks about the uniqueness of Napoleon Bonaparte and whether he was the author of his downfall. The third main section concludes both the arguments presented in the first two main sections.

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