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NapoleonBonaparte

NapoleonBonapartewasamajorfigureinhistoryandoneoftheworldsgreatestmilitarystrategists
Throughouthistory,greatmencomeandgo,butsomeofthemareraregemswhocome,astheysay,
onceineverycentury.Whetherornottheyareinthegoodorbadsideofhistory,theybecomeiconsfor
playingamajorroleorevencreatinghistorythemselves.Andthesemenofhistorycomefrommany
fieldslikeScience,Industry,Governance,Military,andsoon.NapoleonBonapartewasamilitaryman
whocamefromobscureandhumblebeginnings,butrosetopowerandbecameamajorpartofhistoryin
hisquiteashortlifetime.Heisevenconsideredthefatherofmodernwarfareeventothisday.
Bydefinition,ahistoricalfigureisapersonwhoselegacyorcontributionstotheworldsignificantly
changedthecourseofhistory.NapoleonBonapartewasamajorfigureinhistorymainlybecausehewas
oneofhistorysgreatestmilitaryinnovatorsheappliedbrilliantinnovativemethodsinrunninghis
militarymachine,someofwhichwereunheardoforunprecedentedbefore,andarestillbeingstudiedby
todayssoldiersandmilitaryleadersintopacademiesaroundtheworld.

NapoleonBonaparteisconsideredthefatherofmodernwarfareeventothisdaybecauseheintroduced
manyinnovativeanddaringstrategiesandmethodsduringhistimelikethesuddenseizureofpowerand
thuscoinedthewordcoupdetat,whichIbelieveisthesamestrategythatAdolfHitlercopiedinthe
lattersblitzkrieginGermanyduringWorldWarII.Thissameprincipleisstillbeingappliedinthe
presenttimes.Hecreatedanddispatchedamassivenumberofsmallbutnimbleandselfsufficientteams
thatwereempoweredandweredelegatedtofunctionontheirown,coupledwithanationalistmotivation
toachievehisendsandgoals.
Napoleonsmilitarymethodsofattacksweresoboldanddaring,andpreparedonamassivescalethat
sentshiverstothecorecommandoftheenemies.Sadlythough,suchstrategyalsocontributedtohis
downfall.Butthismassivescaleofmilitarywarfarewasunprecedentedinthehistoryofwar,precisely
whyBonapartesbattlesbecameimportantpartsofhistory.

NapoleonBonapartealsoinitiatedtheorganizingandworkingtogetherofhismilitarymachinealongwith
politicsandgovernance,socialandeconomicconcernswiththeFrenchpeople,mediaandpropaganda,
andexpandinghiscloutorinfluenceinforeignaffairsespeciallyinEurope.Heusedhismilitarytoget
whathewantedintermsofforeignpoliciesandindealingwithothercountriesorcompetitors.Such
bullyingorarmtwistingtacticsbecametooobviousforotherEuropeanleadersthattheywereprompted
toworktogetheragainsthim,ashisintentionstoexpandpowerinEuropeweretooglaring,asheexerted
littleefforttobediscreetaboutit.
AgoodthingtonoteaboutoneofNapoleonswarinnovationswashiswayinrallyingthepeoplebehind
hiscauseforthewartoachievehisends,throughpubliceducation,orintodayslingo,media
propaganda.Heproposedthecreationoflycesstatefundedestablishmentsthatstillexisttoday,which
preparechildrenforthebaccalaurateexamination,whichisthemaininspirationforalmosteveryexams

intodaysworld.Hekeptinclosetouchwiththetimesandcurrentevents,andtherealitiesoftheFrench
andEuropeanssocialpulseandconcerns.

AsaresultofNapoleonsabovemilitarymethodsandstrategies,hewasabletoachievegreat
accomplishmentsforhimselfoutsidehismilitarypower,liketheconquestofAustria,tonameone,both
militarilyanddiplomatically.ThelatterbymarryingthedaughteroftheAustrianmonarchy.Healso
showedpoliticalsavvyandtalentfororganizinggovernancethathecameupwithwhatweknownowas
theNapoleoniccode,acomprehensivesystemoflawsthatupholdpeaceandjusticeforthepeople,that
uptothisdayisstillbeingusedasablueprintorbasisofmanycountrieslawsandcodesofgovernance,
especiallyinformerFrenchcolonies.OtherthanGreatBritain,Russia,Norway,Sweden,andDenmark,
everycountryinEuropehasbasedsomeaspectsoftheirbodyoflawsontheNapoleonicCode.Inbrief,
hemodernizedtheFrenchsystemofgovernmentaswhatitisknownnow.
NapoleonBonapartewasawiseandshrewddiplomaticnegotiatorinforeignpolicy,thatheforgedpacts
andtreatieswithothercountriestocreategroupsofalliestohelphiminhismilitarycampaignsandthus
multipliedhisforcesbeyondtheiractualnumbers.Heeventinkeredinfinancebyfoundingthebankof
FranceandwasabrillianteconomicsmanagerbyturningaroundFrancesterribleeconomyinayears
timeafterseizingpower.HemadegreatstridesinsocialreformsbymodernizingFranceseducational
systemandpromotedreligiousfreedomandequalityamongstracesandpeople,andevenledtheforging
oftheunityofEuropeancountries.
Thus,wecansaythatNapoleonnotonlywasoneofthegreatestmilitarystrategistsofalltime,butalsoa
greatcompleteleader,wemaysay,thatintroducedlandmarkeconomic,social,political,andgreatmany
changesnotonlyinFrancebutinEuropeanditscolonies,andconsequentlywereadoptedinmanyofthe
worldscountriestoday.

Fromtheaforementionedrationales,itisdifficultnottoqualifyBonaparteasagreatmanofhistory,
regardlessofonesbiasesabouthim,notonlyasabrilliantmilitaryman,butalsoanexceptionaland
completeleaderofhispeople,andonewhoeffectivelychangedthecourseofhistory.Intentionallyornot,
heevenhelpedstopthechaoticFrenchRevolutionwithhiswarcampaignsandrisetopower.Andthe
FrenchRevolutionmayhavecontributedincatapultingBonapartetopower,andthusgreatness.Thisisan
exampleofbeinganaccidentalmanofhistory.
However,accidentorotherwise,andregardlessoftheFrenchRevolution,Bonapartehaspreparedhimself
throughyearsofmilitaryandleadershipeducation.Sowhentherightmomentcame,inthemidstofthe
FrenchRevolutionwheretherewasanarchyandchaosinFrance,andpeoplebadlyneededaneffective
leaderwhowouldrallythemtogreatness,itwasnoneotherthanBonapartewhosteppeduptotheir
expectations.Hethenappliedallhislearningsasstatedintheaboverationalesparticularlyintherallying
ofpeoplebehindhiscause,whichatthattime,heusedpatriotismtocountry,andinvadedothercountries
inEurope.Inbeingaleader,tobeeffectiveandfollowedbypeople,evenfanatically,oneneedsarallying
cryorcausetounitefollowersbehindhim.AndthisiswhatBonapartedidthateventuallymadehim
emperorofFrance.

TheseachievementsclearlymadeBonaparteacoursechangerofhistorynotonlyasamastermilitary
strategistbutalsoashrewdpoliticalplanner,whichearnedhimapermanentplaceintheannalsofhistory.

ReferenceCitations:
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Lecture15:EuropeandtheSuperiorBeing:Napoleon.(n.d.).Lecture15:Europeandthe
SuperiorBeing:Napoleon.RetrievedApril2,2014,from
http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture15a.html

Chapter21.(n.d.).Chapter21.RetrievedApril2,2014,from
http://www.napoleonicsociety.com/english/Life_Nap_Chap21.htm