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Napoleon, dictator or hero?

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Poll Question: Is Napoleon a dictator or a hero?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
4 [21.05%]
4 [21.05%]
10 [52.63%]
1 [5.26%]
0 [0.00%]
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caldrail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 20:59
Quote Pardon, no offense, but a Franco-German animosity is nonsense.

Not entirely. Both nations have competed for influence within the European Union and have been at loggerheads since ancient times. Some historians point to the Varian Disaster of ad9 as the moment at which France and Germany became two seperate cultural influences, in that Gaulm was under Roman patronage and control (the Romans refer to Gaul as the provinces that most closely emulated them) whereas Germania was never conquered and retained its celtic identity. The integration of german countries helped spark off two world wars after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 22:48
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Quote Pardon, no offense, but a Franco-German animosity is nonsense.

Not entirely. Both nations have competed for influence within the European Union and have been at loggerheads since ancient times. Some historians point to the Varian Disaster of ad9 as the moment at which France and Germany became two seperate cultural influences, in that Gaulm was under Roman patronage and control (the Romans refer to Gaul as the provinces that most closely emulated them) whereas Germania was never conquered and retained its celtic identity. The integration of german countries helped spark off two world wars after all.

All nations in europe competed for infcluence and do it today. But an enmity is something different.
And the varian defeat in AD 9 was not that decisive as we know today, cos even in the afterhood Romans controlled more or less these area. Correct is, that the Germania on the right bank of the Rhine remained widely germanic. But there were as well Roman territories in the Wetterau along the main river and the agri decumati and as well the Roman area south of the Danube.

And there was as well the Frankish empire, which included gaul and germany, even Italy. latin was the language of the elite and as well in the later east frankonian empire and HRE. that this Frankish empire broke had dynastical reasons, not linguistic or cultural one. And e.g. the eastern part still included greater areas of romanic language.

So there is no need to draw a red line from the Varian defeat to the world wars. If germany would have been Romanic speaking, who knows if there wouldn't have been two romanic speaking powers, France and Allemagne, who had competed or in the contrary scenario a Frankland and Deutschland or a Romanic empire against a Slavic?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laurentius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 00:55
As civil wars have shown, plus the wars and rivalry between Prussia and Austria in the 19th century, a common language doesn't necessarily help to strengthen ties. Under the Franks, lands were conquered and borders widened only to have it all fall apart each generation as territories were carved up between the sons of a deceased king. Charlemagne managed to unite roughly what is France, Germany and Italy, only to have it divided between his grandsons. To what extent the people were happy under the Emperor Charlemagne I don't know but I imagine that, at the time, they assumed that it was permanent. I hope that the friendship between France and Germany today is permanent. The press always try to find hints of a rift, for example a photo taken of the two leaders sitting side by side but looking in opposite directions will make headlines as a problem in the Franco-German relationship. I guess at least Charlemagne didn't have to contend with the paparazzi.

Do any of you ever feel like giving a history lesson to politicians of today when they make stupid decisions that could easily have been avoided if they just concentrated a bit more in 1st Grade History at school, or am I the only one?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 06:19
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Quote Pardon, no offense, but a Franco-German animosity is nonsense.

Not entirely. Both nations have competed for influence within the European Union and have been at loggerheads since ancient times. Some historians point to the Varian Disaster of ad9 as the moment at which France and Germany became two seperate cultural influences, in that Gaulm was under Roman patronage and control (the Romans refer to Gaul as the provinces that most closely emulated them) whereas Germania was never conquered and retained its celtic identity. The integration of german countries helped spark off two world wars after all.



In same works, the name “hereditary enemies” are used to describe German and French past enmity. At present, the relations between those two country are good. It helps stabilise European Union.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 10:10
Originally posted by Laurentius Laurentius wrote:

Sorry for not replying to your recent post, Goral; I didn't receive the notification and only just noticed it now.

Winston Churchill was very active in the strengthening of ties between France and Germany after WWII, conscious that without peace between these two countries, there would be no European Union.

No problem L.
The old WC was right, as usual (mostly)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 22:25
Quote In same works, the name “hereditary enemies” are used to describe German and French past enmity. At present, the relations between those two country are good. It helps stabilise European Union.

Both countries have a vested interest in stabilising Europe. However, bear in mind that politics encourages ambition, and there will always be a risk of nationalistic dominance or an attempt toward it which would not maintain the status quo at all. Worlkd War One began because a delicate balance had been tipped over by a new united Germany wishing to join the big league. As long as moderation remains control then the Union will continue without any undue harm. Bear in mind that politicians within the Union have bigger ideas - there are already plans for european integration that dismiss former national boundaries (Britain for instance falls within the Atlantic Provincce) and such empire building is prone to harnessing by dominant politicians as history has shown many examples of.

As a union of nations it can work sensibly. As a federated Europe or European Empire, it will eventually bring about strife, because internal divisions will not disappear - regional identities are very powerful social forces - they survived communist attempts to eradicate them after all. Indeed, the attempt to subjugate social identities or recreate them can lead almost inevitably to war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 23:17
I think that you are right in your assessment. For so long as none country in Europe achieve clear dominance of European Union, the Union will survive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laurentius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 23:46
Intelligent analysis caldrail. 

I am pro-Europe but, at the same time, pro-national identity. More than that, I am pro-regional pride. I encourage my friends in different regions not to let their local dialects disappear. We can live in a Europe made up of different countries with their own frontiers and languages and, within those frontiers, countries made up of different regions, again with their own history, dialect, food, etc. The thing is that someone in, for example, a remote village in Brittany needs to feel a triple sense of pride - the pride of being a Breton, the pride of being French and the pride of being European. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laurentius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2014 at 03:17
In honour of the 193rd anniversary of Napoleon's death, here's a brief article I wrote on his life:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2014 at 23:07
Quote Winston Churchill was very active in the strengthening of ties between France and Germany after WWII, conscious that without peace between these two countries, there would be no European Union.

Britain was only interested in the Common Market concept, which assisted peaceful interaction and economic growth in the post-WW2 period. The initiative toward European Union was largely France and Germany. Now that Germany has been re-united in the wake of the Cold War, Germany has begun to dominate financially, leaving France in a clear second place (please note I watched a report that showed the difference in how french and german peoples see this issue - the Germans are happy and all in favour, the French increasingly frustrated with rising prices. Right now the British are still arguing about referendums and right wing isolationism)
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2014 at 02:51
As to the original op?

Both. And better than most.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2014 at 14:18
There have been periods in times past when, to have been under the control of a Dictator, was to have stable government, overall better conditions, and less corruption.
 
I can't say whether or not this was the case with Napoleon.
 
He was a renowned general and military leader-no argument there.
 
But to the OP, I suggest that he was definately a Dictator and a hero to the French people.
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2014 at 06:09
Chandler and a number of other noted and well qualified scholars would agree..my friend.

Tis only the lesser ie. those who obfuscate and attempt revision out of historical context who would do other.

He was a fine tactician and better than average strategist and as a ruler far better than most who the aforementioned have attempted to broad brush him with. A Solon? No.

an Alexander? perhaps. A Ceaser? Possibly. But when I cite them in context they as he did all have their failings. Such is the game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote doskinas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2019 at 00:50
It really depends on whose perspective you look at it. Even the French are still confused. For example to the people of Lithuania Napoleon was a hero a liberator from the Russian empire. Even tho it was for a short while. 
If we look at how he is perceived today around the world. For the military enthusiast, he can be viewed as a hero since he is considered one of the greatest commanders in history—his campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Hundreds of groups study, discuss and venerate him. 

So it will depend on which perspective will you look at. There are always to sides to the coin and it is no different here. The only difference is that it is usually not so easy to compare both sides. As the story, most of the time is written by the winners and the losers being suppressed. And most of the records are purged. 


Edited by toyomotor - 17 Apr 2019 at 06:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2019 at 13:04
I think that dictator refers to how one rules, through dicta or declaration.  In some ways, it is "polite, politically correct," morally neutral term for tyrant.

Hero is in Greek someone between mortal and demigod (or also and daimon (spirit), a hero tends to be larger than life, but they are not necessarily a highly moral individual.  Part of it is the people's perception (or the instruction of oracles), again someone bigger than life, to whom a heroes shrine gets raised.

dictator and hero are not antithetical to each other.
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