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"Why did Napoleon make himself emperor in 1804?" Topic

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Canuckistan Commander24 Jun 2013 4:07 p.m. PST

I love train wrecks, they are fun to watch.

Nurachi Botaroto de Sasson03 Jul 2013 9:19 a.m. PST

yeah i agree like most people have said actually Napoleon's narcissistic egotism for personal glory probably wasn't the only reason why he crowned himself emperor.

if you think about it, the main reasons why france was under a multinational threat was (aside from territorial greed and economic gains) the republican ideas disseminated by this volatile proletariat's revolution threatening to topple the hegemony of power and control maintained by dynastic-royalties, nobility and the bourgeoisie. The jacobins had proven to be too much and went too far, testament of the fact that the Robespierres got done in by reactionary forces- and even Napoleon held the post-robbie jacbobins in contempt.

If napoleon showed to the major powers and their royal dynasties- the Hohenzollerns, Habsburgs and Holstein-Gottorp-Romanovs and Windsors; that his intentions & ambitions were no different; it would at least mask the revolutionary ideas of democracy and higher equality that his humble upbringing and meritocratic revamp of the ancien regime (that was patrimonial and characterised by corruption- where the wealthy were able to buy their way through into elite office; military or civil) brought.

Napoleon himself was a living testament what a relatively humble commoner could rise through the ranks with his abilities; and his willingness to embrace danger with his common-folk frontline troops in relatively plain outfit showed that he at least knew the importance to win the common crowd, whether he really believed it and part of his nature or not.

However, civilly it is hard to see whether he wanted higher equality as his reign was dominated by military campaigns and his popularity depended on the glory against the coalitions and other detractors. But perhaps he wanted to at least try to get on similar pages with the major royal powers.

Chouan03 Jul 2013 10:25 a.m. PST

Good post apart from the relatively humble commoner bit, he was of a noble family, if not of the top rank, but noble enough to be accepted in commissioned rank.

Nurachi Botaroto de Sasson08 Jul 2013 6:53 a.m. PST

Hi thanks Chouan x), sorry i think what i meant was 'relatively' common. i knew Napoleon belonged to a low-ranking and relatively modest Corsican nobility; his family was a little more well-off than the petite Bourgeosie at best.

I think this was also why the garde revolutionaire and the rest of his commonfolk republican army were able to relate to him at all. Napoleon didnt' hail from a prominent and influential family enough to spoil him, make him corrupt or idle or incompetent.

He had way too much ambition and even know he was able to attained a Commissioned officer rank (a 2nd lieutenant i believe?)he was obviously very aware of his modesty compared to his other wealthy classmates at ecole militaire de paris.

Being in the midlee and moderately successful allowed him to taste both the bitter and the sweet, and i think it certainly allowed him to develop compassion and understanding for the rebellion's revolutionary causes and their woes and wishes for more equality, wealth and rights alike.

So i guess that's why even though he was always wary of the extremisms on the part of the Jacobins, he still became good friends with Maximilien Robespierre's brother Augustin.

Archeopteryx08 Jul 2013 8:48 a.m. PST

Nurachi – I believe the Windsors we known as the Hannoverians, or more properly the Saxe-Coberg-Gothas, back them… The name change came about in WW1, for obvious reasons.

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