Many historians count Napoleon Bonaparte as one of the greatest military leaders of all time. I however, believe this to be false. While Napoleon was without question an astounding commander and tactician, he had several flaws and made too many mistakes for me to consider him to be on the same level as leaders such as Alexander the Great, Ghengis Kahn, and Julius Caesar. Napoleon led his forces to victory against overwhelming odds many times throughout his life, however he made two key mistakes that could have been prevented by swallowing his pride and retreating when he was in a futile situation. Napoleon's first major mistake was made in March of 1808, when Napoleon intervened in a dispute between the present king of Spain and the king's son.
From 1799 to 1815, how far did Napoleon maintain the aims of the French Revolution? The main aims of the French revolution before Napoleon came to power was to promote “Liberty, equality and fraternity” by putting an end to feudal privileges and the absolute rule of the monarchy and the king. Napoleon made many reforms in France which mainly supported the ideas of the revolution. However he also made several steps in securing himself as an absolute ruler of France, going against the ideas of the revolution. In October 1799 Napoleon became first consul of the government and in so being became the most powerful man in France.
A war was planned between Austria and a mixture of French and Piedmontese troops, with a hope for victory in favour of Piedmont. If this victory occurred, the Austrian territories in Northern Italy would join with Piedmont to form the Kingdom of Upper Italy. Cavour was successful in provoking a war with Austria in 1859 but things seemed doomed when Piedmont could only produce 20,000 men with Austria having an army of around 110,000. This is where Napoleon kept to his word, producing 200,000 soldiers, forming the majority of the army due to fight Austria. With French intervention, Austria seemed to worry after already being beaten at the battles of Magenta and Solferino.
During the 1905 revolution over (100 people were killed 300 and were wounded; as they fought for their civil liberties. The October Manifesto appeased all of the classes (peasants, middle and working class) by promising different liberties the classes were fighting for. By signing a peace treaty with Japan, the Tsar raised his troops morale and also he paid them what they were owned (back pay). Because the army was still loyal to the Tsar, he sent his troops to crush the opposition, this attracted more hatred toward the Tsar. It was clear that the Tsar had to clear the newly formed alliance between the classes; but even thought they never really worked together they were still deadly as a whole.
How far can Napoleon's military success from 1796-1800 be explained by the weaknesses of his opponents? A lot of Napoleon’s military success can be attributed to the weaknesses of his opponents but his own strengths and that of his men are a also a larger factor. From the years 1796-1800 Napoleons’ forces took part in 35 battles, the large majority of the battles were victories for the French. These battles were spread over the years occurred throughout: Egypt, Italy and, Syria. The success of the French troops can be based on many factors: Napoleon’s “new” - but very successful- way of making war, the superb commanders (Masséna and Augurea) Napoleon had underneath him and, the poor organisation and communication between his opponents.
This resulted in risings such as the Spartacist rising where communists fuelled by the success of the Russian revolution almost occupied nearly every major city in Germany. However, the Reichstag led by the SPD had stepped into a power that was left by the Kaiser, and as a result of this it had no real option but to accept the Versailles Treaty. The most irritating part for the German people was the to pay reparations to Britain and France. Germany's failure to pay her debt led to the invasion of the Ruhr, resulted in very little success for France but did succeed in the complete collapse of the German economy. This led to the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 Hitler aided by General Lundendorff and a few hundred supporters marched on the Munich town hall as a pretext to a national revolution, unfortunately for Hitler this attempt failed and he was sent to prison.
How did Napoleon become Emperor of France? Napoleon Bonaparte was not born into power, nor was he from a rich French family, but rather he hailed from Corsican aristocrat parents. A series of opportune circumstances combined with Napoleon’s own talent and ambition to take the best advantage of them was what catapulted his career. The French revolution upheavals greatly helped Napoleon’s career. He started as a general in the army and gained control over France in 1799.
However after Karakazov attempts to assassinate the Tsar in 1866, he becomes much more autocratic, revealing that he had no intention of significantly developing politics, his use of the Zemstvas were in fact to help sustain autocracy, through making local administration more efficient. It can be suggested from this that Alexander II had put the Zemstva Act in place to appease the nobles angered by the Emancipation Act. Alexander III was much more of a successful autocrat. His reactionary attitude led to the reversal of many of his father’s liberal reforms, and was in some cases angered by them. Alexander III re-implements Tsarist form, through the use of repression and terror.
Before the Emancipation of Serfs by Alexander II, peasants were tied to the land they tended so they couldn’t migrate and depopulate Russia. After they had been emancipated the peasants had to buy their land and spend almost the rest of their lives paying back redemption payments. The peasants first struck back at the Government by attacking their Landlords property. Some groups of peasants went as far as to chase down and kill their landlords and burn the property. These attacks were triggered by the spreading of terrorist acts from the towns and cities to the countryside.
War Communism was radical and involved the militarisation of Labour which was disliked by the people and made people focus purely on the needs of the war. This contrasts greatly with the First World War (WW1) because the Tsar didn’t militarise Labour completely and so the demand for supplies in WW1 couldn’t be met by the factories. Starvation was nothing new in Russia and during WW1 the supplies couldn’t reach the troops on the front line and so many soldiers had little to eat. With War Communism the majority of the food would be taken from a household to feed an army and the result was that Russians starved, this time the household starved and there was little incentive to grow more. War Communism was introduced as the focus of Lenin was on the military and getting supplies to the soldiers of Russia quickly.