Posted by John W on April 20, 1998 at 19:10:58:
In response to Napoleonic Code, written by Caroline on April 20, 1998 at 12:32:46
Napoleon always had his admirers in England, rather as the freedom lovers of the more recent Left became 'useful idiots' for Stalin and Brezhnev, but the majority of informed people regarded him as a tyrant and a murderer--cf Enghien, Toussaint, the massacre at Acre. The revolutionary armies plundered Europe in the name of the Revolution, and Napoleon tried to rivet French hegemony by appointing his relations and colleaguesas hereditary rulers. In a number of cases, such as Sweden and Holland, these, to their credit, decided to put the interests of their new countries first--and Napoleon removed them where he could. His reign was one of bad faith and dishonesty, under a thin cover of systematic modernisation. In fact, even in France, the centralising regime he instituted, completing the project of the absolute monarchs of the Ancien Regime, combined with the tendency of the French to follow the nearest mountebank on a white horse, has led to the disastrous history of France over the last century. Cultural achievemant is no substitute for a healthy civic society, and the endemic corruption of France keeps bursting out--the latest boil being Le Pen.
- Hardly Ken 08:24:13 4/21/98 (3)
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