Why Is Napoleon Seen as a Villain Historically?
Napoleon is the most mysterious and contradicting figure in world’s history. A person that is spoken about for centuries. Thousands of scientists argue about him; artists still draw his portraits. What role had he played in the development of humanity? Is he really a villain? Millions of people that suffered from his invasion would agree, that he was pure evil and a great number of scientists would support that idea. But there are also a lot of researches that claim Napoleon Bonaparte one of the master tacticians and military geniuses.
I agree that he was a genius, but for sure evil genius. Let’s start the analysis of Napoleon as a villain. He was a student in Military school and even there, where strict rules were the main source of discipline, he recommended himself as a haughty and freakish student.
In 1792 he was enlisted in National Guards, which was lead by moderate revolutionist marquis Lafayette and Napoleon was chosen as a lieutenant colonel. But it was the too low title for him. He used different forcing ways and threatening to become the commander of National Guard’s battalion. From that time he started his career as a tyrant, as soon as he understood that force and strength would lead him to the victory.
Then goes the period of Revolutions, when a low-brown and low-minded tyrant was permitted to rule with the rod of the most frightful despotism people, whose anxiety for liberty had shortly before rendered them unable to endure the rule of a humane and lawful sovereign. (Sir Walter Scott 1839). And Napoleon rose as an emperor and hungry-power tyrant. Having self-crowned himself as ruler, Napoleon claimed himself as a protector of principles and rules established by the French Revolution (McLynn 2009). Whether Napoleon saved or suppressed the progress made from the French Revolution is a debatable question. If his ego and personal agenda had not overtaken him, he might have been one of France’s greatest revolutionary leaders ever (in sustaining its principles that is).
In the end, Napoleon was regarded by almost all of Europe as a dictator and tyrant. It is hard to say he aided revolutionary idea progress when he himself abolished many of its principles and reestablished a monarchy himself. How a person can not be called a villain, if he planned to invade Russia, to defeat the 1st and 2nd Western armies. Also, Napoleon wanted to dictate in St. Petersburg. He was then planned to defeat the United Kingdom after which Napoleon would receive the real domination in the world.
Frank McLynn “Heroes & Villains: Inside the Minds of the Greatest Warriors in History,” Random House, 2009.
Sir Walter Scott “The Life of Napoleon,” E.L. Carey and A. Hart, 1839.