I am constantly amazed at the ignorance of people as to the elite game which constantly rewrites history.
Wasn't Napoleon a product of the "Enlightenment" worse than 1800 Britain? I hear you on rewriting history. Most Americans don't realize the USSR won World War II; we were just saps/supporting players.
I think he was more moderate then his fellow Enlightenment types. I was always a fan.He was a deist modern ruler, no Christian king. That said, I think the British victors paint him as evil because he was another threat to their security: they never want a strong, united Europe, be it under France, Germany (Europe's natural leader, Russia actually being mostly in Asia, weakening them in the West; besides, Germans are famously smart), or Russia.
That's true. His religious views seem to have varied throughout his life.He was an unbeliever just like our Protestant founding fathers but unlike the original French revolutionaries, he put up with the church. Rather like a later wannabe, Mussolini, a red-diaper baby (born and raised leftist) who never believed, making peace with the church, being smart enough to respect Italians' long, deep love/hate relationship with it. By the way, Napoleon was Italian, Buonaparte, from Corsica (which should be in Italy or its own country, not French).
Here's an interesting take on Napoleon and Catholicism from Hilaire Belloc's "The Great Heresies." Belloc also wrote a pretty favorable biography of Napoleon himself.Nevertheless the truth remains that had Napoleon succeeded, the prepondering culture of Europe would have been Catholic. His empire intermarried with and allied to the ancient Catholic tradition of Austria, giving the church peace and ending the revolutionary dangers, would have given us a united and settled Europe, where, in spite of the very wide spread of rationalism in the wealthier classes, Europe as a whole would have returned to the Catholic tradition. Napoleon, however, just failed... through miscalculating his chances in the campaign in Russia.
I know he was. I've always liked him though, despite his rocky relationship with the church. My uncle introduced me to Napoleon and I've always been fascinated by him, I admit.Good points from Belloc; thanks. Just like how I wish Germany, Austria, and the Ottomans (!) won World War I. We would have a more peaceful, more Catholic world. (Exactly what Protestant Britain and Woodrow Wilson didn't want.) Rulers such as Napoleon often have no use for religion personally but are utilitarian about it politically; it keeps the proles well-behaved. Our Protestant founding fathers were the same way.
I care little what religion a person believes or not, as long as they govern me justly and wisely.The same reason I'm a supporter of only casually churchgoing Protestant Ron Paul.