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Archive for the 'World Civ-French Rev & Napoleon' Category

German Caricatures of Napoleon’s Army “In Shambles”

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

While Napoleon Bonaparte waged war across the continent in the early 19th century, European satirists living in countries threatened by his encroachments represented his progress in a flood of caricatures.

These prints, published in French-occupied Germany in 1813, depict a parade of ragged French soldiers. Some are mounted on sorry-looking horses, some are missing limbs, and most lack shoes and lean heavily on canes. Any semblance of military uniformity has dropped away, as the men appear swathed in rags and tatters.

After Napoleon’s ill-fated attempt to wage war on Russia in the summer of 1812, his army of half a million men suffered greatly—first from the heat, as the Russians withdrew inland and dragged the invading army along, and later from the winter snow and cold, as they retreated, pursued by the Russian forces. As Joe Knight wrote for Slate last year, the army was also plagued by lice, and large numbers of men died of typhus carried by the insects.

Napoleon… the theme park?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Plans are afoot to build a theme park based on the life and times of the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. Far from being the whim of a madcap entrepreneur, it is an entirely serious project with the backing of government, tourism officials and the Bonaparte family.

Short Sources on Napoleon

Thursday, February 28th, 2013






Advice (Not Taken) for the French Revolution from America

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

In 1789, at the onset of the French Revolution, that American model was France’s for the taking—she had helped pay for it, and Frenchmen had fought and died for it. When the French set about drafting a constitution and establishing unfamiliar political and judicial institutions, advice and wisdom from thoughtful Americans might have been highly useful. After all, the Americans had already drafted a Constitution, elected George Washington as their first president, and, in the summer of 1789, were in the process of framing a Bill of Rights.

But the tables quickly turned. The French had strong doubts about their sister revolution. Some believed they could improve upon what the Americans had done—maybe even surpass it.


Napoleon: The Good Soldier

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The New Yorkers’ Adam Gopnick’s take on Napoleon.

3 Landmark Enlightenment Documents

Monday, January 7th, 2013

United States’ Declaration of Independence (1776)

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789)

Declaration of the Rights of Women (1791)


Offer a thorough APPARTS analysis the document assigned to you. We will compare and contrast these landmark Enlightenment documents in class.

But did lice kill Napoleon’s quest for hegemony?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

History has taught us that Napoleon, in his invasion of Russia in 1812, marched into Moscow with his army largely intact and retreated only because the citizens of Moscow burned three-fourths of the city, depriving the army of food and supplies. The harsh Russian winter then devastated the army as it retreated. The Russians’ victory, commemorated by Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, was one of the great upsets of military history.

But did lice kill Napoleon’s quest for hegemony?

Lecture & Documents: The Congress of Vienna

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Here is my brief lecture which briefly discusses and assesses the Congress of Vienna

Four from Prince Klemens von Metternich:

The Carlsbad Decrees, 1819

Edmund Burke (1729-1797): Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1791, moderate length excerpts

The Napoleonic Experience

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Napoleon created a new form of government in France, reshaped the boundaries of Europe, and influenced revolutionaries and nationalists the world over. Since his first days in power he aroused controversies that continue today. Was he a true son of the Enlightenment who modernized French government and brought the message of equality under the law wherever he went? Or was he an authoritarian military dictator who fought incessant wars and conquered territory in order to maintain his egomaniacal grip on power? There is abundant evidence for both views. The evidence is presented here under three main headings: domestic policies; foreign policies and wars; and his legacy.

The Napoleonic Experience and Response Questions

How To Make a Revolution

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Every revolution is unique. But the men and women who brought down Slobodan Miloševi? are willing to show you how.

This article is excerpted from William J. Dobson’s book, The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy.