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Napoleon's Lack Of Leadership Skills Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

During his life, Napoleon Bonaparte was a fantastic strategist and military leader. However, he made quite a few mistakes that led him to his fall from power. Through his catastrophic blunders, Napoleon brought about his own downfall. These mistakes included ostracizing France from the rest of Europe through his foreign policies, war mistakes, and oversights that occurred in his final years in power. Because of Napoleon’s errors, he exhausted France’s resources and reduced his allies. Because his political views destroyed France’s relationship with Europe, Napoleon had to over expand his forces to maintain control of Europe. At the end of his reign, Napoleon was left without support from anyone outside of France. However, he was still trying to claw back the power that he once had. “Believing as he did that what was good for Napoleon was good for France, and in turn good for conquered Europe as a whole, his wider Imperial vision became a natural extension of his personal dynastic ambition” (Napoleon Profiles in Power p.81). Because Napoleon thought that he was doing what was best for every single person, he ended up crippling his own empire while pursuing his own aspirations.
The foreign policies of Napoleon Bonaparte were one of the key factors that steered Napoleon to his fall. Some of his faulty foreign policies included creation of the German Confederation of the Rhine, terrible business deals in the American colonies, the Continental System, and placing his family members in positions of power. These policies severed France’s relationship with the other European states. If Napoleon created better policies, then he would have been able to collect allies and cling on to his power.
When Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the Holy Roman Empire, he created the German Confederation of the Rhine. By establishing the German Confederation of the Rhine, Napoleon infuriated the residents of the newly conquered territory. The rulers relied utterly on Napoleon himself. “The basic flaw in the structure was that it rested on foreign power, and could only last as long as this alien protection outweighed its domestic costs” (The Age of Napoleon p. 590). This was not as beautiful as it sounds, though. It ultimately failed Napoleon because the fusion of the previously separate principalities unified the German populous. Because of this unification, a sense of nationalism arose within the citizens of the confederation. Due to the dependency that the leaders of the confederation had on Napoleon, the population of the Rhine could not achieve their aspiration of a self-sustaining German country. As a consequence of the inability to achieve their ambition, a national resentment of their rulers and Napoleon developed throughout the nation. The confederation fell after the battle of Leipzig, and gradually, the people of Germany started to become the supervising portion of the government. By attempting to gain power, Napoleon ended...

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