November 7, 2007 cameron

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #31 – The Hundred Days

Napoleon, separated from his wife and son (who had come under Austrian control), cut off from the allowance guaranteed to him by the Treaty of Fontainebleau, and aware of rumours that he was about to be banished to a remote island in the Atlantic, escaped from Elba on 26 February 1815 and returned to the French mainland on 1 March 1815. Thus began “The Hundred Days”.

Return as Caesar

Retour de Isle d'Elbe
The Route Napoleon

 

This show is based on David’s book “Napoleon For Dummies”. Click on the image below to purchase a copy!

 

 

 

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Comments (33)

  1. Michael

    Andrew has it right – truly the “Greatest Story Ever Told”…as Rod Steiger said in Waterloo: “If only fate hadn’t been more discriminating”…how history would have been changed.
    Another great episode gentlemen…

  2. Cameron

    Seems to be there when I just checked Austin. Anyone else having problems seeing #31 in iTunes?

  3. Antonio

    It’s sadly funny how I have a completely different perspective about what should have been done to Napoleon’s after his defeat. Instead of sending him to Elba, I would suggest a trial for crimes commited against civilians in Portugal and Spain, subjected to the death penalty.

    On a different level, I would remind everyone that Napoleon placed his own brothers and generals on the throne of every country he could, so I wouldn’t go very far critizising Louis’s lack of legitimacy or how indignantly his “Majesty the Emperor” was treated by the Allies who defeated him.

    Antonio

    Lisbon, Portugal

  4. Nick

    Another outstanding episode!

    I remember renting the movie ‘Waterloo’ while I was writing a paper on Napoleon when I was in the 8th or 9th grade and really enjoying it. I think I became a big fan of Napoleon around this time, when we learned about him in school – a clear example of how American schools, unlike those in Commonwealth countries, treat Napoleon as a relatively positive character. This makes sense since we learn about the ‘evil’ British we defeated in our Revolution and then “defeated” again (at least according to most of our textbooks) in the War of 1812. Since Napoleon was fighting our enemies the British, as the French had also done during the Revolutionary War, we tend to like him – or at worst feel neutral about him. It’s really interesting to see how history is taught so differently in other countries and huge impact it can have on a person’s views and overall world outlook.

    Getting back to the movie, I remember Rod Steiger added a great touch to ‘humanize’ Napoleon, by constantly clasping and un-clasping his hands behind his back, when he was worried or concerned about something – such as during the voyage from Elba and the battle itself. I also thought the battle of Waterloo was staged very well, with the British infantry squares and the repeated French cavalry charges being forced to go around them.

    I know I’m writing too much, but there was an interesting Napoleon movie I saw a few years ago I thought I’d mention in case no one has seen it b/c I’m pretty sure it went straight to video and TV. It’s a fictional tale from 2001 called “The Emperor’s New Clothes” w/ Ian Holm as Napoleon. In it, Napoleon makes another escape – this time from St. Helena, w/ the help of a look-alike (also played by Holm) who stays behind, to keep the Brits in the dark. I wouldn’t highly recommend the film, since it depicts Napoleon’s attempts to re-take the throne running into comedic problems, and he is forced to live as an ‘ordinary civilian’ for most of the film – but it does have its moments, and it’s interesting, but pretty depressing, to see Napoleon as a mere commoner with the Emperor in him trying to get out. just thought I’d share.

    anyway, sorry for writing such a long post.

    – Nick

  5. Cameron

    Antonio, let’s not forget that Napoleon was invited into Spain by the current King who had lost complete control of his own family and empire. And his ‘crimes’ against the civilians have to be seen in light of the terrorism committed against Napoleon’s perhaps legitimate (in light of the previously mentioned invitation) occupying forces by the guerrillas. Portugal is another matter as we discussed in our Iberian episode. His occupation of Portugal wasn’t quite as legitimate (he wasn’t invited) but was a legitimate military action by Clausewitzian standards.

    Napoleon did make his siblings and marshals kings, but it’s quite different to Louis 18. Napoleon had beaten his enemies in battles started by them and was completely within his rights to determine who should govern the countries he defeated. Louis 18 never battled the French. He had others do it for him. But your point is well made. Napoleon faced the same problems of legitimacy in Sapin with Joseph on the throne. Regardless of his invitation by the Bourbon king, the people didn’t want Joseph on the throne and so it caused an endless series of problems.

  6. Cameron

    Nick, thanks for the comment! I haven’t yet seen the Holm film and it’s had mixed reviews, but I’ll try to find it on DVD and give it a look based on your recommendation!

  7. Nicholas Stark

    Cameron, I have also seen the Holm film, and it was a pretty funny historically based movie; I’d say it would be worth renting. I do have a question, however: has anyone here purchased Schoenberg:Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte? I saw it on Amazon.com, and I wanted to get an idea as to whether it was worth while.

  8. David

    Great episode as usual,keep up the good work.
    I have been an avid listener since a couple of months and always wait impatiently for the next episode.

    I’d also like to recomend an interesting movie in somewhat the same vein as the Ian Holmes one.It also deals with a supposed escape from st Helena but treats the subject in a more serious way.
    Especialy moving is the openingscene in 1840 that shows the exhumation of l’Empereur,brought a tear to my eye…
    It’s called ‘Monsieur N.’

  9. Nicholas Stark

    Oh yes, that was a touching scene with the exhumation! One of the very few times a movie has ever brought me to tears! It’s also interesting for those who love the French language, as all the French officers and most of the British ones speak French with English subtitles. Highly reccomended!

  10. Antonio,

    For starters, the ‘crimes’ of which you speak were committed when Napoleon wasn’t even in the country, and he certainly didn’t order them to be done. But tell you what, we’ll consider putting the French soldiers on trial right after you try, convict and execute those Iberian ‘patriots’ who committed unspeakable crimes against humanity in fighting the French. Neither side was completely free of guilt in Iberia, but lets at least try to be objective and recognize that both sides share guilt. And again, show me evidence that Napoleon ordered, much less committed, any crimes. As Cameron pointed out, he had been invited. And, by the way, the Spanish would have been far better off under an enlightened rule based on the principles of the French Revolution and the Code Napoléon rather than a corrupt rule based on the Inquisition. But I understand that you have a different reaction to Napoleon, and that’s fine. He isn’t popular in Iberia, even though he was a progressive force in a reactionary world.

    Thanks to all for your nice comments. Cameron and I really enjoyed doing this show. The 100 Days will probably take two more.

    I remember enjoying ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as ‘Waterloo.’ Monsieur N is supposed to be outstanding, but I’ve not seen it yet.

    Cheers,

    David

  11. Hello Mr. David Markham

    I will not say just good things, so (in case you don’t read this message until it’s end, I recommend you to see the photos I am offering you, in attachment to this text)

    [Note: I can only send you 3 of the many photos I have as attachments to mail. I will use the SendThisFile service to send you the rest, in a compacted ZIP file. I hope you enjoy. Se my next mail with the link for the download.]

    I want to say you that I adore your TPN Show (The Napoleon Podcast).

    There is one thing, tough, that I am a bit sad about. I would like to get the impression that when I listen to you talking about this or that napoleonic campaign, the broader picture is passed, and not only the perspective of Napoleon, the men (no matter how great we may think he was).

    Let me explain a bit: I live in Porto (sometimes called Oporto, for commercial reasons: it’s easier for English-speakers to pronounce the name this way, and the UK is an old partner in the diffusion of the Oporto Wine). By the way, I can not escape recommending you the wonderful “medicine” produced in the margins of Douro…

    Here in Porto, we are preparing ourselves to mark the 200 years of a very sad episode in this city history: the second French Invasion, that saw the dead of many hundreds (many sources mencion 4000) civilian, mainly women and childreen.

    Don’t take my word for it: search for “Tragédia da Ponde das Barcas” or “Bridge of Boats Tragedy” in 1809…

    When I started listening to your podcasts about the Penninsula War, I was expecting to hear something about this episode, but nothing was mentioned… one gets the impression that maybe the same has append many times in almost any country Napoleon touched… but that doesn’t seem relevant for you to mention.

    I love the epoch in witch Napoleon lived: I am very keen to the history of the late 18th century and specially the beginnings of the 19th. It is the Romantic Era, and I have had a “romantic” view of those times, until I stumbled with the real history of those ears…

    Even if I recognize that the French Revolution was very, very important for the world, we may not forget that, as you say many times, we don’t know what would have happen if something or someone was different in the past… but we do know that Napoleon sacrificed many of the ideals of the Revolution, and it wasn’t even worth it, because his strategy culminated in the Vienna Congress imposing a conservative order in Europe for many, many years…

    All of that at the expense of so many deads…

    I hope you join me in a paragraph of tribute and respect for all of those who perished or suffered, from the people of my City, to the soldiers of my Country, but also to the young men of France who served as “Cannon Flesh” for the ambitions and the glory of a single men… I respect them most than I respect Napoleon.

    But thank you very much for your show, that despite what I said, I love very much, and teaches me many things I didn’t know.

    Best regards,

    Luís Cunha, Porto, Portugal

    This link is also helpful:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11706/11706-h/11706-h.htm

  12. Antonio

    David Markham,

    Well, as far as I know, nobody invited him into Portugal, as your undoubtelly know. And let me remind you that the Portuguese regular army behaved in a humane way when invading southern France .

    I find your point of view a bit disturbing. It seems that, before bringing any French soldier to trial, you would prefer to execute “the patriots” who dared to defend their own occupied country the best way they could.

    I personnally disagree with anyone who invades my home (with the pretext of being a revolutionary force) and accuses me of being cruel if I try to expel the invader from my own house. I also have the conviction that the Spanish were best qualified to decide what they prefer by themselves. But then again, that’s just my opinion and I can also undertand people who obviously think differently.

    And I can always try to excuse Napoleon by saying that he wasn’t there, that he didn’t knew what was going on or that he personally didn’t murdered anyone. But he was the Emperor, he certainly knew what was going on and he was the ultimate responsible for his army behaviour. Shouldn’t that be enough for a trial?

    Thank you for the last episode. Can I also suggest to include in the final episode some material about the congress of Vienna and the state of Europe after the defeat of Napoleon? And what do you think about Zamoisky’s latest book about the congress of Vienna?

    Antonio

  13. Michael

    I look at the entire Peninsular War situation in this way:

    Regardless of Napoleon’s pretexts for the invasion of Portugal, in the end it was a completely unnecessary and disastrous military campaign for France as well as the benefits of the French Revolution and Napoleonic rule. Whether you agree with Napoleon’s ultimate motives or not, whether you see his “invitation” from the Spanish king as legitimate or not, these are all debatable issues…however, war crimes and atrocities were committed on both sides. The Portuguese had a right to defend their land, homes, wives, children, religion, way of life, etc…however some guerilla groups used barbaric tactics in doing so. Does this mean every Portuguese subject or soldier was acting in this way? No, of course not.

    The same can be said for the French and their allies. I do not personally believe Napoleon ordered atrocities to be committed. I do believe he ordered executions and towns to be raised to the ground. What we have to do here though, is look at these events from the perspectives of the early 19th century, NOT our 21st century outlook on life, where EVERY action in war must be looked upon, overexamined, and put under a microscope., and someone always had to be blamed – it is WAR, and bad things always happen in war. We must instead learn from mistakes and honor the bravery of the dead and those who fought on both sides.

    Similar atrocities took place in Calabria and other parts of Italy at various times (although Italy was an example of a much more positive result of Napoleonic rule).
    In the end were Napoleon’s intentions good? I have mixed feelings. Although I believe he sought to bring the benefits of “enlightened” rule to Iberia, I believe IMPOSING those ideals on people not ready for them results in disaster. (i.e. the current situation in Iraq – and this is coming from someone, whom as Cameron well knows, is an ardent American nationalist, member of the military, and supporter of the Iraq War from the beginning, but that is another issue).
    In the end, Napoleon’s subborness and vanity as well as the utterly illogical ultra-conservative and reactionary Church on the other side in Spain, resulted in tragedy.

    I guess all I am trying to say is that both sides had good and bad points during the Peninsular War. I believe it could have been solved in a much more productive manner, if not for those MEDDLING BRITISH! 🙂

  14. Fellow discussion partners:

    Hello!

    I wish to say that my last post (gratefully published here), had first been a mail sent privately to Mr. Markham.

    I am sorry for the many typos of that message that was written in a rush…

    The photos I refer can be found on a Web Site that I made, but that unfortunately isn’t yet available via Google search…

    The link is:

    http://ninfoc.pt.googlepages.com/napoleonicforcesinoporto

    There you can find many photos and some hard-to-find material of this period.

    Best regards, and PLEASE, keep the good work.

    THANK YOU, Cameron and Mr. Markham!

    Luís Cunha

  15. Simon Foster

    I had to pop down to London for a couple of days over the weekend and took the chance to visit Apsley House. It was a marvelous experiance as I didn’t realise how many Napoleonic artefacts the Duke had in his collection.

    It was a funny feeling for me being English I have course grown up with the name of Wellington firmly placed within the brain but now(thanks to Mr Markham and Mr Reilly) I am an A1 Napoleon geek. It is like the scene in Animal House where Belushi has the Angel and Devil on each shoulder I am torn between two great men with my brain feeling it should pledge itself to one or the other but my heart with both.

    The transformation I have undergone in the past year is scary from starting of thinking of Boney as the French dictator, to maybe this guy had some good ideas and then finally WHAT THE HELL WERE THE REST OF EUROPE THINKING OVERTHROWING HIM.

    I still love the Duke of Wellington and after seeing his house and reading about him it seems he had the greatest respect for Napoleon than anyone else. There are portaits of Napoleon the colossal nude statue by Cavona and Napoleons Death mask (quite a thrilling and emotional experiance looking at the face of the emporer)

    Both were men doing what they thought was right for there country at that time and its such a shame that most Wars seem to be driven with that factor.

    Its my belief that peace in Europe would have benefited everyone but alas they all fought to preserve monarchies that are little more than tourist attraction these days.

    I think if peace had lasted then the two men could have been great friends entertaining each other discussing Ceaser and Alexander and debating Military tactics well into Old age.

  16. Luís Cunha

    Sir David Markham and Cameron:

    I can’t believe Markham said, in an answer to Antonio:

    “He isn’t popular in Iberia, even though he was a progressive force in a reactionary world.”

    HEY! What is this? Where you referring to those times, or now? (you use “isn’t”…).

    Calm down Sire!…

    You see, the same people in my city that perish while fighting Napoleon DID start a liberal revolution in the 1820s, against an absolute Monarch… the extreme French absolutism lead the French People to rebel first, but Portuguese didn’t need the French to come here and do things for us… no People does. I would say that is a certain America’s vision of the world… (I like the US very much, don’t get fooled by this commentary).

    In 1911 the Portuguese People made a Republican Revolution that established a laic and progressive regime (since then our politicians don’t address national or international issues using “God” in their discourse… Bush anyone?)

    That regime degenerated in a woeful dictatorship that lasted until 1974.

    My father, for instance was several times arrested and spend a lot of time (years) in Prison, was spanked, and so on, because he OPPOSED THE REGIME, like so many others.

    And then, in 1974, THE PEOPLE, AGAIN, made a Revolution (NOT A BULLET WAS SHOT, except a few by the Regime forces…). People like my father remained relatively anonymous, but they were the ones that prepared the revolution, and made the revolution prosper. Not so much one or another person that the PEOPLE agreed to symbolize THEIR (i.e. THE PEOPLE’s will).

    Do you want a MORE RECENT EXAMPLE OF “NAPOLEONIC” HEROISM of the type you mention (the episode in which Napoleon paraded in front of his soldiers) ?

    Here is Captain Salgueiro Maia, while disputing the control of Lisbon, during the April’s Revolution (THIS STORY IS REAL, AND PROBABLY MUCH MORE ACCURATE THAN WHAT WE KNOW OF THE NAPOLEON’S SIMILAR EPISODE):

    Some more of the April Revolution (I think Cameron will particularly like it: the music in the background passed on the radio, and was the signal to the troops to start rebelling; two other attempts had been recently tried and severely crunched… there was always someone to try again… RIP Napoleon…):

    It wasn’t all Napoleon. It was the People. It was History. Like always.

    Another thing:

    I am Portuguese. My country has an history that goes back to 1100s… In general, we consider ourselves “brothers” of Spain, but each brother has to be respected in its individuality… The term “Iberia” is reductionism and simplistic.

    Even so, I remind you that Spain was the stage where one of the most progressive republican regimes was attempted, and that during the Spanish Civil War, all consistent and courageous progressists of the day went there to fight against Germany’s and Italy’s supported Franco… that was trying to destroy what THE SPANISH PEOPLE wanted to construct.

    I will continue to listen to your show. You see, I think you are a hell of a teacher. And a hell of a communicator. I find myself not agreeing with you 80% of the time. I which you were not so “the great Napoleon”-centric… But then it wouldn’t be The Napoleon Podcast…

    Sheers

    (P.S. That’s it! I will be quite now! … But I had to say it…)

  17. Simon,

    Nice to hear that we have some influence! I’m not one who would say Wellington was anywhere near the equal of Napoleon, but I do respect him. You are right about the madness of overthrowing, as opposed to establishing peace with, Napoleon.

    As to Apsley House, I agree that it is a really nice place to visit, and a ‘must see’ for anyone interested in this period, regardless of whose side you are on. Wish I’d known you were going there, as I’d have asked you to grab the dining table centerpiece and make a run for it! 🙂 That is perhaps the most impressive item in the house.

    And, of course, there is great irony that Wellington’s home is as noted for its Napoleonic artifacts as much as anything else, AND that it is the home of a giant nude statue of the Emperor. I imagine they are BOTH turning over in their graves with that one!

    You are probably right about the two becoming friends in different circumstances.

    Luís, thank you very much for sharing the photo with us. I don’t know much about the action in Porto, but am always glad to see people preserving the memory of such events, regardless of which side did what. I remember accompanying some Russians, including general officers and a French general, in ceremonies at Borodino, and we saluted monuments to the soldiers of both sides. That is the way it should be.

    Finally, be assured, Michael, that you will get no argument from me on the meddling British! 😉

    Best to one and all,

    David

  18. Sean

    Hello everyone. I just wanted to take the time to say thanks for these great pod cast. I work outside by myself and the pod cast heve made very long summer days more tolerable. I am a big fan of most things history and find Napoleon to be one of the most fantastic characters in history.

  19. Great podcast guys – the pace is just right.

    Luis, I think it is becoming more common to refer to your city as Porto here in the UK. I learnt at school that its name was O Porto, meaning the port in Portuguese and that English traders heard it as one word hence the English name for it.

    I think that Luis and Antonio should get together and do a podcast on Portuguese history. I think of all the countries in the World, Portugal is the one that has punched highest above its weight. It is not only a very small country, but a small country with very few natural resources. How it came to have an influence all around the globe must be a fascinating story. When I first visited Lisbon I was amazed at just how imperial the place looked.

    I don’t think that there can be any justification for Napoleon’s actions in the Iberian peninsular. The invitation from the Bourbons was a flimsy excuse for aggression. There wasn’t even a flimsy excuse to intervene in Portugal. Portugal was at the time as it still is today Britain’s oldest ally. Napoleon’s motive was to restrict the trade between two countries over whom he had no authority. The trade was important to both countries and it was obvious that they would fight to protect it. If that doesn’t make Napoleon a warmonger I don’t know what does.

    I missed out on a business trip to Oporto last year – I must make the effort to visit it soon.

  20. Emmanuel

    Incidentally, has anyone here seen the docudrama the BBC broadcast a few days ago about the life of the young Napoleon? I am not a Napoleon admirer, but even to me it seemed to be a bit over the top — it seemed to start with the young Bonaparte (an unshaven lout in an ill-fitting uniform) stealing the dress from the street of a woman who had just been guillotined. And it went downhill from there, apparently.

    But I did not see more than its beginning as it crossed the limits of my tolerance rather quickly. Was someone able to stomach it all?

  21. Emmanuel,

    I came in and caught the second half of it. I thought it captured the atmosphere of revolutionary France rather well. Napoleon was well played, but I don’t think he was an accurate representation. He was hesistant and full of doubt before taking action – which made for good drama. I suspect that even at that age (it was set during the siege of Toulon) Napoleon would have been confident and even cocksure about his own abilities.

  22. Luís Cunha

    Thanks for the suggestion, Colin. And for the information regarding the way the name of my City is taught there.

    Portugal and Britain have a long historical alliance. Porto is considered the most “British” of the Portuguese towns, and that is one of the reasons I like it so much. I was not born here, but I decided to come to Porto to study, and here I stayed since (1991).

    This place has a character of its own… and the people are superb… really. I lived in other places in Portugal, but Porto is unique…

    I wish I had the time… Sorry for my typos: I am amazed how I let so many of them pass…

    To Markham and Cameron I wish to say that I used uppercase in my post to emphasize, not meaning to be rude. Now I would put it all in lower case, I was trying to select parts of the text, in order to make a point.

    This is a great show.

  23. andrew

    Re: “Napoleon had beaten his enemies in battles started by them and was completely within his rights to determine who should govern the countries he defeated. ”

    I normally totally agree with Cameron but have to say I disagree with this statement. I think it betrays double-standards – you quite rightly say the Allies had no right to restore Louis 18 after defeating Napoleon, but seem to imply Napoleon’s victories gave him the right to impose his own family members on other countries without their consent. Surely an untenable argument!

  24. Cameron Reilly

    Hold on a second Andrew, to be fair, there are some pretty big differences between Napoleon’s actions and those of the Allies.

    And let me start by saying again, as I have on the show in the past, that I think Napoleon’s penchant for nepotism was a huge mistake. And while I think the Allies had the “right” to create regime change, I’m just wondering why they chose to put a Bourbon back on the throne. Keep in mind is that France had been through a revolution. The people had decided they didn’t want the Bourbon monarchy any longer. And the Allies had always claimed their problem was with Napoleon, not with the French people. To put a Bourbon back on the throne under those circumstances was a display of complete arrogance.

    Napoleon rarely attempted regime change. When he repeatedly defeated Austria, Prussia, Russia – did he attempt regime change? No.

    Let’s look at the circumstances again of the places where Napoleon created a king.

    In Spain, King Charles IV abdicated.

    Napoleon created Holland as a new country for Louis.

    Westphalia was created for Jerome.

    And Ferdinand fled Sicily, thereby abdicating the throne.

    So, as you can see, whilst I think, in retrospect, Napoleon’s brother’s weren’t always good choices, the circumstances were quite different in my opinion.

  25. Mike

    David & Michael

    Of course, Britain saw the peninsular war as a stage on which they could fight the French.
    Presumably the British troops were welcomed by the natives of Spain and Portugal in their effort to expel the French. I’ve read that deputations were sent to
    Britain to request support.

    Also Portugal and Britain then (and still) have a treaty of alliance and mutual support.

    So Britain was no more ‘meddling’ than Napoleon.

    Anyway having got that off my chest thanks again David
    & Cameron for a great show.

    Luís,

    Thanks for letting me know about the use of the word ‘Iberia’. Is it generally disliked by Portuguese and Spanish?
    Also thank you for your insight into the history of Porto.

    Mike

  26. Antonio

    Dear friends,

    After trying to play the neutrality card for a while, Portugal was forced to ask for the support of Britain due to the actions of Spain and France (Napoleon issued an ultimatum “ordering” to close our ports to trade with Britsh ships, knowing in advance that we wouldn’t accept its terms).

    Against these two great European powers, that agreed to invade and divide our nation between themselves, who, but not our oldest ally, could we count to help us?

    In my opinion, trying to treat French and British interference as equal is factually unsuported, just as it is dubious to treat French agression and popular self defense on the same level, as it implies that both had the same legitimacy and, therefore, none is actually responsable for an unprovoked agression.

    Antonio

  27. Luís Cunha

    I don’t quite know how “Iberia” sounds to someone from Spain. It’s a fact that an important airline company in Spain is called precisely Iberia, but I think that is a way of attracting clients using geographic connotations.

    In Portugal, we don’t recognize the term “Iberia” as descriptive of our Country’s relation to our neighbour or the world. When we use it, we say “Peninsula Ibérica”, in order to refer to the physical geography of this part of Europe, but seldom with any vestiges of political or cultural unity…

    That said, I grew up near the border with Spain, and I saw a lot of Spanish Children TV programs. I have always liked Spain very much, and that feeling as grown since then, as I come to know that Country more. But than again, my love for Portugal and for Porto as grown also…

    I myself don’t feel any discomfort with the term “Spain”, as the majority of Spain’s citizens (I think). But the political situation in Spain is complex, and there are internal nationalisms that where severely reproached during the fascist regime that rule the Country until the 70s. Before fascists came to power the autonomy of Catalunia, Pais Basco, Galicia, was being enhanced, and the situation in places like Pais Basco and Catalunia is still very problematic. Spain is a territory of diversity, and its People are grandiose (really: Spanish culture is amazing… search for “Flamengo dance” in you tube, as an example). To get an idea of how complex an unsettled the situation in Spain is, I heard yesterday a TV political commentator saying that the autonomy of Kosovo could have a major impact in other regions of Europe, including Spain, for its internal nationalisms…

    For an example of Spanish (Andalucia) culture, see

    or

    To distinguish, and as examples of Portuguese culture, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7X6bP7aiTI
    or

    Politicians have to respect People’s self-determination… I love Spain, but I wish all the people of that Country could feel as comfortable being Spanish as I am comfortable being Portuguese. And I think that for that to happen it is necessary that they feel the Spanish State truly represents them and respects their desire to be recognized. Democracy as got to be trusted. We don’t need Napoleons (he established a Dictatorship and an Imperium, don’t heard of them implementing democracies… and it wasn’t a matter of Historical time… America was in that road already…). We need confidence in Democratic regimes.

    I am a pacifist. But there’s respect. I wonder what I would do to restore my Country’s integrity if Napoleon had divided it has he intended… I can assure you of one thing: the comfort I have in my nationality status would certainly be there. And that is what happens when individuals try to decide how Countries should be made…

    But for the situation of Spain, it’s better to be a Spanish to speak. This is just a personal and foreign perspective. This kind of perspective can also be useful, though.

    To know more about Porto and Portugal at the time of Napoleon, you can search Wikipedia, but the following direct links can be very useful:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Porto
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Porto
    http://www.peninsularwar.org/porto.htm
    http://www.manorhouses.com/hotels/porto-douro/oporto-pestana-porto.html
    http://ninfoc.pt.googlepages.com/napoleonicforcesinoporto

    I hope you find this information useful.

    Luís

  28. Luís Cunha

    When I said:
    I am a pacifist. But there’s respect. I wonder what I would do to restore my Country’s integrity if Napoleon had divided it has he intended… I can assure you of one thing: the comfort I have in my nationality status would certainly be there. And that is what happens when individuals try to decide how Countries should be made…

    I obviously meant:
    (…) the comfort I have in my nationality status would certainly NOT be there. And that is what happens when individuals try to decide how Countries should be made… (…)

    NOT, of course…

  29. Anthony

    Gentlemen,
    What a great podcast.
    I have to make a comment, the kingdoms that were created by Napoleon, were in fact a consequence of the break up of the Holy Roman Empire, and the only way to give legitemacy to the new fledgling states formed was to place a ruler who would be supported very clearly by the French.
    Placing his brothers on the the throne was maybe a mistake, but it cleraly ensured the independence of these new states.
    As was stated Austria was defeated only to often, but the King was not replaced, however the seed of reform was made in all those new states, and indeed they were the start of the New Europe and the new age of enlightenment.

    The fact of the matter was that the monarchy and aristocracy throughout Europe were threatened by the new age of enligthenement, and would do anything to maintain their God given right to rule however they wanted and maintain Europe in the Middle ages.

    The Bourbons could not stay in power long, the God Given right of his Holy Majesty Louis XVIII was the power invested by the church, fosterd by superstition, and tradition, which only served the minority. The Monarcrchy and aristocracy related to other monarchs more closely than their subjects and lived in pure luxury on the backs of a feudal system. The revolution brought that to an end, ( I think personally that it was an age of European enlightenment) and the seeds of revolution equality, fraternity identified in the American Revoltion grew in France.

    The Revolution was undermined continuously from within and by war, by the European monarchies (financed continuously by England who controlled world trade and the seas, and got the feudal serfs of Austria, Prussia and Russia to die for their monarchs right to maintain the feudal system) and was on the edge of complete and utter chaos and complete failure before Napoleon took up the war cry. He did defeat his enemies, yes, many valiant men died for the cause and indeed in defending their monarchs.

    Was the English Monarchy an legitimate enemy of France, yes, was Portugese monarchy a legitmate enemy of France, yes. It was the only way France could respond to the all powerful British Fleet, and to eventually create a long lasting peace which Napoleon strived for. After all if England could not be brought ti the table, war would continue as long as there were serfs obliged to dioe for their monarchs. The European Monarchies however were broke, only British Gold would allow them to try and destry the Revolution and or the Republic.

    Is the world a better place because Napoleon came to power, well he changed the world irrevocably. Many men women and children died in the process, of course peace would have been better, had Napoleon not emerged to lead the revolution, Europe would have re-established the monarchy in France, and Feudalism would have continued many more years in the whole of Europe.

    Napoleons non military successes in France in the few short years of peace, are a masterpiece unfinished maybe, but he always stated they were his greatest accomplishments.

    I leave the verdict to everyone own idealism, however I ask one question, where would you prefer to be, in a feudal state, (of course if you were an aristocrat), or in a world of opportunity where talent and the spirit of man can make a difference. That I believe is the question we must all ask ourselves.

    We see the third world all around us, where the 5% “aristocratic” minority control 95% of their countries wealth, a small “professional” middle class and absolute poverty and servitude (with no opportunities) by the remainder of the population, that is the equivalent of the feudal society of the 19C.

    I leave the conclusion to you.

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