History vs. Napoleon Bonaparte – Alex Gendler

Look at total lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/history-vs-napoleon-bonaparte-alex-gendler

Right after the French Revolution erupted in 1789, Europe was thrown into chaos. Neighboring countries’ monarchs feared they would share the fate of Louis XVI and attacked the new Republic, though at house, extremism and mistrust in between factions led to bloodshed. In the midst of all this conflict, Napoleon emerged. But did he conserve the revolution, or destroy it? Alex Gendler puts Napoleon on trial.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Brett Underhill.


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37 thoughts on “History vs. Napoleon Bonaparte – Alex Gendler

  1. I feel like the pro-Napoleon camp has the last word… Of course, you had to cut some parts of history to make it into a short video format, but, you went to fast on the Revolution. The reign of Terror wasn't Robespierre's, it wasn't even Jacobins'. You have to understand that a desperate time calls for desperate measures : France was invaded from all parts, it had the Vendée war raging in the West while the Prussian and Austrian army were pushing East. To maintain the Revolution alive, the Terror was justified (although its excesses are not). Also, the Directory was indeed a time of great political trouble, it was also a time of great democratic innovations (for example, the double ballot, "for" and "against"). The arrival of Bonaparte at the head of state was due to the fear of an "extreme-center" (look it up, very interesting concept) of seeing the neo-jacobins, with Antonelle and Le Peletier getting a majority in the chambers. Those neo-jacobins were also called "républicains-démocrates", and were opposed to Bonaparte.
    When he seized power, Bonaparte faked to preserve the legacy of the Revolution by giving a bit of it, to take most off. There were no elections (almost none, and most of them were rigged), the referendums were all under his control, he had his own papers doing his propaganda and forbidding every other ones…
    In my mind, it's a good video, but I felt like it was too "napoleonic" and I felt like reestablishing the balance 🙂

  2. Mu god, only the western moral view, be more pragmatic. It isnt ironic, it was the only way to bring stable change. If all of a sudden the middle east is a democracy and bo dictoahip, their will be incompetent and chaos everywhere. Lybia and Iraq is already somehow contained and still chaos. Thats only and avant gout of chaos. Of course, Napoleon have to have an thirdt for power to achieve what he achieve or it will fail.

  3. "Should we thank him for he rise of Nationalism, and Huge Armies?" …Yes? Why wouldn't you? There is nothing wrong with being proud of your nation, and if you can support a big army to defend yourself, then why not?

  4. I think they forget who is the beat Napoleon's Army first time. Question answer is Ottoman Nizam-ı Cedit Army with Cezzar Ahmet Pasha. It musnt forget for Europen advocacy. I think Alex Gendler's history information so bad.

  5. He was a strong leader, he put France on the map and France was a economic power house and was one of the most powerful European power. But than invades Russia and fails.

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