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Posted: Nov 20 2011, 08:15 PM
Member No.: 5
Joined: 18-February 08
Everyone knows Napoleon and everyone has their own opinions regarding him. There is a great deal about Napoleon that people often overlook that spawned the creation of the modern era as we know it. Napoleon destroyed the decrepit Holy Roman Empire and reformatted it into a series of powerful states, states that would eventually come together to form the German Empire under Prussian Leadership creating Germany and therefore directly affecting European politics from the mid-18th century onward. The creation of the German State would simultaneously weaken the once powerful Austrian Empire, which had by the time of Napoleon been the fourth most powerful country in the world trailing behind only the British, Russians, and French. Austria's influence in Germany would not be the only thing damaged as Napoleon promoted nationalism inside the Italian peninsula which would in effect sign a death knell for Austrian control in Italy, though they would not lose it until the Brother's War. Other creations involve the recreation of the Polish state for the first time since partitions of Poland. This state would lead to a wave of nationalism inside of Poland, nationalism which Central Powers (bringing in those Germans again) would use create a Polish state. The Swiss Confederation, or Switzerland, would be partially Napoleon's doing as well. Not to mention Scandinavian politics which would have Norway go to Sweden and Finland join with Russia, Finland did not have a solid identity under the Swedes, but under the Russians their language and independent culture developed and thrived.
The effects were not limited towards Europe, Napoleon would sell the Louisiana purchase to the United States, a country that at the time was anti-imperialistic. Following the access of the Louisiana Purchase the concept of Manifest Destiny would gain new life and thrive pushing American interests further and further west eventually leading to the foundation of strongest nation in the world. Napoleon's actions against both Spain and Portugal would lead to the collapse of colonial rule in the Americas as the Spanish Empire disintegrated in civil strife and insurrections. Brazil's independence would be entirely related upon Portugal's courts fleeing to Brazil and elevating the colony to the status of a Kingdom.
Lastly we have the Napoleonic Code which is the basis of modern French law, which is the second most common basis of law in the world following English law.
What do you think of all of this?