Napoleon's Lack of Leadership Skills

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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 Bonapar... ... middle of paper ... ...oleon imparted Sweden and Norway to Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who was a general who supported Napoleon. Bernadotte was a capable ruler and retained his power. In spite of Napoleon appointing him, Bernadotte mutinied against Napoleon, and he clashed with Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. “The family plan did not work, partly because it was not founded on the needs of the people ruled, and partly because everyone of the rulers was an individualist…” (The Age of Napoleon p. 221) Works Cited 1. Geoffrey Ellis, Napoleon Profiles in Power, Longman (2000), ISBN 9780582437524, Retrieved 2 December 2013 2. Will and Ariel Durant, The Age of Napoleon: The Story of Civilization, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9781451647686, Retrieved 13 December 2013 3. Thomas J. Fleming, The Louisiana Purchase. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-26738-6. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
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