Listening to David Bell speak was quite an experience. I had to go for my French class, however I found it to be very interesting. The topic was on the debate over whether Napoleon was a great man and the impact he made on history.
At first one would argue that Napoleon was not a good man because of how he claimed the throne and became a dictator. Napoleon is actually compared to some of the greatest leaders in the history of the world like George Washington, Toussaint Louverture, and Simon Bolivar because of his military expertise. David Bell explained how Napoleon was a charismatic leader, an outstanding soldier, the true father of his country, and someone the ordinary people can relate to. Bell went on to state how unlike the other governments of Europe, Napoleon’s needed war to astonish his people. This was different in that the other governments relied on great achievements and laws. One thing that people do not often recognize as an achievement by Napoleon is the art and architecture that was developed throughout the country like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
This turned out to be quite an interesting lecture. It gave me a new perspective on viewing Napoleon Bonaparte. Of course he did become a tyrant that got large numbers of troops killed marching to Russia, but Napoleon did accomplish several hefty goals. In going to this lecture, I now have a different outlook on history and can see the impact Napoleon has even today.