Napoleon and the Transformation of European States and Societies
Napoleon’s unyielding battle cry required huge recruitment into the army, the radical aspect of the modern state that created the main inconsistencies of the Empire making his rule remain contentious (Brown, 2007).The period of Napoleon, that is 1801-1805, is marked as the formation of the Grande Armee1 and the allied armies of European empires demonstrating warmongering tendencies. It wa5snt just France and Napoleon but also Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia that were belligerent empires, as is obvious from the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna in 1814-18152. The new geopolitics and resolutions thus resulted in continued till 1848 when revolutions across the continent ended the Vienna arrangement. The revolutionaries, owing to their conflicting interests failed to direct their ideals into state policy, realpolitik, instead of ideology taking the lead ignoring idealism and stressing the pragmatic use of power to reach state goals without giving morals any serious thought. The map of Europe changed once more with the unification of Italy, consolidation of Germany, Napoleon being banished to Elba and delegates assembled once again ( except the Ottoman Empire) to Vienna for constructing a new European order. Leaders who like Lord Castlereagh of Great Britain, Count von Hardenberg of Prussia, Prince Klemens von Metternich of Austria, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, and Prince Charles Maurice de Talleyrand of France met separately to decide the future of Europe. Metternich came to dictate the meeting, by his tact and skill to influence the participants about the need for solidity. The wish to build a useful balance of power remained at the heart of the Congress, although each power, had its own idea about that proper balance– Russias ambitions in Poland almost crumbling the talks, Britain maintaining that a bloated Russia being a threat to peace. Prussia craved all of Saxony while Austria became afraid of a bigger Prussia. While the four war allies broke up.