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Napoleon Vs. Louis XIV

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Poll Question: Which one is the greater French leader?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
19 [67.86%]
7 [25.00%]
2 [7.14%]
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Winterhaze13 View Drop Down
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Napoleon Vs. Louis XIV
    Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 10:29

I hope to debate which of the two I mentioned or another one of your choice is the greatest French leader in their history. I encourage you to consider both domestic and foreign factors in order to determine which leader was of greater influence on France.

Consider that Napoleon transformed the society from chaos to global powerhouse while Louis XIV (Not to be confused with Louis XVI) built the Palace of Versailles and probably spearheaded France into becoming the greaest power in the European continent in the 17th century.

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 12:37
Napoleon easily.
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 14:25

L'imperateur Napoleon
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  Quote Slickmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 14:29
I perfer Charlemagne
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 16:49


That was a good choice too.
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2004 at 09:47
Louis XIV's lavish lifestyle and wars probably contributed to the dire financial situation that led to the French Revolution. At one point the cost of paying for the Palace of Versailles ate up 3% of the country's expenditures.
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2004 at 18:35
Napoleon probably had the greatest impact on French and European history. he inherited an army that was on the verge of collapse and reverted into an offensive situation where the tables turned on France's enemies. Extraordinary times give birth to extraordinary people. If not for the Revolution Napoleon would have become a writer. (Laughs) 
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  Quote mongke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2004 at 21:27

No Louis XIV then no France. France under Napoleon got cut down to size.

Louis XIV beats Napoleon hands down.

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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2004 at 22:02
I see Louis XIV as a militaristic failure, although his marshalls enjoyed marginall success on the battlefields, and Napoleon as a gifted commander, and as that's how I rate my historic characters I would have to lean for Napoleon - although, I do believe that Napoleon was a much better administrative also - although a bit ambitious with the borders of Europe.
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  Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2004 at 23:42

 

 Napoleon was a total disaster. I think THe sun king was a superior strategists whereas Napoleon a far superior tactician. THe Sun king conquest were small but durable. He conquered slowly but surely in such away Lorraine, Alsace, savoy, Franche-compte and part of flanders were incorporated into France permanently. And he knew how to trade territory. Few knows that but it is through the conquest of the Sun king that France acquired those terrirtories.

  Napoleon on the other hand was a total disaster he ruined France literally. What the republican  conquered (Belgium, Netherland, north Italy), Napoleon lost all. It doesn't matter how successful you are in battle, it is only the overhall durable result that matters. Take Malplaquet during the Sun king reign. Malplaquet was a tactical defeat because the french troop wisely retreated in good order from the battlefield, but a great strategic victory, because the french forces had inflicted far more casualties on the allies (britain, austria etc) in such a way that were became impotent and incapable of any assault on France anymore. I'll say louis XIV was the greatest. During his rule lived Turenne (Napoleon model himself after him) and Vaudan, the master of siege warfare. Basically France was at i's highest under his reign.

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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2004 at 20:46
Well, not entirely.  He also set the stage of France's second renaissance - the advent of Emperor Napoleon III.  Louis XIV, on the other hand, was neither a superb stratetician or tactician - his right hand man for all military matters was, in my humble opinion, one of the France's, and the world's, greatest military commanders, Marshal Maurice de Saxe.  Napoleon, on the other hand, was able to conquer most of Europe, and redraw the map of Europe, himself (although I will not deny his use of his own marshals, since I use this as evidence against the overwhelming idea of Napoleon the Great..which he wasn't).

However, in no way am I trying to defame Louis XIV.  France under Louis XIV reached his climax, however, the Sun King improved France in the short run, not in the long run (although this, of course, was not entirely his fault, as much as it was the mere inability for heirs to complete their civic duties as kings).
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2004 at 09:43
I have a funy story about Napoleon, and a possible if not outrageous reason for the invasion of Russia. Alexander I was the only leader that Napoleon respected and he wanted to marry his daughter after it became clear to him that Josephine would not be able to bare him a son. However, Alexander refused to allow it and Napoleon being a proud man was devastated. He would eventually go on to marry Marie-Louise of Austria but could that have motivated him a little in 1812.
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2004 at 16:13
i think it was not Alexanders daughter but his little sister Anna. I haven#theard however that Napoleon has choosen Anna over marie-Louise and Alexander just refused to give him her hand. well, another story is that Maria walewska persuaded him to invade Russia because the Russians stationed troops alogn the Polish borders and they got afraid of an invasion.
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2004 at 16:25

Napoeleon is better than Louis the XIV because while Louis strentthened France, Napoleon spread its influence around the world even after his death, with prestige and even nationalism.

However, the greatest French ruler is obviously Charlemagne, if he can be considered truly french that is.

"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2004 at 16:39

Originally posted by Temujin

i think it was not Alexanders daughter but his little sister Anna. I haven#theard however that Napoleon has choosen Anna over marie-Louise and Alexander just refused to give him her hand. well, another story is that Maria walewska persuaded him to invade Russia because the Russians stationed troops alogn the Polish borders and they got afraid of an invasion.

That's why I love history, its like a fairytale based on actual events. And there are other fascinating stories like this one. And what makes it better is that you can debate and speculate on just about any event or person.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

-- Voltaire
French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2004 at 17:36
Charlemagne is much overrated, in fact he was an illiaterate barbarian that slaughtered infidels en masse on the eastern border like Saxons, Slavs and Avars. only contemporary cleric chroniclers made a saint out of him since he spread catholic faith with the sword.

Edited by Temujin
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2004 at 12:53

Originally posted by Temujin

Charlemagne is much overrated, in fact he was an illiaterate barbarian that slaughtered infidels en masse on the eastern border like Saxons, Slavs and Avars. only contemporary cleric chroniclers made a saint out of him since he spread catholic faith with the sword.

Well your opinion of his is not incorrect, but Charlemagne is important because he protected European civilization from invasions by the Saracens or Muslims. If not for him, Europe would have become just another extention of the Muslim world.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

-- Voltaire
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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2004 at 12:09
Originally posted by Temujin

Charlemagne is much overrated, in fact he was an illiaterate barbarian that slaughtered infidels en masse on the eastern border like Saxons, Slavs and Avars. only contemporary cleric chroniclers made a saint out of him since he spread catholic faith with the sword.


He was also the man who revived culture in France during the 8th Century and reconquered Northern Spain, and even put his mighty sword over the Saxons and Northern Italians. 

He was slightly illiterate, however, he did learn how to read (crudely) and write.  He was the source of so many universities in France, and so many religious centers, and had it not been for him the Dark Ages would have perhaps lasted longer.  Also, had it not been for him perhaps the Muslims would have still had a strong martial center in the north, warranting another invasion of France after Charlemagne's death - a period which could not have stopped such an invasion the same way Charles Martel stopped one in 732. 
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2004 at 16:08
i don't think an islamic euope would have been bad at all, at least not worser than a catholic or christian in general. and i neither believe in a concept like "dark ages". that's something made up.

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  Quote J.M.Finegold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2004 at 16:59
Originally posted by Temujin

i don't think an islamic euope would have been bad at all, at least not worser than a catholic or christian in general. and i neither believe in a concept like "dark ages". that's something made up.


Well the idea of the Dark Ages was the lack of education in Europe, and Charlemagne was able to rebuild much of the universities throughout France and he ensured that Europe would again rise to see literary achievements, instead of constant martial achievements.

I would hate to see an Islamic Europe.
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