Napoleon Argumentative Essay

Argumentative Essay on Napoleon

10 JAN 2015

The style of warfare introduced by Napoleon revolutionized warfare and arguably changed the world.   This style of warfare, while primitive compared to today’s warfare in regard to weapons and specific tactics, is fundamentally similar to the way that warfare is waged today.   These similarities can be found in the basic organization, scheme of support, and scheme of maneuver of modern fighting units.   I will show the parallels between 18th century tactics, and those of contemporary fighting units that we see today by comparing different aspects of warfare then and warfare now.  
Prior to Napoleon seizing power during the French Revolution prestigious positions in the military and politics were a birthright, which meant there were often highly incompetent and incapable people making decisions.   When the Revolution commenced a large portion of the officer corps simply left their posts due to their opposition of the revolution. The readings in H104 indicate that perhaps two thirds of the officer corps had to be replaced when the revolution began.   Napoleon himself did not come from a noble birthright and ascended to a position of leadership as a commoner.   Because of this, he was completely unimpressed with rich family names and titles.   Accordingly he sought to fill the ranks of his officer corps with bright, quick, skilled, and flexible leaders.   The new officer corps was overwhelmingly middle class, and many of them had served as enlisted men in the royal army and thus had valuable experience to draw upon.   Even among the enlisted ranks there was a hierarchy and a merit based system of promotion. Similarly in contemporary militaries, names, titles, and birthrights are not the desired criteria for being placed in a position to lead troops in battle. To use the United States Army for example, there is merit system by which Soldiers are promoted based upon their skills, ingenuity, and valor in the enlisted ranks, and...