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7. Napoleon

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Published on Sep 2, 2009

European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

One way of understanding Napoleon's life is through attention to his Corsican origins. Although Napoleon himself would later disavow his earlier identification with the island in favor of French identity, many of his actions and attitudes agree with stereotypical notions of Corsican culture. Did Napoleon inaugurate the era of total war? This question, posed in a recent book, is up for debate. On one hand, the violence of the Revolution and the Napoleonic wars may not seem uniquely devastating in comparison to the ravages of the Thirty Years' War. On the other hand, the faltering of distinctions between civilian and combatant as well as the large-scale mobilization of state resources for war do anticipate the modern concept of total war, typically associated with World War II.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Popular Histories of Napoleon
04:37 - Chapter 2. Napoleon, the Corsican
15:37 - Chapter 3. The Transference of National Allegiances: Becoming French with the Revolution
26:37 - Chapter 4. Looking for the Origins of Total War
37:28 - Chapter 5. Napoleon's Lasting Contributions to the French State: Centralization, Service Nobility and the Concordat

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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