Napoleon and Empire
Matthew MacLachlan asks how far Napoleon defeated himself.
Pivotal to any consideration of Napoleon’s ultimate defeat is the fact that he did not inherit a foreign relations strategy, but developed his own. Therefore he should bear a high degree of responsibility for its failure, perhaps because of his inexperience. Yet, it is also necessary to explore the self-destructive qualities of Napoleon’s character and to note the effects of such miscalculations as the Continental Blockade and the ‘Spanish ulcer’.