Napoleon and Empire

Matthew MacLachlan asks how far Napoleon defeated himself.

"The Battle of Trafalgar" by Clarkson StanfieldPivotal 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’.

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