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Title:"Vive La Republique. Vive L'empereur.": Military Culture and Motivation in the Armies of Napoleon, 1803--1808
Author(s):Hughes, Michael J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lynn, John A.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Military
Abstract:This study refutes the interpretation that dominates the existing literature on motivation in Napoleon's armies. Historians tend to emphasize Napoleon's betrayal of the French Revolution and the transformation of the French army into a professional force motivated by concepts of honor defined by self-interest. This dissertation proposes that over time, the Napoleonic regime did increasingly promote values such as honor, glory, and aggressive heterosexuality that were difficult to reconcile with the principles of the French Revolution. Napoleon also sought to restore traditional sources of military motivation in the army including esprit de corps and coercion that the Revolutionaries tried to suppress. This study demonstrates, however, that even as the Napoleonic regime strove to alter the character of the French army, it continued to inculcate ideals of virtue and patriotism from the French Revolution among French soldiers, and furthered the processes of nationalism initiated during the Revolution. Ultimately, it combined elements of Revolutionary military culture with martial values from the Old Regime to produce a synthesis that transmitted a representation of France as an imperialistic warrior nation whose soldiers were obligated to maintain its reputation and dominant position in the European order.
Issue Date:2005
Description:495 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3182283
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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