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The Lives Of Mahatma Ghandi And Napoleon Essay, Research Paper

In Southern Africa, Mohandas Gandhi worked ceaselessly to improve the rights of the immigrant Indians. It was there that he developed his creed of passive resistance against injustice stayagraha, meaning truth and force, and was frequently failed as a result of the protests thathe led. Before Gandhi returned to India in 1915,he had radically changed the lives of Indiansliving in Southern Africa. When Gandhi arrived, itwas not long before he was taking the lead in thelong struggle for independence from Britain. Wewill now view some of the reasons for Gandhi’spassion for independence, and try to understand what Indian self-rule, or “Hind Swarj” meant to the man that helped India to become what it is today.

Napoleon Bonaparte I was definitely one of the most influential people in the history of Europe and the rest of the world. He quickly rose throug the ranks of being a Corsican National Guard soldier to being the one of the greatest military commanders of all time and the French emperor who would try to conquer the entire world. OnAugust 15, 1769, Napoleon was born into a family that would have a total of 8 children, him being the second. He was the son of Carlo Buonaparte, a lawyer who fought for Corsican independence and Letizia Ramolino Buonaparte (the name was changed from Buonaparte to Bonaparte when he went to France). His siblings Included four brothers: Jerome, Louis, Lucien, and Joseph, and three sisters: Maria Anna Elisa, Pauline, and Maria Carolina. He was born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea. He was educated at the expense of King Louis XVI at the schools of Brienne, Champagne and the Royal Military Academy at Paris where he was an outsider. At the age of sixteen he graduated from the academy and became the first Buonaparte to ever be a professional soldier when he became part of the National Guard in Corsica. Then he joined the artillery as a second lieutenant. Since he was a Frenchman, he fled to France with his family when Corsica declared its independence in 1793. There he was assigned, as a captain, to an army that was besieging the British aided city of Toulon. He replaced the wounded artillery general and seized a hill where he could drive away the English and the French captured the port city. After this he was promoted to brigadier general at the young age of twenty-four.

First, we will examine what India was like, when it was still under British Rule, and by doing this, hopefully get an understanding of why one would want to gain independence from such a government. The most common things the people of India wanted independence from were the grave injustices done onto India, and the unfairness of the British occupation of India. The Partition of Bengal (1905-1911) was a political step taken by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, by means of which the Province of Bengal was divided into two provinces: West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa with a Hindu majority, and East Bengal and Assam with a Muslim majority. This partition was said to have created India’s “new spirit”, when which the Indians became aware that independence was needed. This “new spirit” was accompanied with the notion that petitions were in need, must be backed up with force, and that the people of India must be capable of suffering. Another reaction that arose in response to the Partition of Bengal was the Swadeshi movement. The swadeshi movement created chaos in many areas of government. At economic levels, a boycott of British imports took place. At the educational level, it introduced national educational institutions in Calcutta. At the political level, it led to resignations from legislative councils. As early as 1905, Gandhi saw the revolutionary potential of the Swadeshi movement. Gandhi once said, “No cause for unhappiness would remain if swadeshi were to replace everything foreign. We can easily attain happiness if we exert ourselves to that end during the year that has just commenced. Swadeshi carries a great and profound meaning. It does not mean merely the use of what is produced in one’s own country. That meaning is certainly there in swadeshi. But there is another meaning implied in it which is far greater and much more important. Swadeshi means reliance on out own strength. ‘Our strength’ is meaning that of our body, our mind and our soul. For Gandhi, Swadeshi also meant love of one’s own language. The love of Boers for Dutch, and of the Jews for Yiddish, reflect their versions of swadeshi. The partition of Bengal also divided leaders into two parties: the moderates, which stood for the constitutional method of attaining self-government similar to that enjoyed by Canadians; and the extremists, which believed that both constitutional and extra-constitutional methods were necessary for attaining swarj. All interpret the two words according to their preconceptions. This much is certain- that there has arisen an enmity between the two. The one distrusts the other, and imputes motives. Gandhi believed that divisions such as this weren’t a good thing for their country, but also believed that such a division wouldn’t last long, that it all depended on how long the leaders lasted. Next, we will examine what resulted in Ghandi being jailed in 1930. This jail term resulted from a protest of a salt tax. As far back as 1905, the salt question had entered Gandhi’s political consciousness. The duty on salt dated back to Moghul times. Clive in Bengal set up a monopoly of salt for his senior colleagues and himself. I 1780 Warren Hastings put the manufacture o salt in the hands of the government, the price being fixed by the governor-general in Council. In 1878, a uniform tax policy was adopted throughout India, both British India and Princely India. The private manufacture of salt and the possession of salt not derived from government sources both became illegal. Bengal and Assam got its salt from England; Bombay, Madras and Central Provinces and the Southern Princely states from the sea; and North India fromrock-salt mines. Needless to say, the price of salt in India was for the benefit of only one group; the government, whom collected revenue from salt in 1880 reaching 7 million pounds from a population of 200 million. On 6 April 1946, atGandhi’s personal request, Sir Archibald Rowlands, the Finance Member of the Viceroy’ Executive Council, on his own initiative ordered the abolition of the salt tax. But the Viceroy, Lor Wavell, vetoed the initiative on the grounds that premature abolition of the tax would create a salt famine. He thought that ‘vanity’ was promptinGandhi. In protest of the salt tax, Gandhi then led thousands of Indians on a 200 mile march to the sea to make their own salt. Soon after, he was arrested, and jailed. Gandhi blamed the railroads built by the British for India’s greed, and poverty. He did so by explaining that for the reduction of poverty in India, the development of irrigation was more important than that of the railways. But neither British private capital nor the colonial government saw the problem in this way.

Later Napolean enhanced his reputation and saved the new government by dispersing a riotous mob. In 1796 he married a widow of a nobleman who had been guillotined and had two children. Later in the year he was put in charge of the French army in Italy. There he defeated four Austrian generals, who had greater numbers, and forced them and their allies to make peace in the Treaty of Campo. In northern Italy he founded the Cisalpine Republic. He also sent an army to Egypt, and defeated the

Turks there. The British, under the leadership of Admiral Horatio Nelson crushed his fleet and left him stranded. Napoleon later crossed the Alps and defeated the Austrians to mark the Rhine River as the eastern border of France. Upon returning from Egypt, Bonaparte joined the Coup d’etat, which overthrew the government and established a new political system. Napoleon was consul and had almost dictatorial powers. Laterthe constitution was revised to make him consul for life and then the emperor. As leader he reorganized the court system to make it simplified and he put the schools under centralized control. The French law was standardized with the Code Napoleon and 6other codes, which guaranteed the right of equality before the law and other laws for the working class. In 1805 Napoleon beat the Austro-Russian armies at Austerlitz. He conquered the Kingdom of Naples and his brother Joseph on the throne there. He also captured the Kingdom of Holland for his brother Louis and formed the Confederation of the Rhine for himself. Russia and Prussia chose to attackthe Confederation and he destroyed them at the

battles of Jena, Auerstadt and Friedland. The Russians under Czar Alexander I allied with the French and greatly reduced the size of the Prussian army. After this he added some new states to his vast empire: the Kingdom of Westphalia, with Jerome as king, the Duchy of Warsaw and others. In 1807 Napoleon seizedPortugal and made his brother Joseph king of Spain. This started rebellions there and the British backed Spanish guerillas cost France about 300,000 casualties and unknown amounts of money. In 1810 he divorced Josephine and married the Austrian emperor’s daughter, Mary Louise. By doing this he hoped his son (who he

had a year later and named King of Rome) would be more accepted by the European monarchs. In the same year his empire reached its greatest extension. Two years after that Napoleon’s truce with the Czar dissipated and he launched an attack on Russia. This ended in a terrible retreat from Moscow in which he lost almost all of his 500,000 troops that he had invaded with and ending with only 20,000 survivors. All of Europe then united against him in the Grand Coalition. After the allies rejected his plan to step down I favor of his son, he was forced to abdicate and

be exiled to Elba. Napoleon escaped from the island and asked for peace from the allies, but they declared him an outlaw. He attacked Belgium and was defeated at Waterloo on June 18, 1815 by the Duke of Wellington. Although crowds in Paris begged him to fight on, he

surrendered to the British and was exiled to the island of Saint Helena, where he remained until he died from stomach cancer on May 5, 1821. Napoleon’s impact on Europe is unparalleled by any single man with the exception of Hitler. He

threw the entire continent of Europe and more into war and chaos. He rearranged the map of the continent and claimed most of it for his family or himself. His impact was felt beyond the continent though. In Egypt he reformed the law and guaranteed basic rights. In the U.S. he doubled the size of the country by selling the Louisiana territory to them when he neede

money. He reformed the law in his empire so that each state was guaranteed a constitution and feudalism and serfdom were abolished. His impression on the arts was great too; as he made it so all qualified people could go schools of higher education. Each state had an academy to promote the arts and scholars were paid for their work, especially scientists. Public schools were also thought of, but not introduced. Still today the Arc de Triomphe, which was built tocommemorate his many victories, stands in Paris. When he went to Egypt his troops found the Rosetta stone, and the scholars he brought began the scientific study of the Rosetta stone, which deciphered ancient Egyptian writing. He also ended a quarrel from the revolution with the pope and guaranteed the freedom of religion in all of his states except Spain. Napoleon was also associated with many famous people. Czar Alexander I was his ally for a short period and his enemy for the majority of his lifeIn the eyes of British investors the railways were more attractive, especially since in the early decades (1850-80) there was a guaranteed profit of 5 per cent charged on Indian revenue. It is true that the railways facilitated the movement of food in times of famine; but it is equally true that the railways did not produce food. For the production of more food, irrigation was crucial. Railways without irrigation did not solve the problem of poverty and famines; in a sense it aggravated them in that capital that could have been spent on irrigation was spent instead on the railways, which proved to be both extravagant and wasteful. Although many Indians saw the railway as a step in th right direction for India, Gandhi saw it as a carrier of diseases, and moreover, the main tool the British used to hold India where they wanted it Also, Gandhi blamed the railways for an increased laziness of India, where as once people used their feet to bring them to their destination. Gandhi experienced even more violence after 1906, when he began his peaceful revolution. For the revolution, he declared he would go to jail or even die before obeying an anti Asian law. Thousands joined him in this civil disobedience campaign. The British Government, on many occasions, opened fire on Indian protestors, even though the Indians practiced non-violence, and were of course, unarmed. These occasions were accompanied with mass arrests, and jail terms. Gandhi never once wavered in his unshakable belief in nonviolent protest and religious tolerance. When Muslim and Hindu compatriots committed acts of violence, whether against the British, or against each other, he would fast until the fighting ceased. The last two months of his life were spent trying to end the appalling violence, which ensued, leading him to fast to the brink of death, an act, which finally quelled the riots. Throughout history, most national heroes have been warriors, but Gandhi ended British rule over his native India without striking a single blow. Gandhi was one of the gentlest of men, a devout andalmost mystical Hindu, but he had an iron core of determination. Nothing could change his convictions. This combination of traits made him the leader of India’s nationalist movement. Some observers called him a master politician. Others believed him a saint.To missions of Hindus he was their beloved Mahatma, meaning “great soul” . Gandhi brought forward a need for independence to his people. He presented to them the unfairness, and injustices that came upon his people by the British occupation of India. He then presented the only source India had to help obtain independence: to practice non-violence, and patience. As a result of Gandhi’s practices, injustice was exposed to the British, and the world’s public opinion moved to Gandhi’s side. Gandhi’s victory came in 1947 when India won independence. The subcontinent split into two countries (India and Pakistan) and brought Hindu-Muslim riots. Again, Gandhi turned to nonviolence, fasting until Delhi rioters pledged peace to him. An assassin killed him in 1948 as he walked through a crowed garden in New Delhi to take evening prayers. Throughout this paper, we have examined but a few of the grave injustices that the British imposed onto India, and observing this we must summarize everything to come up with an answer to the original question. What did independence mean to Gandhi? Although this question may seem to require a complex answer, it can be answered with one word: freedom

The invasion of Russia was also the major downfall of Napoleon’s empire. Thomas Jefferson helped Napoleon by buying the territory when he needed money badly. Napoleon’s education was paid at education at the academy he never would have been the military genius he was. The Duke of Wellington defeated him at his final battle and put him away for the rest of his life. Horatio Nelson stranded his fleet at Abukir and left him to fight the Syrians. Napoleon II was the son of Napoleon and Mary Louise. King Louis-Philippe had his remains returned to Paris and held a National burial and a great ceremony for Napoleon in 1840 at the Invalides.


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