Perfume, cognac, champagne, wax figures, busts wherever we look, we find the French emperor's legacy.
But we're not really conscious of just how much the many innovations that Napoleon introduced shape today's world. Laws, customs, machines, figures of speech; many have their roots in the Napoleonic era. From the metric system and massive road construction projects; the Louisiana Purchase to the roots of today's European legal systems. What energy, what charisma must this man have had in order to turn the centuries old structures that shaped Europe until the 18th century upside down within a matter of just a few years?
Napoleon is far from dead; his myth lives on. Some worship him as a hero; others condemn him as a tyrant. These two very different views of the once all but almighty emperor are especially apparent in the countries he affected the most among them Germany, France, England, the USA and Russia.
Napoleon was a figure as full of contradiction for the time he lived in as he is for us today. How did he manage to unite the people behind him? What forces did he align himself with, what dynamics did he utilize?
He made himself the ruler of France and led his people into an age of glory and prosperity. The masses follow him with delight and eagerly helped implement his innovations. But his way led over uncounted battlefields and over more than one million corpses.
In four episodes we examine what life was like in Europe from 1799 until 1815, from the end of the French Revolution until Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig 1813 and Waterloo 1815. We show Napoleon's rise and fall exclusively from the point of view of the citizens of his time blacksmiths, soldiers, farmers, dissidents, housewives - first hand accounts of life changing events, based on authentic historical material, diaries, letters and court documents, and often surprising anecdotes from Napoleon's reign. These don't speak of politics and alliances but about blood and tears, tyranny and hunger, about joy and freedom.
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
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