Virtual Napoleon: Sovereignty, Revolution, and the First Nationalist Dictator
Napoleon: Sovereignty, Revolution, and the First Nationalist Dictator Maximilian P. Owre, teaching assistant professor of History and Executive Director, Carolina Public Humanities In the face of populist pressures, many nations around the world are turning to authoritarian leaders whose attachment to the liberal values of democracy, transparency, and human rights is questionable at best or outright denied. What inspires people to prefer the rule of one person over sharing power among many? By what right do individuals assume they speak for everyone? Are there common factors that lead to dictatorships or characterize how they function? To answer these questions, we will review the history and development of “dictators” from the earliest use of the term in ancient Rome to the autocrats in Latin America in the 20th century and today. Since dictators often establish their legitimacy through legal means and then abuse the power consigned to them, we should learn how to recognize them before we’re ruled by them. Join us for this review of despots past and present.