Napoleon while by today's standards would be considered mostly as a menace to be stopped, in his own period was regarded as a hero of his time – the view of a hero in the early 1800's was very different to our own interpretations. Therefore one of the most significant aspects we should consider before settling on a fixed opinion is the spirit of the age Napoleon lived in. At this time the Romantic Movement was very much a part of European society and there was a lack of hero figures from European culture. The people of the 1800's saw Napoleon as a hero because they wanted to see a hero figure, looking for strength and valour in their leadership. There was an overwhelming need for an individual to fill this role particularly in France considering the condition the country was in. Both Britain and France were nationalistic countries, very much emphasising a sense of pride in their nation, a notion soon to become adopted by other European countries. Napoleon represented this idea by giving the French something to be proud of. He had managed to give France what she had never experienced before – a string of military victories. With this fame under his belt, there also came an essence of mystique and an idea of rolled up within the'hero' package. In military terms it was true that Napoleon was fulfilling this role by bringing glory to France. The military victories were not empty either and as a result expanded France to the largest dimensions she had ever had and also made her the centre of a huge European Empire, again suggesting another reason as to why Napoleon was regarded as a hero.
One of the key issues that granted Napoleon his early military fame was his defeat of the British at the Battle of Toulon. It was from this victory that he gained his promotion to Brigadier general. This decisive siege in 1793 saw the British ousted from mainland France, a victory that was thefirst time France had…


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