The Instigator
1Historygenius
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
GriffinYeggyGonzales
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

Napoleon Bonaparte vs. George Washington

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/5/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,482 times Debate No: 18126
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (31)
Votes (7)

 

1Historygenius

Con

Now it was a while ago that a show called Deadliest Warrior which puts warriors that never fought each other. Now you can find the show if you wish, but here is a quick look at the weapons they used:

Artillery

Napoleon's 8lb vs. Washington's 6lb

Napoleon won the artillery round with his cannons proving to be more powerful and more advanced. There was a test at round shot and then a test at grape shot. The grape shot that Napoleon had was used against Washington's shrapnel because there was apparently a lack of grape shot in the revolution. While Napoleon did deserve the win for having a better cannon for being faster and more powerful, Washington's was faster.

Muskets

Napoleon's Charleville vs. Washington's Brown Bess and Pennsylvania Long Rifle

I do not recall the name of the rifle, but it had a greater range than the French Charleville. Washington also used the Brown Bess so he got two guns. Napoleon's standard was the Charville that could reload far more faster. Washington was proven to have better muskets.

Swords

Napoleon's Cavalry Saber vs. Washington's Colichemarde Sword

The Colichemarde was proven to be better with the cuts it made than Napoleon's sword.

They also included tactics where Napoleon won and logistics where Washington won. Several X factors were included in it.

Then the battle was computerized and it turns out Washington beat the battle against Napoleon. Now despite what a computer simulation puts I do not think that Napoleon could beat Washington. I do not hate the show, but I just do not agree with their argument. We must know that the computer is not really them, but just representing them and their army through weapons and factors. In this debate I will do everything I can to prove that Napoleon would actually win the battle than Washington. I am against what the show said that Washington would beat Napoleon. The opponent must defend Washington.

Now apparently videos are not well liked in this debate site. So I will only allow that you can use 1 video in the entire debate so you must choose wisely what video and when it will help you best.

Who will accept the debate?
GriffinYeggyGonzales

Pro

I recently watched said episode of Deadliest Warrior, and I do agree with the show's finding that George Washington was a more effective general than Napoleon Bonaparte, however I do not necessarily think this is true for the reasons the show gave.

CONTENTION 1: Greed, power and addiction.
Foremost among the reasons that George Washington is a more effective general is because he was able to make decisions more effectively than Napoleon Bonaparte because he was not fighting for power as Napoleon was. As John Emerich Edward Dalberg said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Napoleon had absolute power, and his career was based on achieving more of it. Napoleon was bent on conquering Russia even though it made NO strategical sense to do so. Napoleon was defeated because he was blinded by power, he attempted taming Russia not for good reason,but because he had the power to do so, and he wanted more o that power. And that became his undoing. Washington on the other hand never had the power Napoleon did. He never commanded great armies, he never ruled an empire; he was modest, humble and was able to lead effectively because of it. Napoleon was not.

Therefor, Washington is the greater general.

CONTENTION 2: Washington had foresight.
Washington was able to use his meager supplies to the colony's advantage, which required incredible foresight in how the war would be one. Throughout his campaign, Washington rarely made a mistake because he had the foresight to know what would be effective, and what would not. Even as president, Washington was able see beyond the war before the battle. He warned against the creation of political parties, one of the most adept observations a president has ever made.

Napoleon, however, was not able to see past his own nose. Not able to see the consequences of his actions and was defeated because of it. Couldn't he see that he could never fight war on three fronts without first organizing a strong internal infrastructure to support his wars? As Homer Simpson once said, "duh."

I urge a strong vote for the affirmation.

Thank you—
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Con

1) Napoleon had a good reason for invading Russia. Russia had surrendered during the Napoleonic Wars, however Russia kept trading with Great Britain, which was the only country at war with France at the moment. Napoleon wanted to cut all trade from Great Britain, in order for the country to be strangled economically and this was called the Continental System. Russia was forced to do this in a treaty, but eventually disobeyed this term. Unlike British propoganda after the war which says that Napoleon was a mad man who wanted to destroy Russia just for his own empire, he really wanted to invade because they disobeyed the Continental System. The reason why armies were smaller during the American Revolution was because that generally adapted to the time of the war and when Napoleon came to power he created a corps system which allowed him to have larger armies. Washington got help from France during the war. As a matter of fact, if France was not in the war no end game at Yorktown could occur.

2) If Napoleon could not see foresight he would had not one the Battle of Austerlitz, his greatest achievment. Napoleon did not take the high ground at Austerlitz and he instead took the low ground and gave the high ground to his enemies (the Russians and Austrians). He predicted that his enemies would attack a weak flank he made in his defensive line. Sure enough, the Russians and Austrians attacked with practically half of their army. Napoleon sprang his trap that flanked and destroyed the Russians and Austrians and then launched an attack taking the high ground. Washington on the other hand could not even manage his own flanks at the Battle of New York City and lost the battle due to that. You would think he would secure his own flanks for future battles right? No! At the Battle of Brandeywine Creek, at battle where Washington outnumbered the British and had new muskets from France, Washington lost again the same way! He was flanked from one side and he once again was suprised from the attack the British made! I think if he had foresight he would able to learn from his mistakes? If he had foresight he would understand that the British were weakest in Virginia at Yorktown. The French instead picked Yorktown as the target, not Washington. Washington wanted to attack New York City which was a very strong base.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.virtualarc.com...
http://www.britishbattles.com...
http://www.britishbattles.com...
GriffinYeggyGonzales

Pro

1) My opponent has made the claim that Napoleon had good reason for his invasion of Russia. My opponent says it was strategically smart because Russia was trading with Great Britain. By this logic, the United States today should invade: Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, France, Germany, China, Japan, India, etc. because they all trade with Cuba, who the United States has had a sour past with. Now, doing this would be a bad idea for the United States, and therefore we have the foresight NOT to do this. Unfortunately for him, Napoleon did not have the foresight we do today, he still attacked Russia and it still became his downfall.

Besides, it is a stretch to say that he invaded Russia purely because they were trading with Great Britain. Come on now, he marched a million men across the Russian winter, purely to stop Russia from sending Great Britain wood? (Which by the way was their main export to Great Britain.) No, Napoleon's invasion logically must have come from some other motivation. The only motivation I can fathom behind this idiotic blunder by a military genius is sheer boredom, or greed for more power.

EVEN then, it does not stop the fact that Napoleon made this huge blunder and Washington never made such a mistake. Napoleon died defeated, and Washington died victorious.

My opponent also mentioned France's involvement in Yorktown— this was well before Napoleon's reign— in fact the French revolution which put Napoleon in power was in part caused by the French people seeing Washington's success. It's a stretch, but if Washington is a chicken, Napoleon is his egg.

2) I believe my opponent misunderstood me with this contention, for which I apologize for my bad wording. I meant that Washington knew the consequences of his actions, not just the immediate battle, but as a campaigner. He new how to control a small army effectively against a military giant (a burden Napoleon never had to hold). He knew how to gain French involvement— and he knew the consequences of his actions short term and long. My opponent brings up the example of Austerlitz, but this one insight does not excuse him form his blunders.

3) As a new point of contention I would also like to bring up the fact that in Napoleon's campaign in Russia (yes, I keep harping about Russia, but hey, it works) Napoleon was defeat by a small, more mobile, ruffian army— much like the one Washington commanded. So if these two generals were to meet in a campaign, history has already given us insight into who would emerge victorious.

Thanks you—
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Con

I thank my opponent for the rebuttal.

1) My opponent has compared Russia, a major threat to Napoleon that sits right on the borders of his empire, to Cuba, a relatively small and poor nation that has no chance of standing against the United States. Russia was no doubt an enemy of France and in exchange for wood to Britain, Russia gained money from Britain so Russia could raise their army to fight again. If Napoleon could strangle Britain he could virtually conquer his last enemy that he failed to do defeat because he could gain control of the seas. There is no proof that Napoleon wanted to conquer Russia just for more imperial gains, but it is a fact that they disobeyed the treaty made by Napoleon and because of this they could gain money to raise an army. Washington may had been victorious, but only for certain reasons. He was not fighting in the South until Yorktown. He would still not be able to take Yorktown unless he had the French fleet to block the port. Yorktown was heavily fortified with 6,000 British troops while Washington's army which had nearly half of it French troops.

2) If Washington knew how to learn from his mistakes then he would understand that a campaign target would be Yorktown where the British were weak, but no. Instead it was French Admiral De Grasse who suggested Yorktown. Napoleon rarely had mistakes until Moscow and even then he was doing practically the same as Washington. Both Washington at Valley Forge and Morristown and Napoleon during Russia needed to rely on the land for supplies since supply lines were either hard to keep control of or the land just had rarely any supplies. By saying that Britain was a military giant, my opponent must have meant that Britain had an amazing ammount of resources and troops that could all spend their time in America. Britain had a far larger empire that expanded all over the world. Britain cannot concentrate their resources on America and in battles the British army was virtually the same size as the Americans in most battles.

Bunker Hill: 2,400 British troops against 1,500 Americans

Trenton: 2,400 American troops with 18 guns. 1,400 Hessians with 6 light guns.

Guilford Courthouse: Around 1,900 British against 4,400 Americans

Washington was fighting a wounded enemy that was full of debt, weak (and weaker when the French joined the war), and spread out.

3) There is more to warfare than the size and mobility. Logsitics played a role in Napoleon's demise when the Russians launched a Schorched Earth policy. Russia had the weather to its advantage and the terrain. Russia had far more advantages then Washington had in the American Revolution.

http://www.britishbattles.com...
http://answers.yahoo.com...
GriffinYeggyGonzales

Pro

GriffinYeggyGonzales forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Con

Ok. Here are a list of battles that may interest you:

Napoleon:
Pyramids - Victory and was outnumbered
Aboukir Bay - Victory and outnumbered
Marengo - Victory
Ulm - Victory
Austerlitz - Victory and was outnumbered
Jena/Auerstadt - Victory
Eyalu - Victory and outnumberd
Wagram - Victory
Borondino - Victory
Ligny - Victory and outnumbered

At Waterloo Napoleon could have won if his subordinates did not cause trouble.

Washington:
New York City - Defeat and failed to defend his flanks
Fort Washington - Defeat
Brandeywine - Outnumbered the British, was flanked again so he failed to learn from his mistakes, and lost
Germantown - Outnumbered the British again and lost
Monmouth - Despite training through the winter, Washington could only gain a draw here.

Yorktown was won because of French help and without them the war could last longer and lead to a possible American defeat. Washington could have possibly been replaced throughout the war.
GriffinYeggyGonzales

Pro

Alas, I will not be able to continue this debate because of an unexpected pile of work have to get done. I concede the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1Historygenius

Con

Ok.

Vote Con!
GriffinYeggyGonzales

Pro

GriffinYeggyGonzales forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Anjou 3 years ago
Anjou
If you agree with the show's fndings that George Washington is even worthy of being called a MEDIOCRE GENERAL, you are sadly mistaken. Let's take the Battle of New York. Washington makes the idiotic idea that with 32,000 British regulars undocking from the New York City harbor to split his 20,000 man army of minutemen and militiamen in half and send one half up the East River and one half down to manhattan, where they would be logistically annihilated. Washington follows the army up the east river where he is encountered by the pursuing british, and in the ensuing battle loses 1800 troops with hundreds more missing or captured. He's then pushed back to a wall with the sea to his back and he's isolated between a british blockade and the advancing troops. The soldiers under the commanding office of the british were told not to pursue the Americans because it was not necessary to lose any more men than they had. Note that not only was this the first battle Washington led in the Revolution, but had the british attacked, his entire army would be killed along with him and any remote chance of an american revolution. Oppositely, Napoleon's worst battle was undoubtedly Waterloo, and the battle wasn't all as decisive as people think. It was only by chance that Napoleon lost at Waterloo, because the battle commence in the afternoon. Napoleon's plan was to attack in the morning and surprise their men, which would have decisively given him the win, but unfortunately for the First French Empire, their mighty emperor came down with a case of hemmoroids that morning and could not make it to the battle. The French refused to march without their Emperor's guidance, and they simply had to wait for him. Even taking the fact that Napoleon lost, he was much more successful in his worst battle than Mr. Washington on his best day, and for that reason, Mr. Washington is far inferior to Emperor Bonaparte.
Posted by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
Deadliest Warrior is completly inaccurate. Hogwash. Ok mabe not completly but most.
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
Yes I win!
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
Ok
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 5 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
It appears that I missed it. My apologies, History. Look me up if you'd like any other historical debate.
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
Obviously my moment has given up.
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
Ah, I cannot not wait to win.
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
1stLordofTheVenerability says he may.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
I dont think anyone is accepting.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 5 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Again could you please proof read this debate, it's gibberish.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gracefully concedes.
Vote Placed by Shadowguynick 3 years ago
Shadowguynick
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments basically. That's all
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: A lot of points CON proved. PRO did a few good remarks, but were undermined by his own arguments. "Washington on the other hand never had the power Napoleon did. He never commanded great armies, he never ruled an empire" was not just wrong, but if it were true, it would be a strike against, not for him.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Besides the fact that Napoleon would have certainly defeated Washington, Con made more convincing arguments while Pro made some factual errors such as incorrectly stating that it made no strategic sense to conquer Russia.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Debate wasnt finished so I can only look at the style of each person. Pro made some very convincing arguments but alas, he forfeited so conduct went to Con. Con used a lot of sources so he gets points for that too...
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit is the last round is one of the worst things to do. Fail
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
1HistorygeniusGriffinYeggyGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited honorably and thus earns one point of conduct. However, he built his case too much on tangents: logistics, giving an ulterior motive for Napolean's decision to charge into Russian (even when Con mentioned Russia's breech of Napoloean's plans in the continental system, which was more validated than Pro's) and so on. Pro's case were built on feet of clay...