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War of the third Coalition - Research Paper Example

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The War of the Third Coalition: Internet source comparison. The War of the Third Coalition (1803-1806) was a time of major European conflict which saw France under the leadership of Napoleon I advancing across huge territories and other colonialist nations joining forces in order to protect their interests…
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War of the third Coalition

Download file to see previous pages... The five articles were located using the Google search engine using key words such as “Third Coalition” and “Napoleon I.” Peer reviewed scholarly articles were excluded from the search results, along with encyclopaedia entries which were in any case usually rather superficial. The selected internet sources are briefly described in turn with an emphasis on deciding how accurate and useful they are for academic purposes. Text 1 “Napoleonic Wars” (FAMT, undated). This source is an aticle on the whole series of Napoleonic Wars which has a brief paragraph on each of the coalitions. There is no author mentioned, and no firm date, although the site does suggest that all articles have been written between 2008 and 2010. The most striking feature of the article is its breezy style, and use of imaginative and emotive language, for example “Napoleon taught the Austrians another lesson at the Battle of Ulm in 1805, but it didn’t last very long” (FAMT, undated, p.1) This kind of comment is not very specific, since the phrase “taught the Austrians another lesson” gives no quantitative details of troop numbers, or indication of tactics, or indeed any details at all about the apparently decisive Battle of Ulm. There are serious doubts about the objectivity of this article, and this can be seen both in the content and in the nature of the website which hosts it. The anonymous author’s conclusion is flagged as being controversial, and indeed the claim that “Anglosphere money power financed Napoleon’s remarkable career” (FAMT, undated, p.1) gives a hint that there is a hidden agenda. The author acknowledges that “this is not a popular view of Napoleon” (FAMT, undated, p.1) and hints that more research might produce evidence to support it! The website hosting the article is set up to resemble an information/news/reference site, modelled on a newspaper, as its title “The Daily Bell” suggests. Its express purpose appears to be “to promote and support the widespread advancement of laissez-faire economic principles” and this betrays a strong political and ideological bias. This site is not suitable as a secondary source for information on the Third Coalition and Napoleon but it is perhaps interesting as a primary source on the way contemporary political organisations are attempting to use the internet to re-write, or re-interpret history in order to support particular beliefs. Text 2 “The French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars” (Hickman, undated) This source is a formal narrative giving bare facts about the events in Napoleon’s career, including the War of the Third Coalition. It gives a few key dates, and provides hyperlinks for key persons and places such as “Lord Horatio Nelson” and “Trafalgar”, along with some images of classical works of art which illustrate scenes mentioned. As a historical source it is accurate, but much too superficial to be of any use to serious researchers. There are no sources given, and although there are further topic headings pointing the reader to other “Ask,com” pages, it is clear that this text is nothing more than a few bare facts with no analysis or theoretical debate. It is impossible also to check whether the author has selected the most important items to list, and indeed it could be argued that the extreme summary falsifies the complexity of the events described. One positive feature of the text is that the author’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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