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World History - Essay Example

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At first glance, two leaders could not be more diametrically opposed. Charlemagne was a Christian King, while Ariel Sharon was only the prime minister of Israel. By all accounts Charlemagne was…
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Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon The only leader that can be compared with Charlemagne today is Ariel Sharon. At first glance, two leaders could not bemore diametrically opposed. Charlemagne was a Christian King, while Ariel Sharon was only the prime minister of Israel. By all accounts Charlemagne was large, fair and of German descent. Ariel Sharon is short, dark and Jewish. Yet both men have a few things in common. This essay will compare the similarities between Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon.
One aspect of both Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon’s personalities that are alike is their leadership abilities. Both men had respect from their soldiers. This respect was fostered out of comradeship. Both leaders lead their soldiers into battle personally. Charlemagne led his soldiers in almost of his battles. Ariel Sharon also led his men into battle. Unlike other generals and leaders, who stayed behind lines to make decisions, Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon believed that leadership choices should be made in the field. As the result, Charlemagne’s campaigns gained territory in Europe, while Ariel Sharon’s battles gained land in the Middle East. Both men were warriors at heart, excelling at the craft of warfare.
Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon were also both statesmen. Charlemagne ruled his conquered territories until his death. Ariel Sharon, after retiring from active IDF (Israel Defense Forces) duty, joined the Knesset (Israeli equivalent of Congress). After serving in the Knesset for decades, Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel. Throughout Charlemagne’s rule rebellions requiring his attention occurred. The same circumstances arose for Prime Minister Sharon when the second Intifada (Palestinian uprising) plagued his years in office.
Both Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon were accused of ordering massacres. Charlemagne’s massacre was called the Bloody Verdict of Verden. Forty-five hundred men were beheaded on Charlemagne’s orders. Time has clouded the Bloody Verdict of Verden, making Charlemagne’s involvment unclear. Ariel Sharon’s massacre occurred when he served as Israel’s Defense Minster. Sabra and Shatila were refugee camps in Lebanon. When Israel occupied southern Lebanon, IDF soldiers surrounded the Sabra and Shatila camps. No IDF soldier entered the camp, but prevented refugees from leaving when Phalangists (a Christian faction in the Lebanese civil war) entered the camp seeking terrorists. What happened next is of great debate. When the smoke cleared a disputed amount of Palestinians were dead. Some figures are as low as four hundrend, but some figures are as high as four thousand depending on the source. Since Ariel Sharon was the Israel Defense Minister, he was blamed because the IDF reported directly to him.
Another similarity in both men’s lives were they both waged war with their respective enemies, without falling in battle. Charlemagne fell ill in his seventies, dying in his own bed days later. Prime Minister Sharon, in his seventies, fell into a coma earlier this year. Although Prime Minster Sharon remains in a coma up to today, doctors do not expect him to pull out of it. He will likely remain in a coma until he dies. Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon lived long lives. That is rare in a career soldier’s life.
Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon were great leaders. Both men are respected soldiers. History will weigh both men with indifferent and unemotional judgment. Yet nothing will take away both men’s charismatic personalities. Many soldiers die everyday for freedom and country, but not many will die for their leader. Men serving under Charlemagne and Ariel Sharon died willingly for these leaders. That is what gives these two men a special place in history. That is why I chose to compare these two men. Read More
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