DOI link for NAPOLEON’S SUCCESSORS
NAPOLEON’S SUCCESSORS book
Idealism is the oﬀspring of suﬀering and hope, and therefore reaches its maximum when a period of misfortune is nearing its visible termination. At the end of a great war, men’s hopes fasten upon one among the victors as a possible champion of their idealistic aims. After the fall of Napoleon, this rôle was oﬀered by popular acclamation to the Tsar Alexander, and was by him accepted with alacrity. It must be said that his competitors for ethical supremacy were not morally very formidable. They were, among sovereigns, the Emperor Francis of Austria, Frederick William of Prussia, the Prince Regent, and Louis XVIII; among statesmen, Metternich, Castlereagh, and Talleyrand.