Napoleon and Propaganda by Davis Sharp Class 6A

Davis Sharp 11/14/2011
RSA 6A Composition

Napoleon and Propaganda

The definition of propaganda  “the spreading of ideas, information or rumors for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, cause , or a person ” is from Webster’s dictionary. Propaganda has been used throughout the ages in all sorts of ways to influence people. Many artists used propaganda in the 1800’s to promote leaders, generals, kings, and emperors.

An example of propaganda is seen in Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques – Louis David, painted in 1800.  This painting promotes Napoleon as a brave leader. In this picture Napoleon is on a fiery, rearing and white horse with the billowing stormy clouds behind him. This is propaganda because it was an extremely beautiful day and Napoleon was led up on a mule, so the painter is trying to convey that Napoleon is strong and brave, and not worried about the weather. Another example is shown by his soldiers behind him toiling up the Alps, and he is pointing upward toward the summit. His troops behind him was propaganda because he was really with his troops with someone ahead of him leading him on his mule.The purpose of this use of propaganda was to convey to the people of France to think he was leading and not going on without them. In the bottom of the painting are the names Bonaparte, Charlemagne, and Hannibal. Hannibal ,who also crossed the Alps,and Charlemagne who were great leaders ; however, he was trying to say that Napoleon was just as talented. In this picture David attempted to show Napoleon as a strong and powerful general.

This use of propaganda worked and convinced the people of France that Napoleon was worthy of leading France into war. The use of propaganda has been used through-out the ages and is even used in modern days for advertisements and to appoint and approve leaders.

This was my sons first ‘real’ composition for 6th grade. He is studying the French Revolution.  I’m very proud of him and his thoughtful sentence structure and word usage.  I may have him start fixing my hackneyed prose.

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