BATTLE OF WATERLOO … 200 years ago … NAPOLEON … HIS VISION FOR EUROPE …

All this week, the 200th anniversary of the Sunday, June 18, 1815, Battle of Waterloo, is being commemorated. Of course the battle meant the end of Napoleon because the coalition of the British Imperial Army under the command of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher had […]

A marble bust of Napoleon on a staircase in the mansion of Malmaison (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

A marble bust of Napoleon on a staircase in the mansion of Malmaison (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

All this week, the 200th anniversary of the Sunday, June 18, 1815, Battle of Waterloo, is being commemorated.

Of course the battle meant the end of Napoleon because the coalition of the British Imperial Army under the command of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher had finally defeated Napoleon, and the English had then banished the self-proclaimed and self-crowned Emperor of the French to the Southern Atlantic island of Saint Helena. There Napoleon had died on May 5, 1821 at the age of 52. Officially he had died of stomach cancer, an illness which had plagued his family, though the rumour that the English had poisoned him with arsenic is very much on lips worldwide.

However, today I am not to speak of Napoleon’s death but of his dream of Europe as one country.

In other words, of a United States of Europe: a European Union.

Just before the Battle of Waterloo, he discussed this vision of his of a United States of Europe with Joseph Fouché (1759-1820), his Minister of Police.

He said:

“I have not yet fulfilled my mission, and I mean to end what I have begun. We need a European legal code, a European court of appeal, a unified coinage, a common system of weights and measures. The same law must run throughout Europe. I shall fuse all the nations into one.”

Well well well … and eventually this happened, and today we have the European Union…

What was Napoleon’s opinion of the English who had defeated him?

Speaking to a trusted aide, Count Lavalette, France’s Postmaster General, who had mentioned the possibility that the English may capture him, he said: “I must risk that,” and then he added, “A bad government, but a great nation, noble and generous.”

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “BATTLE OF WATERLOO … 200 years ago … NAPOLEON … HIS VISION FOR EUROPE …”

  1. 1
    Tim Atkinson Says:

    Bravo !!

    There was a suspicion that Napoleon had died of arsenic as they proved it was in the wallpaper in his bedroom where he lay for some considerable time due to illness.

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