Your "revolution" and Napoleon's

Napoleon Bonaparte, a leading republican of Europe, was willing to become Emperor of France. Most of Republican France welcomed Napoleon as Emperor! There may be a lesson or two to be learned from that bit of history.

Napoleon did bring reforms to Europe in the fields of education, science, and in a variety of cultural areas. Some of those works of his could be called republican. 

The legal system called the Napoleonic Code influenced most of Europe and much of the Eastern world. Much of the law of the U.S. state of Louisiana was founded on Napoleonic law.

Napoleon was a warrior. a leader of armies. Some say he won a war against Russia. To attack Russia, he left home with half a million men, the largest army to be assembled in Europe until that time. He returned home with about 20,000 men and "the shirt on his back."

He met his Waterloo in a battle against Prussia and GB, in which Prussia saved Britain's bacon. 

After Waterloo GB, Spain, Prussia, Russia, Austria, and others joined one another for suppressing liberal movements throughout Europe.

Lessons might begin with questions like:                                                                                                               

  • Why do the histories of so many revolutions seem revolting?
  • Why might a republican be willing to become an Emperor?
  • What could be the responsibilities of the citizens of a republic?
  • Where might your revolution be headed?


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill