fter the French Revolution, a slave revolt resulted in France's loss of Haiti (Saint-Domingue), one of the world's main producers of sugar.
Desiring to replace it with another tropical colony in order to compete with Britain's India, the
French General Napoleon Bonaparte
invaded Egypt in 1798.
defeated the Egyptian Mamluk slave cavalry in just a few weeks.
then attempted to introduce democracy, equality and liberty but found there were no words in the Arabic language to convey such concepts, as the people had been ruled by the sword for centuries.
uncovered the Pyramid treasures, the Rosetta Stone and conquered into Palestine.
After losing the Battle of the Nile to Britain,
eventually had to return to France.
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Napoleon, who was born AUGUST 15, 1769, conquered across Europe, including the countries of Italy, Austria, Poland, German States, Holland, Denmark and Norway.
Napoleon's use of mobile artillery and the military tactic of 'envelopment' resulted in him being considered one of the greatest military commanders of all time.
Napoleon spread the French "metric system" where all measurements were divisible by ten.
He instituted a civil-legal system called the
, which emancipated Catholics in Protestant countries and Protestants in Catholic countries.
also emancipated the Jews, whereas before Jews were restricted to their neighborhoods called ghettos. This great freedom has in retrospect been considered by some as diminishing the strong community-center Jewish identity.
In 1816, Napoleon commented to physician Barry O'Meara regarding emancipating the Jews:
"I wanted to make them...like other men...by putting them upon an equality, with Catholics, Protestants, and others,.. I had restored them to all their privileges... They were not permitted to practice usury... but to treat us as if we were of the tribe of Judah.
Besides, I should have drawn great wealth to France as the Jews are very numerous, and would have flocked to a country where they enjoyed such superior privities. Moreover, I wanted to establish an universal liberty of conscience."
Napoleon attempted to capture Acre in the Holy Land.The French newspaper,
Le Moniteur Universel
, published in year seven of the French Republic, May 22, 1799:
"Bonaparte has published a proclamation in which he invites all the Jews of Asia and Africa to gather under his flag in order to re-establish the ancient Jerusalem. He has already given arms to a great number, and their battalions threaten Aleppo"
, badly needing money for his army and fearing Haiti's slave rebellion would spread to the French Louisiana Territory, sold a million square miles to the United States during the administration of Thomas Jefferson. This is known as The Louisiana Purchase.
combined the French and Spanish navies and attempted to invade England, but was defeated at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
hired Muslim Mamluk cavalry to invade Spain in the draining Pennisular War which began in 1807.
, who had been excommunicated by the Pope, put his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain in 1808.
This resulted in
the Catholic leaders in New Spain
, most notably
, to declare independence, leading to the creation of the Latin and South American countries of
Bolivia, northern Peru, western Guyana, northwest Brazil
, and in 1810,
invaded Russia in June of 1812 with 400,000 men, six months later he retreated with only 40,000.
The loss of French troops and his defeat at Leipzig led to Napoleon's abdication and exile on the Island of Elba in 1813.
After a year, he escaped and again took control of France for another 100 days, but lost the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815.
During the 17 years of Napoleonic Wars, an estimated 6 million Europeans died.
In October 1815, Napoleon was banished to the South Atlantic Island of Saint Helena, where he died in 1821 at the age of 52.
Reflecting on his life, Napoleon dictated his "Mémoires" to General de Montholon, Baron Gourgaud and General Bertrand.
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His conversations were recorded by Emmanuel de Las Cases in
Memorial de Sainte Hélène
Napoleon had complained to Montholon of not having a chaplain, resulting in Pope Pius VII petitioning England to allow Abbé Vignali to be sent.
Napoleon read out loud the Old Testament, the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.
Affirming his belief in God, Napoleon told Montholon:
"I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man...
...Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist.
There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity...
His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of man..."
Napoleon continued telling Montholon:
"The religion of Christ is a mystery which subsists by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind.
We find in it a marked individuality, which originated a train of words and actions unknown before..."
"Jesus is not a philosopher, for His proofs are miracles, and from the first His disciples adored Him.
Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but upon what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force!
But Jesus Christ founded His upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
Napoleon had stated:
"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it."
Napoleon once told a Milan parish priest in 1797:
"Society without religion is like a ship without a compass."