American Minute with Bill Federer
Napoleon was born AUGUST 15, 1769.
After his education, he was commissioned in the French military in 1785, and quickly advanced.
When the French Revolution began, he was an artillery officer.
Napoleon’s expertise in the use of mobile artillery and the military tactic of “envelopment” resulted in him being considered one of the greatest military commanders of all time.
After the French Revolution began, a slave revolt erupted on the French controlled island of Haiti (Saint-Domingue), one of the world’s main producers of sugar.
The loss of the colony created a need for France to replace it with another tropical colony, in order to compete with Britain’s India.
This led to French General Napoleon Bonaparte invading Egypt in 1798.
Napoleon easily defeated the Egyptian Mamluk slave cavalry in just a few weeks.
He 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.
Napoleon uncovered the Pyramid treasures, the Rosetta Stone and conquered into Palestine.
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.”
After losing the Battle of the Nile to Britain, Napoleon abandoned Egypt and Palestine and returned to France, where he arranged a coup to become First Consul of the Republic, then Emperor.
Napoleon conquered across Europe, including the countries of Italy, Austria, Poland, German States, Holland, Denmark and Norway.
Napoleon spread the French “metric system” where all measurements were divisible by ten – ten being considered the number of man, with ten fingers and ten toes.
He instituted a civil-legal system called the Napoleonic Code, which emancipated Catholics in Protestant countries and Protestants in Catholic countries.
Napoleon also emancipated Jews.
Before, Jews were restricted to their neighborhoods called ghettos, but now, they had the freedom to live where they liked. Some, though, considered this 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.”
The Napoleonic Code has been criticized as “statutory law” enacted by decree, where a person accused of a crime was de facto presumed guilty until proven innocent, whereas in English common law, courts assume the accused person was innocent until proven guilty.
In 1803, Napoleon, 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.
Napoleon combined the French and Spanish navies and attempted to invade England, but was defeated at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Napoleon hired Muslim Mamluk cavalry to invade Spain in the draining Pennisular War which began in 1807.
Napoleon, 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 Simon Bolivar, to declare independence.
This led to the creation of the Latin and South American countries of Venezuela, Colombia (which included Panama), Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, northern Peru, western Guyana, northwest Brazil, and in 1810, Mexico.
Napoleon 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.
Nathan Rothschild helped fund the Duke of Wellington’s British armies against Napoleon in Spain and France.
A legend persists that Nathan Rothschild obtained early information of the British victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815.
He began to sell his shares on the London Stock Exchange, leading investors to suspect he had inside information that the British lost the battle, resulting in panic-selling off of stocks.
The legend continued that Rothschild bought up devalued shares at low prices, and when news arrived the next day that the British had actually won the Battle of Waterloo, the stock market enthusiastically exploded, resulting in Rothschild making a million pounds sterling.
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 51.
Reflecting on his life, Napoleon dictated his “Mémoires” to General de Montholon, Baron Gourgaud and General Bertrand.
His conversations were recorded by Emmanuel de Las Cases in Memorial de Sainte Hélène (published 1823).
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.”
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.