|Napoleon I, Maison Napoleon, Ajaccio|
1) Louisiana Purchase. In 1803 the Jefferson administration purchased the Louisiana territory from Napoleon for the sum of $15 million or about 3 cents an acre. The Louisiana purchase accounts for 23% of all current US territory including ALL of the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and parts of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Northern Texas and Louisiana. Furthermore, the Louisiana purchase enabled the US to expand even further westward pushing on to the Pacific.
|Commander Kelly and Self-made man shirt|
Napoleon was the son of a petite bourgeoisie family who rose to become Emperor. He was, as the t-shirts in Ajaccio say, a "self-made man."
3) Napoleon -- Amercian Ally. This year, 2012, marks the bicentennial of the start of the War of 1812 againt Great Britain (see earlier post War of 1812, http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/war-of-1812.html) . During this three year conflict Napoleonic France was the de facto ally of the United States. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
4) Napoleon and Modern Family. Napoleon was part of a complicated blended family. He was the second oldest of eight children. His father Carlo Maria Buonaparte was a lawyer who died when Napoleon was only 16. His first wife, Josephine had creole (mixed race) roots. Napoleon had two stepchildren, two wives and numerous mistresses. He attempted to run Europe as if it were the Bonaparte family business with brothers assigned to thrones in Spain, Holland, Italy and Germany.
Napoleon briefly had an American sister-in-law named Elizabeth Patterson from Baltimore who wed his youngest brother Jerome in 1803 with the marriage later being annulled by Napoleon who had other plans for his brother.
Napoleon was, like so many American men, a mamma's boy. Napoleon once said, "It is to my mother that I owe my fortune and all the good I have achieved."
6) Napoleon and Louisiana. The Code Napoleon was once in force in Louisiana and the state still is affected, for better or worse, by Napoleon. Louisiana is divided into parishes rather than counties due to Napoleon. Some argue that the curious structure of Louisiana may have have hampered relief efforts during hurricane Katrina.
In New Orleans today you can enjoy a drink at the Napoleon House (http://napoleonhouse.com/) which was the building that Bonapartist conspirators hoped to bring him to after rescuing him from the clutches of the British on the barren south Atlantic island of St. Helena. Napoleon himself foiled the conspiracy by dying at the age of 51, most likely as a result of stomach cancer.
7) Napoleonic and Food and Drink. Have you ever eaten Napoleonic? The Napoleon mille feuille pastry is delicious. Chicken Marengo, which includes crayfish, tomatoes and garlic, is a classic dish known world-wide. Pumpernickel bread was allegedly invented for Napoleon who responded to its creation with "C'est bon pour Nichole!" -- "It's good for (my horse) Nichole!"
|Du Vin Napoleonique|
8) Napoleon, Art and Museums. Have you ever visited the Louvre? It was once known as the Musee de Napoleon. Visit and you may find the sword de Valette which was stolen at bayonet point from the knights of Malta when Napoleon's force captured the island in 1799 on his way to Egypt. The inscription reads "A gift from the people of Malta to the People of France," thereby explaining much of art collecting history!
|Maltese Gift to France...?|
Have you been to the British Museum in London? Have you perhaps studied a foreign language with a certain company? Are you interested in mummies, pyramid power or Egyptology? It was Napoleon's expedition to Egypt that discovered the Rosetta stone which was the key breakthrough that allowed translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. For an entertaining take on Napoleon's expedition to Egypt Commander Kelly says "check out William Dietrich's novels Napoleon's Pyramids, 2007 (http:/www.amzn.com/0060848324) and The Rosetta Key, 2008 (http:/www.amzn.com/0061239550)!"
|Napoleonic Air Force - Bonaparte's Gull|
10) Napoleon and Film. Have you ever seen a Napoleonic film or TV program? Master and Commander was based on the Patrick O'Brian novel series and featured Russell Crowe. The Hornblower TV series with Iaon Gruffud was exceptionally well-produced. The Sharpe Novels of Bernard Cornwell were rendered into a TV series with a terrific cast featuring Sean Bean. The Emperor's New Clothes was a charming non-military take on Napoleon that featured Ian Holm as Napoleon. Then, of course, there is always the 2004 classic Napoleon Dynamite!
You can buy signed copies of
America Invades here...www.americainvades.com
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An Adventure in 1914 is available for Pre-order here...www.anadventurein1914.com
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