Tag: Napoleon

Napoleon: Politics in Napoleon’s Time

France
under the rule of Bourbon King Louis XVI was the envy of Europe.
During his reign beginning in 1774, France had more people
and wealth than any another nation on the continent. From
his glittering palace of Versailles, Louis XVI and his wife
Marie Antoinette pilfered France’s resources while their
people suffered.

Across
the Atlantic in America, Great Britain’s thirteen colonies
declared their independence from the rule of King George III
on July 4, 1776. France, seizing the opportunity to regain
colonies lost to the English, entered the war and helped secure
American independence.

Thomas
Jefferson drew upon the ideas of the Enlightenment —
the rationalist, liberal, and humanitarian trend in 18th-century
thought — in defining the rights and privileges of citizens
in the Constitution of the United States. Similar ideas had
planted firm roots in Europe. Enlightened despots such as
Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Catherine II of

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