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Making Peace with the Catholic Church, 1801–2

Making Peace with the Catholic Church, 1801–2

One of Napoleon’s first priorities was to reestablish good relations with the papacy, which had fought the revolutionary church settlement tooth and nail. Napoleon gained everything he desired in the Concordat: he appointed the bishops and archbishops of the French church, and all bishops had to swear an oath of fidelity to the French Republic.

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Bonaparte and Islam

Bonaparte and Islam

Bonaparte’s secretary describes the religious practices, attitudes, and views of Bonaparte with regard to Islam. Accepting that the general curried favor with Muslims, he also hoped to deflect criticism of Bonaparte, claiming that what he did was good governance rather than bad Christianity, as his critics maintained.

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In Search of Glory: Bonaparte’s Bulletins

In Search of Glory: Bonaparte’s Bulletins

In this passage, Bonaparte’s secretary describes the importance and effect of Bonaparte’s propaganda in the form of the military bulletin from an army in the field. Glory and military virtue were emphasized; generals vied to be included.

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The Battle of Waterloo as Seen by an Ordinary British Cavalryman

The Battle of Waterloo as Seen by an Ordinary British Cavalryman

At the Battle of Waterloo, Dickson (1789–1880) was a corporal in a Scottish cavalry troop. He had enlisted in 1807. His reminiscences of the battle were written down by relatives years later.

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Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution

Germaine de Staël, A French Writer Exiled by Napoleon

De Staël was the daughter of Jacques Necker, Louis XVI’s Swiss Protestant finance minister. She published novels, literary tracts, and memoirs and became one of the best-known writers of the early nineteenth century. Napoleon exiled her in 1803. In the following excerpts, she describes her first meetings with him in 1797 and her judgment of the man.

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A Popular English Broadside (1821)

A Popular English Broadside (1821)

Some in the popular classes saw in Napoleon an opponent of monarchs.

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Rights of Man

Rights of Man

Thomas Paine (1737–1809) played a vital role in mobilizing American support for their own independence, and he leapt to support the French revolutionaries when Edmund Burke attacked. Elected deputy to the French National Convention in 1793, Paine nearly lost his head as an associate of the Girondins during the Terror. In his reply to Burke, Paine defended the idea of reform based on reason.

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A Poem by Victor Hugo (1830)

A Poem by Victor Hugo (1830)

In his poem “To the Column,” the great French poet Victor Hugo celebrates the memory of Napoleon.

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