Freedom or Tyranny?

Napoleon

As we face increasing crises, history proves that we can either choose tyranny working through force or liberty working through love. Toward the end of his life Napoleon Bonaparte finally discovered the greatest Emperor of all.

He said: “I know men; and I tell you, Jesus Christ is no mere man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist… Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself have founded empires; but upon what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. But Jesus Christ founded His Empire upon love; and at this hour, millions of men would die for Him.”

Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power from the rank of corporal in the French revolutionary guards in 1795. The people of France had just suffered untold misery at the hands of Robespierre and the guillotine of the French Revolution. Forty thousand Frenchmen had lost their heads, literally, to the giant knife. They faced economic chaos and were looking for someone to offer them stability and hope. Napoleon came along promising the young men of France a return to prosperity and gave them dreams of World Empire if they would follow him. As a result the little general took the men of France to war for almost two decades. Napoleon proved to be a brilliant field commander and propagandist. He covered his thirst for power in a cloak of populism, appealing to the middle class, the common man.

By 1804, following the plan of the ancient Caesars of Rome, Napoleon had himself enshrined as the first consul of the new Holy Roman Empire and the Emperor himself for life. He drove his enemies before him capturing nation after nation. Finally he sacrificed 400,000 French soldiers as he forced them into an invasion of Russia. Napoleon was driven into exile.

But ultimately, after escaping his island exile and regathering his army in 1814, Napoleon was defeated for the last time at Waterloo by the British Duke of Wellington. He probably would have won the battle that day, but a torrential rain drenched the roads prohibiting the general from putting his canon on the hill overlooking the battlefield. For this reason he delayed his attack on the British until the afternoon the next day. This gave the Prussian army the time needed to reach the field and attack Napoleon from the flank. By the time the Scottish Calvary galloped into the center of the French phalanx, Napoleon had no more weapons in his arsenal.

Read more at World History Institute