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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waterloo—200 Years On

For John, BLUFThis was shortly after we concluded the War of 1812 with the British.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Battle of Waterloo was 200 years ago today.  It was an important turning point in history.  If the Duke of Wellington (UK) and Gebhard von Blücher (Kingdom of Prussia) had lost, Bonaparte would have likely gone on to rule Europe as Emperor and democracy would have been delayed for decades in those lands.  Put another way, tyranny would have reigned.

From The Wall Street Journal, a few days back, is an article by Mr David Marcelis, titled "When Napoleon Met His Waterloo, He Was Out of Town".

It seems that at the 200 years mark the Belgian village of Braine-l’Alleud wants credit for the French emperor’s defeat.  After all, they have the big monument, a pyramid-like manmade hill, with a lion on top.

According to Belgian Historian Bernard Coppens,

Most of the Battle of Waterloo took place a few miles south, in Braine-l’Alleud and Plancenoit.
The battle got its name because the victor, the Duke of Wellington, penned his official report from his Waterloo headquarters.

More than a hundred places world-wide are its namesakes. ABBA’s “Waterloo” ranks among the best-selling singles ever.  It abides in English, French and other languages as an expression for one’s final, insurmountable challenge.

But, regardless of where it happened, the important thing was that Bonaparte was defeated and the French Revolution, and the struggle for Democracy across Europe, could continue.  We ourselves, here in the United States, benefited because of the refugees from the 1848 Revolution, who came here in time to help fight and win the American Civil War.

Regards  —  Cliff

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