People in Europe has hated each other in thousands of years. Today, it is 200 years since the battle of Waterloo. The date was Sunday, 18 June, 1815. Some people say this was the early start of NATO, because allied forces at this time was British, Scottish, Flemish, Irish, Welsh, Walloon, German, Belgium and Dutch soldiers.
After 1815, the norm for the British arms has been coalitions. From Crimea in the 1850`s to the World War I and II, and wars on Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
«It`s a historical distortion: Britain could not defeat Napoleon without the aid of continental partners,» Charles Esdaile, a military historian at the University of Liverpool said.
(Picture: Clèment-Auguste Andrieux’s 1852 The Battle of Waterloo)
They all thwarted the attempts of European domination by the French general and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle in Waterloo was the start of the end of the Napoleonic Wars, which started in 1803 and ended in 1815. 5 million people were killed.
Napoleon`s army consisted of around 69,000 men; 48,000 infantry, 14,000 cavalry, and 7,000 artillery with 250 guns. Welligton`s troops consisted of 67,000 men; 50,000 infantry, 11,000 cavalry, and 6,000 artillery with 150 guns.
The author of Les Miserables, Victor Hugo, said the battle in Waterloo wasn`t a battle. He said: «Waterloo is not a battle; it is the changing face of the universe.»
Historians say Waterloo laid the groundwork for NATO and the United Nations, and only 36% of Welligton`s army were British. Winston Churchill mentioned «united nations» as the famous global organisation and it paved the way for the U.K to become a global power.
Prussia had 50,000 soldiers, and became a part of Germany later on.
French had long been the world`s superpower. Who knows that France have been one out of three to be the world`s superpower in 500 years? The Vienna Treaty started right after the battle of Waterloo, and the U.K got territorial possessions (South Africa, Trinidad and Sri Lanka).
The U.K used this base to control its vast colonial empire.
Britain didn`t have much competition until the U.S emerged as a superpower during the World War II. The demand for American products increased during the Napoleonic Wars, as the European industry was hit hard during the war and their demand for products declined.
The Anglo-American War in 1812 combined with the British and French blockades disrupted the trade, and the battle heralded an age of German nationalism, and later on to World War II. The Prussian state created nationalism which formed the new German Empire after 1870.
The nationalism escalated and led to the hyper-nationalism which again led to the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.
This formed the future of the European Union.
Napoleon wanted a single state in Europe and the battle in Waterloo was a battle between different ideologies. Napoleon wanted to control Europe. He wanted to establish a European empire under his dictatorship since 1804.
But the allies wanted something different. The Allies won over France and Napoleon`s concepts such as Napoleon`s French Revolutionary Empire and Holy Roman Empire before it.
But Napoleon is not the only one to try to take control over Europe, and we can see the same idea of a pan-European state today, which is exactly 200 years since the battle in Waterloo. Many people in Europe doesn`t like the idea and do not buy the new ideology.
The Congress of Vienna declared Napoleon an outlaw on 13 March, 1815. Four days later, the U.K, Russia, Austria and Prussia mobilised armies to defeat Napoleon.
Napoleon attacked the allies in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Napoleon was defeated after a few hours, and the coalition forces entered France and restored King Louis XVIII to the French throne.
Napoleon abdicated, eventually surrendering to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, part of the British blockade, and was exiled to Saint Helena where he died in 1821.
About 100 years later (1920), Adolf Hitler came to the power in the German Nazi Party.
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