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Old 11-09-2002, 02:41 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,631
Why wasn't Napoleon Bonaparte executed?

After Bonaparte became the self-crowned emperor of the radical French republic, he waged aggressive war for decades in a bid to conquer or control virtually all of Europe. Finally he was totally defeated. The restored Bourbon monarchy, if no one else, should have wanted him hung from a gibbet. Yet he was allowed to go into exile. Then he escapes from confinement, tries to retake control of France, and is totally defeated again. Yet he still got off with nothing worse than exile. (discounting rumors that he was poisoned). Why the heck didn't the victorious allies execute him?
Old 11-09-2002, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 10,565
It was not in in the interest of countries ruled by monarchs to execute other monarchs, no matter how tenuous their claims to monarchy were.
Old 11-09-2002, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 16,837
I never wondered about that. Possibly because executing a head of state, even considered illegitimate, was considered unpalatable. After all, he personnally knew most of the european rulers, and was an in-law of the Emperor of Austria....A lot of them have signed various treaties and alliances with him, so he was probably not very sound to suddenly realize that actually he was a criminal, not a legitimate head of state.

Why the restored king didn't want him to be executed? Total wild ass guess : perhaps because his popularity could have led to riots (that could be another reason for the european powers not to want to execute him).

Other possible reason (still a WAG, of course) : in order not to make him a martyr?
Old 11-09-2002, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 16,837
By the way, very few high-ranking officials ofthe empirehave been executed after the restoration of the Bourbons, the most notable exception being the marshall Ney (There has been a violent repression and some summary executions or lynchings of relatively low ranking officials or anonymous supporters of Napoleon).

Some of them have even be "reused" by the new monarch, the most obvious example being the infamous, corrupted but highly efficient Talleyrand (from a noble family, originally bishop, then rallied to the revolution, minister of foreign affairs of the republic, then of the empire after Bonaparte's coup, then of the restored Bourbon king, then at the service of the Orleans king Louis-Philippe after the 1830 revolution which chased the last were thinking that modern politicia
Old 11-09-2002, 08:17 PM
Graphite is a great
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 25,708
Napoleon is just lucky that Predator drones hadn't been invented yet. That's my WAG.

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