Night Music: Si Pero No

June 18, 2015

Waterloo — Two Hundred Years After

June 18, 2015

Two hundred years ago today, tens of thousands of men died on the field of Waterloo, in a famous battle that finally ended the megalomania of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Of course the victor of Waterloo, the awful (in several senses) Wellington, turned out to be every bit as anti-democratic and megalomaniac as Bonaparte ever was; and the defeat of the French, along with concurrent mercantilist aggression in India, consolidated Britain’s imperial self-belief after the shock of misplacing the American colonies.

Waterloo was a close run thing in a field in Belgium, but to the victor went the global spoils.