The Battle Of Waterloo By Victor Hugo Essay

1375 WordsOct 21, 20166 Pages
The 19th-century French novelist Victor Hugo believed that “Waterloo [was] not a battle [...but] a change of front on the part of the Universe.” Although Hugo’s phrasing is, at first glance, extreme, there is some truth to his words, for the Battle of Waterloo and its unexpected outcome significantly impacted the future of France and the rest of Europe and derailed the course of history. If any battle in history can be called a decisive battle, it is the Battle of Waterloo, which prematurely ended Napoleon Bonaparte’s Hundred Days of restoration and 23 years of warfare between France and other European powers. As Professor of History Yuval Noah Harari wrote, “some battles...can change the course of history by annulling or at least diminishing the impact of long-term structural factors”— and the Battle of Waterloo did just that. The Battle of Waterloo was decisive because its unexpected outcome had a momentous impact and consequences beyond its immediate causes since it permanently and fundamentally changed the global balance of power, it lay the foundation for the way the international system would work, and has several implications for the European Union. The framework I have chosen to consider in my analysis of Waterloo is founded on Harari’s basic parameters, but I adjusted each characteristic of decisive battles to better fit the Waterloo scenario. By the year 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte had been attempting to create a “European empire under his military dictatorship”

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