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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 6, 2005 / 5 Kislev, 5766

Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair

By Niall Ferguson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is in Book III of "War and Peace" that Tolstoy memorably describes the Battle of Austerlitz — "the battle of the three emperors" — the 200th anniversary of which fell on Friday. This was the greatest victory of Napoleon Bonaparte's career. At the time, it seemed far more important than his navy's defeat at Trafalgar two months before. Its consequences are still with us.


By routing the combined armies of Austria and Russia, Austerlitz enabled Napoleon literally to redraw the map of Europe, conjuring up a new Confederation of the Rhine from the Baltic to the Alps.


Moreover, by obliging the Austrian Emperor Francis to renounce the title of Holy Roman Emperor, Napoleon snuffed out an institution that had been at the heart of Europe for more than a millennium.


Napoleon's idea of Europe was double-edged. On the one hand, he overthrew decadent dynasties such as the Bourbons of Naples and established what was to become the model for Continental legal systems, the Code Napoléon. Later, in exile, he claimed that he had "wished to found a European system, a European code of laws, a European judiciary" so that "there would be one people in Europe." Yet, at the same time, Napoleonic Europe was without question an authoritarian empire.


What finally killed Napoleon's Europe was the fatal combination of the English Channel and the Russian winter. Nevertheless, it proved impossible to restore the old pre-Napoleonic Europe.


Napoleon fell; Bonapartism lived on, with the civil code and economic dirigisme as perhaps its most enduring legacies.


And how they have endured! Ask yourself what are the biggest differences between England and the Continent?


The answer is that the Europeans have Napoleonic law and economics, and the English, whom he did not conquer, have common law and the free market.


Which is why Tony Blair must often feel that Napoleon's ghost has come back to haunt him. As prime minister of the country that currently holds the presidency of the European Union, Blair not unreasonably expects to play a leading role in European affairs. Yet his efforts to reform the EU's budget have brought him into collision with almost anyone who has an opinion on this baffling subject.


Frankly, the details don't much matter. But the nonsensical system epitomizes that fundamental non-meeting of British and continental European minds, which is the reason the 30-year cross-Channel marriage has been so troubled.


Yet perhaps, on reflection, it is not quite right to ascribe Blair's difficulties to the persistence of the Bonapartist tradition on the Continent.


For one thing, I am no longer sure how committed the English really are to either their own legal tradition or their own economic tradition. At the same time, on closer inspection, the EU, as presently constituted, looks less like the rationalized Europe of Napoleon's dreams and more like the ancien régime Europe he tried to get rid of.


Voltaire famously said of the Holy Roman Empire that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Perhaps something similar could be said of the EU, which seems less European and less united with every passing year. For how much longer will the EU really be European, given the profound demographic changes that are inexorably increasing the Muslim share of its population — to say nothing of Turkey, negotiating to become its newest and, before long, biggest member?


And is the enlarged European Union really a union, in the sense that the United States or the United Kingdom are, or something more like a Eurabian Disunion? At best it is a confederation. At worst it's a mess of overlapping treaties and jurisdictions.


In our age of attention deficit disorders, 200 years can seem an impossibly long time ago. Yet the bicentenary of Austerlitz is more than a matter of antiquarian curiosity. For remembering how Napoleon killed off the Holy Roman Empire not only helps to illuminate the subsequent divergence of Britain from the European continent, it also may give us an inkling of the future.


Who, I wonder, will be the next Napoleon — the one who rides into Brussels to sweep away the Holy Roman Empire of our time?

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Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.

11/22/05: Can it happen in Britain too?
11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
11/10/05: The fires of disintegration
11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2005, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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