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U.S. History/Napoleon and the USA


Hello Michael.
200 years ago this week Napoleon attempted to escape from France and the clutches of the victorious Allies. His plan was to sail into exile in the USA.
How would he have been received over there (I'm English)? His arrival would have been unannounced of course, would the US government have let him settle or would they have turned his ship away?

It's always hard to guess what might have been in history.  But my best guess is that Napoleon likely would have been welcomed in the US, as long as he did not try to get involved in politics or try to take control of Louisiana or something.  If he chose to live quietly as a private citizen, he likely could have found a place in the US.

Napoleon's brother Joseph, after all, had lived in Philadelphia for several years.  The US was not exactly best friends with the UK in 1815, having just completed the War of 1812.  Giving safe harbor to an enemy of England would likely have something with which they could tweek the British.  Americans generally thought well of Napoleon.  Had he made it, he probably would have found a welcoming home.

- Mike

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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