Napoleon's Maxims & Quotes

On Nations

  • When a Nation is in war, the presence of a deliberative body is injurious and often fatal. The turbulent, the ambitious greedy of distinction, of popularity, of power, erect themselves by their own authority into advocates of the people, defending those who are not attacked, as advisers of the Prince, they will know all, rule all, direct all, they become successively censors, factious and rebels.

  • There is no Nation however small which had the right to set itself free, that has not rescued itself from the dishonour of obeying the Prince imposed by an enemy in the hour of victory.

  • Patriotism is a word which represents a noble idea.

  • The fate of a Nation may sometimes depend upon the position of a fortress.

  • It strengthens the bonds between nations to have the same civil laws and the same monetary system.

  • In a conquered country benevolence is not humanitarianism. It is a general political axiom that a conqueror must not inspire a good opinion of his benevolence until he has demonstrated that he can be severe with malefactors.

  • Agriculture is the soul and chief support of empires; industry produces riches and the happiness of the people; exportation represents the superabundance, and good use of both.

  • Nothing renders a nation so despicable as religious despotism.

  • Equality should be the chief basis of the education of youth.

  • A nation recruits men more easily than it can retrieve its honour.

  • Liberty and equality are magical words.

  • We should wash our dirty linen at home.

  • We are nothing but by the law.

  • Military despotism represses generous sentiments, priestly tyranny stifles them.

  • Timid and cowardly soldiers cause the loss of a nation's independence; but pusillanimous magistrates destroy the empire of the laws, the rights of the throne, and even social order itself.

  • To extraordinary circumstances we must apply extraordinary remedies.

  • In these days the invention of printing, and the diffusion of knowledge, render historical calumnies a little less dangerous: truth will always prevail in the long run, but how slow its progress!


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