March 4, 2009 cameron

President Markham Joins Twitter!

I’m not sure if it’s because of all the hype that Twitter has been getting in the US media lately, or if it’s because he’s just a hipster, but my friend J. David Markham has set up a Twitter account. Keep track of the daily life of the President! (… of the International Napoleonic Society…).

Comments (6)

  1. Welcome to twitter…..On an aside….

    Way behind on the episodes, but just listening to #13 on a retrospective and wanted to give you the Anglophile reason for the breaking of the Treaty of Amiens. It’s because of “Imminent Threat” (which I forget the Latin for) it is a long standing tenet of English Foreign Policy that when any power on the Continent reaches a certain size, they inevitably set their sites on the UK, so “Imminent Threat” is a drive to curtail them by any means… Historical Precedents are Napoleon and Louis the XIV and the Hapsburgs (Austrian and Spanish stage, William of Orange et al) and Hitler. The previous times that they didn’t follow this tenet were the 5-6th C and the Saxons (invasion) and the 11th C and the Normans. So you can see, better to attack first rather than be invaded, from an English perspective.

  2. Cameron


    Nations throughout history (and as recently as the USA in 2003) have been using the classic excuses of “imminent threat” or a false flag operation to attempt to justify their acts of aggression on other countries. The difference between Napoleon’s time and 2003, of course, is that a pre-emptive attack is now against international law, forbidden by Article 2 of the United Nations charter.

  3. Yeah, but for a long time, “Imminent Threat” was a pillar of English Foreign policy, even more developed there than it is in the US now. The British were continually thinking this way, and it was until Gordon and Khartoum and the Suez in the late 19th C that they started realizing this was not a great plan…..

  4. Ipbussell, I think you have stretched a good point a bit further than it will really go. Britain was a province of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century and wouldn’t have had an independent foreign policy at the time. I think most people in Britain regard the state as dating back to about the time of King Alfred.

    Historically it has been fairly rare for Britain to have much influence on the continent of Europe at all. With regard to the Napoleonic era, the British were incredibly reluctant to get involved initially. The big factor that changed was Napoleon’s personality. All the time he was in power Britain, and every other state in Europe come to that, was at risk of imminent invasion. Whatever else you think of the guy, he meant business. British policy to Napoleon was unique. It was definitely not a simple continuation of previous policies.

    It is easy to forget that being an island is a very vulnerable position militarily. If you don’t control the sea an enemy army can land anywhere. A small island next to a much larger country is not a comfortable postion to be in. Ask an Irishman.

  5. Actually, I was pretty much agreeing with you Colin. France and England are traditional antagonists, and, as you said England traditionally did not have power of the mainland, but historically when England has had power on the Continent, it is at the expense of the French.

    Looking at invasions of England, they had been mostly French for 500 years or more. The French & Normans (Being also French) invaded England many times starting in 1066 (Hastings),1216 (Baron’s War),1386 (planned, not executed) 1744 (Austrian Succession), 1745 (Bonnie Prince Charlie) 1759 (Failed), 1783 (American War of Independance, planned) and of course the 1688 Glorious Revolution (William of Orange with a lot of French mercenaries). I’d say that constitutes a trend. I would say the English realized, as we can easily, all the ones led by charismatic, dynamic leaders being successful. (William, Louis VIII and William of Orange) I’d say it was not so much as an existing policy as much as say, the English being scared shitless of another invasion under Napoleon.

    By the victory of Trafalgar (After which, an actual invasion of England became unlikely but not impossible, I refer to the Battle of Lepanto 1571, when the Ottoman Turks rebuilt their entire navy in 1 year) it was a matter of national pride. Men had been lost, Napoleon had proven himself successful and pride was at stake.

    As for the Napoleonic era and Britain not getting involved initially, I disagree with you on that point. They had offered a base for the Bourbons immediately after the Revolution and were always leaning against the Republic and then Napoleon. There was existing bad blood between the two kingdoms from the US War of Independence and going all the way back (this time) to the Austrian war of Succession and Prince Charlie and the Battle of Culloden.

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