Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Greater Antilles, northwest of Barbados, south of Dominica; as with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the eighteen regions of France and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, its currency is the euro; the official language is French, the entire population speaks Antillean Creole. Christopher Columbus landed on 15 June 1502, after a 21-day trade wind passage, his fastest ocean voyage, he spent three days there refilling his water casks and washing laundry. The island was called "Jouanacaëra-Matinino", which came from a mythical island described by the Taínos of Hispaniola.
According to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which means "the island of iguanas". When Columbus landed on the island in 1502, he christened the island as Martinica; the island is called "Madinina" by the locals. The island was occupied first by Arawaks by Caribs; the Carib people had migrated from the mainland to the islands about 1201 CE, according to carbon dating of artifacts. They were displaced and assimilated by the Taino, who were resident on the island in the 1490s. Martinique was charted by Columbus in 1493. On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Kitts, landed in the harbor of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. Kitts by the English. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique", established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre. D'Esnambuc died in 1636, leaving the company and Martinique in the hands of his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who in 1637, became governor of the island.
In 1636, the indigenous Caribs rose against the settlers to drive them off the island in the first of many skirmishes. The French repelled the natives and forced them to retreat to the eastern part of the island, on the Caravelle Peninsula in the region known as the Capesterre; when the Carib revolted against French rule in 1658, the Governor Charles Houël du Petit Pré retaliated with war against them. Many were killed; some Carib had fled to St. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace; because there were few Catholic priests in the French Antilles, many of the earliest French settlers were Huguenots who sought greater religious freedom than what they could experience in mainland France. They became quite prosperous. Although edicts from King Louis XIV's court came to the islands to suppress the Protestant "heretics", these were ignored by island authorities until Louis XIV's Edict of Revocation in 1685. From September 1686 to early 1688, the French crown used Martinique as a threat and a dumping ground for mainland Huguenots who refused to reconvert to Catholicism.
Over 1,000 Huguenots were transported to Martinique during this period under miserable and crowded ship conditions that caused many of them to die en route. Those that survived the trip were distributed to the island planters as Engagés under the system of serf peonage that prevailed in the French Antilles at the time; as many of the planters on Martinique were themselves Huguenot, who were sharing in the suffering under the harsh strictures of the Revocation, they began plotting to emigrate from Martinique with many of their arrived brethren. Many of them were encouraged by their Catholic brethren who looked forward to the departure of the heretics and seizing their property for themselves. By 1688, nearly all of Martinique's French Protestant population had escaped to the British American colonies or Protestant countries back home; the policy decimated the population of Martinique and the rest of the French Antilles and set back their colonization by decades, causing the French king to relax his policies in the islands yet leaving the islands susceptible to British occupation over the next century.
Under Governor of the Antilles Charles de Courbon, comte de Blénac, Martinique served as a home port for French pirates including Captain Crapeau, Etienne de Montauban, Mathurin Desmarestz. In years pirate Bartholomew Roberts styled his jolly roger as a black flag depicting a pirate standing on two skulls labeled "ABH" and "AMH" for "A Barbadian's Head" and "A Martinican's Head", after Governors of those two islands sent warships to capture Roberts. Martinique was occupied several times by the British including once during the Seven Years' War and twice during the Napoleonic Wars. Excepting a period from 1802–1809 following signing of the Treaty of Amiens, Britain controlled the island for most of the time from 1794–1815, when it was traded back to France at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique has remained a French possession since then; as sugar prices declined in the early 1800s, the planter class lost political influence. In 1848, Victor Schoelcher persuaded the French government to end slavery in the French W
Fort Saint Louis (Martinique)
Fort Saint Louis is a seaside fortress in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The present-day fort has evolved from earlier strongholds that were erected on the site as early as 1638, has been known in previous incarnations as Fort Royal and Fort de la Republique; the modern-day Fort Saint Louis is a listed historic site of France. There are daily tours of the fort, though the portion, still a naval base is off-limits. Fort Saint Louis is under command of the capitaine de vaisseau in charge of the navy and the naval air forces for the Caribbean; the forces based here include the BATRAL Francis Garnier. The active part of the fort includes the administrative buildings of the base, the service for naval constructions, the radio station of Pointe des Sables, ammunition storage facilities, the Rivière Salée station. Fort Saint Louis has a commanding view of the anchorage of Fort-de-France, the island's capital city, it stands on a rocky peninsula at the edge of Fort-de-France Bay. The fort has been home to many generations of a enduring colony of Green Iguana.
The species, Iguana iguana, is not indigenous to Martinique and the reptiles are thought to have arrived by boat from either French Guiana or the Îles des Saintes and thrived in the fort area after their release or escape. In 1635, during the reign of Louis XIII, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc and the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique established a French colony in Martinique, which the company governed until 1650. In 1638, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, nephew of Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc and first governor of Martinique, decided to have Fort Saint Louis built to protect the city against enemy attacks; the fort was soon destroyed, rebuilt in 1669, when Louis XIV appointed Jean-Charles de Baas-Castelmore, the Marquis of Baas, as governor general. Under his orders and those of his successors the Count of Blénac, the fort was built along the lines of a Vauban design. On 19 July 1674, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, Admiral de Ruyter led a Dutch fleet of eighteen warships, nine storeships, fifteen troop transports bearing 3,400 soldiers in an attack on the fort.
The attack lasted three days. After the initial Dutch attack, Governor Sainte Marthe called a war council. Sieur de Gemozat, the Lieutenant du Roi, was the only member to reject the option to surrender. Still, Captain Aycard, at ruinous personal cost, scuttled his freighted ship to prevent the Dutch vessels from entering the Carénage. During the siege, Thomas-Claude Renart de Fuschamberg, future Marquis d'Amblimont, commander of the warship Les Jeux, used his vessel's guns to prevent the Dutch frigates from approaching the fort more and the Dutch land forces from over-running the North Bastion. Today, the actions of Aycard, de Baas, de Gemozat and D'Amblimont are memorialized in structures in the fort that bear their names. In 1677, Charles de La Roche-Courbon, comte de Blénac, became Governor General, holding the post until 1683, he was responsible for the 10-year effort that resulted in the building of a 487-meter wall around the peninsula, the wall being four meters high and two meters thick.
Comte de Blénac served as Governor General again from June 1684 to February 1691, again from 24 Nov 1691 until his death in 1696. His successor was the Marquis d'Amblimont, who had played an important role in the repulse of the Dutch. In January 1759, the fort repulsed an attack by Admiral Rodney. A second British attack three years was more successful; the British forces occupied two hills overlooking Fort Saint Louis, Morne Garnier and Morne Tartenson. Fort Saint Louis, although strong on the seaward side, was ill-prepared to resist bombardment from above and an attack from the landward; the British were therefore able to force its surrender. During this and subsequent periods of British occupation, the fort bore the name Fort Edward. On 11 February 1763, after the Treaty of Paris returned Martinique to French control, the British left and the fort resumed its name of Fort Royal; the French proceeded to construct a second fort, Fort Bourbon, on Morne Garnier to protect Fort Saint Louis. In 1793, with the advent of the French Revolution, the fort's name was changed to Fort de la Republique.
In February 1794, the British Admiral John Jervis attacked Martinique, taking it after a 28-day siege. By 20 March only Fort Royal still held out. Jervis ordered the fourth rate ship of the line HMS Asia, the sloop, HMS Zebra to take Fort Saint Louis. Asia was unable to get close, so Commander Faulknor of Zebra volunteered to undertake the capture without the help of the larger vessel. Despite facing heavy fire, he ran his sloop close under the walls, he and his ship's company used Zebra's boats to land. The British captured it. Meanwhile, the boats of the British fleet captured Fort Royal and two days Fort Bourbon capitulated; the Governor General of Martinique at the time was Donatien Marie Joseph de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau. The British occupied the fort from 22 May 1794 until September 1802 when the Treaty of Amiens again returned Martinique to France; the fort was renamed Fort Saint Louis. The British captured Martinique again in 1809. During their attack, Commander Charles John Napier of the brig-sloop Recruit noticed that Fort Edward, as he termed it, appeared abandoned.
He took a gig and with four men, scaled the fort's walls, hoisted a British f
A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. Urban parks are green spaces set aside for recreation inside cities. National parks and Country parks are green spaces used for recreation in the countryside. State parks and Provincial parks are administered by sub-national government agencies. Parks may consist of grassy areas, rocks and trees, but may contain buildings and other artifacts such as monuments, fountains or playground structures. Many parks have fields for playing sports such as soccer and football, paved areas for games such as basketball. Many parks have trails for walking and other activities; some parks are built adjacent to bodies of water or watercourses and may comprise a beach or boat dock area. Urban parks have benches for sitting and may contain picnic tables and barbecue grills; the largest parks can be vast natural areas of hundreds of thousands square kilometers, with abundant wildlife and natural features such as mountains and rivers.
In many large parks, camping in tents is allowed with a permit. Many natural parks are protected by law, users may have to follow restrictions. Large national and sub-national parks are overseen by a park ranger or a park warden. Large parks may have areas for canoeing and hiking in the warmer months and, in some northern hemisphere countries, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in colder months. There are amusement parks which have live shows, fairground rides and games of chance or skill. English deer parks were used by the aristocracy in medieval times for game hunting, they had walls or thick hedges around them to keep game animals in and people out. It was forbidden for commoners to hunt animals in these deer parks; these game preserves evolved into landscaped parks set around mansions and country houses from the sixteenth century onwards. These may have served as hunting grounds but they proclaimed the owner's wealth and status. An aesthetic of landscape design began in these stately home parks where the natural landscape was enhanced by landscape architects such as Capability Brown.
As cities became crowded, the private hunting grounds became places for the public. With the Industrial revolution parks took on a new meaning as areas set aside to preserve a sense of nature in the cities and towns. Sporting activity came to be a major use for these urban parks. Areas of outstanding natural beauty were set aside as national parks to prevent their being spoiled by uncontrolled development. Park design is influenced by the intended purpose and audience, as well as by the available land features. A park intended to provide recreation for children may include a playground. A park intended for adults may feature walking paths and decorative landscaping. Specific features, such as riding trails, may be included to support specific activities; the design of a park may determine, willing to use it. Walkers may feel unsafe on a mixed-use path, dominated by fast-moving cyclists or horses. Different landscaping and infrastructure may affect children's rates of use of parks according to sex.
Redesigns of two parks in Vienna suggested that the creation of multiple semi-enclosed play areas in a park could encourage equal use by boys and girls. Parks are part of the urban infrastructure: for physical activity, for families and communities to gather and socialize, or for a simple respite. Research reveals that people who exercise outdoors in green-space derive greater mental health benefits. Providing activities for all ages and income levels is important for the physical and mental well-being of the public. Parks can benefit pollinators, some parks have been redesigned to accommodate them better; some organisations, such as Xerces Society are promoting this idea. City parks play a role in improving cities and improving the futures for residents and visitors - for example, Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois or the Mill River Park and Green way in Stamford, CT. One group, a strong proponent of parks for cities is The American Society of Landscape Architects, they argue that parks are important to the fabric of the community on an individual scale and broader scales such as entire neighborhoods, city districts or city park systems.
Parks need to feel safe for people to use them. Research shows that perception of safety can be more significant in influencing human behavior than actual crime statistics. If citizens perceive a park as unsafe, they might not make use of it at all. A study done in four cities. There are a number of features. Elements in the physical design of a park, such as an open and welcoming entry, good visibility, appropriate lighting and signage can all make a difference. Regular park maintenance, as well as programming and community involvement can contribute to a feeling of safety. While Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design has been used in facility design, use of CPTED in parks has not been. Iqbal and Ceccato performed a study in Stockholm, Sweden to determine if it would be useful to apply to parks, their study indicated that while CPTED could be useful, due to the
Joséphine was the first wife of Napoleon, thus the first Empress of the French. Her marriage to Napoleon was her second, her two children by Beauharnais became significant to royal lineage. Through her daughter, she was the maternal grandmother of Napoleon III. Through her son, Eugène, she was the great-grandmother of Swedish and Danish kings and queens; the reigning houses of Belgium and Luxembourg descend from her. She did not bear Napoleon any children. Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, her Château de Malmaison was noted for its magnificent rose garden, which she supervised owing to her passionate interest in roses, collected from all over the world. Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie was born in Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique, to a wealthy French Creole family that owned a sugarcane plantation, now a museum, she was the eldest daughter of Joseph-Gaspard Tascher, Seigneur de la Pagerie, lieutenant of Troupes de Marine, his wife, the former Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois, whose maternal grandfather, Anthony Brown, may have been Irish.
The family struggled financially after hurricanes destroyed their estate in 1766. Edmée, Joséphine's paternal aunt, had been the mistress of François, Marquis de Beauharnais, a French aristocrat; when François's health began to fail, Edmée arranged the advantageous marriage of her niece, Catherine-Désirée, to François's son Alexandre. This marriage would be beneficial for the Tascher family, because it kept the Beauharnais money in their hands. In service to their aunt Edmée's goals, Catherine was replaced by Joséphine. In October 1779, Joséphine went to France with her father, she married Alexandre on 13 December 1779, in Noisy-le-Grand. They had two children: a son, Eugène de Beauharnais, a daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais. Joséphine and Alexandre's marriage was not a happy one. Alexandre has abandoned his family for over a year in a brief tryst and frequented whorehouses, leading to a court-ordered separation during which Josephine and the children lived at Alexandre's expense in the Pentemont Abbey, run by a group of Bernardian nuns.
On 2 March 1794, during the Reign of Terror, the Committee of Public Safety ordered the arrest of her husband. He was jailed in the Carmes prison in Paris. Considering Joséphine as too close to the counter-revolutionary financial circles, the Committee ordered her arrest on 18 April 1794. A warrant of arrest was issued against her on 2 Floréal, year II, she was imprisoned in the Carmes prison until 10 Thermidor, year II. During this time, Josephine was only allowed to communicate with her children by their scrawls on the laundry list, of which the gaolers soon prohibited, her husband was accused of having poorly defended Mainz in July 1793, being considered an aristocratic "suspect", was sentenced to death and guillotined, with his cousin Augustin, on 23 July 1794, on the Place de la Révolution in Paris. Joséphine was freed five days thanks to the fall and execution of Robespierre, which ended the Reign of Terror. On 27 July 1794, Tallien arranged the liberation of Thérèse Cabarrus, soon after that of Joséphine.
In June 1795, a new law allowed her to recover the possessions of Alexandre. Madame de Beauharnais had affairs with several leading political figures, including Paul François Jean Nicolas Barras. In 1795, she met Napoleon Bonaparte, six years her junior, became his mistress. In a letter to her in December, he wrote, "I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses." In January 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to her and they were married on 9 March. Until meeting Bonaparte, she was known as Rose, but Bonaparte preferred to call her Joséphine, the name she adopted from on; the marriage was not well received by Napoleon's family, who were shocked that he had married an older widow with two children. His mother and sisters were resentful of Joséphine, as they felt clumsy and unsophisticated in her presence. Two days after the wedding, Bonaparte left Paris to lead a French army into Italy. During their separation, he sent her many love letters.
In February 1797, he wrote: “You to whom nature has given spirit and beauty, you who alone can move and rule my heart, you who know all too well the absolute empire you exercise over it!” However, Josephine wrote back and when she did, her letters were dry and tepid. It is known that Josephine did not love Napoleon as much as he did, that it took her years before she warmed to his affections. After their marriage, Napoleon was said to have kept a picture of her in his pocket which he would plant many kisses on every passing hour. Josephine, never looked at the picture of her new husband that Napoleon gave her. Joséphine, left behind in Paris, in 1796 began an affair with a handsome Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles. Rumors of the affair reached Napoleon. In 1798, Napoleon led a French army to Egypt. During this campaign, Napoleon started an
Exposition Universelle (1889)
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a world's fair held in Paris, from 6 May to 31 October 1889. It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, an event considered symbolic of the beginning of the French Revolution; the fair included a reconstruction of the Bastille and its surrounding neighborhood, but with the interior courtyard covered with a blue ceiling decorated with fleur-de-lys and used as a ball room and gathering place. The exhibition was "used as showcases for scientific and technological advances, but often included exhibits of objects from the past, including prehistoric times." The 1889 Exposition covered a total area of 0.96 km2, including the Champ de Mars, the Trocadéro, the quai d'Orsay, a part of the Seine and the Invalides esplanade. Transport around the Exposition was provided by the 3 kilometre 600 mm gauge Decauville railway at Exposition Universelle, it was claimed. Some of the locomotives used on this line saw service on the Chemins de Fer du Calvados and the Diégo Suarez Decauville railway.
The main symbol of the Fair was the Eiffel Tower. The 1889 fair was held on the Champ de Mars in Paris, the site of the earlier Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867, would be the site of the 1900 exposition. Since the lifts had not been completed when the Exposition opened, the first visitors had to walk up to the second floor platform. Workers had worked through the night the day before the exhibition opened to complete the necessary construction needed to safely allow patrons to set foot upon the structure; when speaking of the dedicated workers, M. Salles, the son-in-law of Eiffel made the statement that "no soldier on the battle field deserved better mention than these humble toilers, will never go down in history." No one other than construction personnel were allowed higher than the second floor platform. An significant building constructed for the fair was the Galerie des machines, designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin, it was reused at the exposition of 1900 and destroyed in 1910.
At 111 meters, the Galerie spanned the longest interior space in the world at the time, using a system of hinged arches made of steel or iron. Although described as being constructed of steel, it was made of iron. There is an extensive description, with illustrations, of the Exposition's two famous buildings in the British journal Engineering. A follow-up report appears a late issue with this summation: the exhibition will be famous for four distinctive features. In the first place, for its buildings the Eiffel tower and the Machinery Hall; the 28 June issue of Engineering mentions a remarkable "Great Model of the Earth" created by Theodore Villard and Charles Cotard. There were unseasonal thunderstorms in Paris during that summer of 1889, causing some distress to the canopies and decoration of the exposition, as reported by the Engineering issues at that time; the Exhibition included a building by the Paris architect Pierre-Henri Picq. This was an elaborate iron and glass structure decorated with ceramic tiles in a Byzantine-Egyptian-Romanesque style.
After the Exposition the building was shipped to Fort de France and reassembled there, the work being completed by 1893. Known as the Schoelcher Library it contained the 10,000 books that Victor Schoelcher had donated to the island. Today, it houses over 250,000 books and an ethnographic museum, stands as a tribute to the man it is named after who led the movement to abolish slavery in Martinique. A "Negro village" where 400 people were displayed constituted the major attraction. Matching the opening day of the Exposition, the Opéra Comique premiered on 14 May 1889 with a work specially composed for that event: Jules Massenet's Esclarmonde and entertaining crowds of visitors for the more than 50 evenings the Exposition lasted. At the Exposition, the French composer Claude Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music, performed by an ensemble from Java; this influenced some of his compositions. William Stroudley, locomotive superintendent of the London and South Coast Railway died whilst at the exhibition, where he was exhibiting one of his locomotives.
Heineken received the Grand Prix at the exposition. Buffalo Bill recruited American sharpshooter Annie Oakley to rejoin his "Wild West Show" which performed for packed audiences throughout the Exposition. Other prominent visitors included the Shah of Persia Nasereddin Shah, Prince of Wales and his wife, Princess Alexandra. S. journalist and diplomat Whitelaw Reid. A central attraction in the French section was the Imperial Diamond, at the time the largest diamond in the world; the Mexican pavi
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars, he won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history, he was born in Corsica to a modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789.
He rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt, he became First Consul of the Republic. Napoleon's ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July. Napoleon invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808; the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war; the French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted, it resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil; the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power.
Napoleon took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June; the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51. Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries and large parts of modern Italy and Germany, he implemented fundamental liberal policies throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, so on—were championed, consolidated and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica fr