Friday, November 25, 2016

Napoleon front-ran the EU. See Cisalpine Republic.

There is a great podcast on Italian unification, hosted by 2 brothers: Talking History Podcast.

In episode 11 (Divide and Rule) they go into detail about Napoleon’s constitution for Italy.

What caught my attention is the reservations the Cisalpine Republic representatives had towards it – the hosts quote Harry Hearder, author of Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento 1790 – 1870:
(At 34 min 30 sec mark, or page 25 of Hearder’s book)
The dictatorship, however, as always, was concealed behind a complicated constitution, which allowed for electoral colleges, legislatives houses, and a Censura of 21 men – bodies which were not elected by the public, but either appointed by Napoleon, or elected by each other in impotent vicious circles.

And I thought “My god – he just described the EU.”

The hosts quote Hearder further:
In practice five or six hundred men – landowners, businessmen, or intellectuals sympathetic to the French – were nominated either directly or indirectly by Bonaparte.

And I thought “Yep, that’s the EU.”

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