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Tomarken.com > F. Nick Michaels > Penguin Emperor (02-09-04)
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Penguin Emperor

F. Nick Michaels
02.07.03-Pullman, WA

Lots of folks act aggressively to make up for other alleged shortcomings. But Napoleon set the standard. He didn’t quite take over the world, but the shit he pulled was a direct cause of three "events" whose repercussions included every bit of U.S. continental expansion since the Revolutionary War.

This first and most blatant of these "events" is the sale of the Louisiana Purchase. The diplomats who made the deal went to Paris authorized to spend $10 million dollars to secure trade rights on the Mississippi, and the right to store goods at New Orleans. In dire straights, Napoleon offered to sell all of Louisiana for $15 mil. The U.S. diplomats bought it before the crazy midget changed his mind. Jefferson found out 6-8 weeks later and never thought it was constitutional, but he figured the ends justified the means.

The second "event" is the shit Napoleon throws at the British. Most of the British navy and most qualified British officers are busy trying to stop him from running over Europe, Africa, and Asia. Lucky for them, the U.S. officers were much less competent in the War of 1812. The British intercepted U.S. instructions in the Great Lakes region and burned the U.S. capital city while the U.S. president (incidentally, only an inch or two taller than Napoleon himself) ran away. But the silly Frenchman was almost caught, so the British decided to stop fighting a pointless war with the U.S. The U.S. won their only memorable victory two weeks later in New Orleans.

The third "event" is the shit the Napoleon puts his vecinos, the Spanish, through. Weakened from European war, Spain had no chance to suppress uprisings in its American colonies. This results in two consequences. First, the U.S. purchases Florida and all Spanish claims north of California and west of the Rockies. The rights west of the Rockies will later help give the U.S. standing in the border settlement in the Oregon territory. The second consequence of the Central and South American uprisings is the eventual independence and annexation of Texas. These "events" spurred the alleged reasons of the U.S. for war with Mexico, hence the acquisition of the U.S. Southwest. When the U.S. found out there was no good railroad route in their Southwest, they forced the Gadsden Purchase, acquiring a bit more land that would become southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. It was pretty easy to build a railroad there, I suppose.

Certainly, there were additional factors enabling the U.S. to expand across North America, but that goofy little "Penguin Emperor" certainly did what he could to help.


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