Exile is the only way to handle a despot

It would be below degrading to Napoleon Bonaparte to be compared to the outgoing U.S. President and beyond flattering to Mr. Trump, however both invoke the gnarly problem of what to do with an irrepressible charismatic megalomaniac.

The solution for those allied against Napoleon in the early 1800s, whose wars resulted in millions of deaths and untold economic losses across Europe, was exile.

Indefatigably confident and ambitious Napoleon spawned conflicts throughout Europe and ignored treaties and conventions alike. He plundered museums, installed his own people to rule other countries and reinstated slavery in France’s overseas colonies. Sound familiar?

When finally defeated, Napoleon was exiled to Elba, an island in the Mediterranean, where he was allowed to keep his title of Emperor and rule the island, supported by a generous stipend. He soon escaped, returned to Europe, amassed an army and regained power for the notorious 100 Days, until two allied armies forced his retreat to Paris where the people had turned against him.

painting of Napoleon staring out to sea on the island of Saint Helena
Napoleon on Saint Helena, watercolor by Franz Josef Sandmann, c. 1820 Ref: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon

He abdicated and the British put him again into exile, this time on the island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,870 km (1,162 mi) from the west coast of Africa. They also took the precaution of sending a garrison of soldiers to uninhabited Ascension Island, which lay between St. Helena and Europe. He died 5 years later.

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