American Opinion on Napoleon’s Downfall
The news of Waterloo shocked American readers, writes Donald D. Horward, and most writers and editors refused to believe Wellington’s famous dispatch of June 19th, 1815.
On June 18th, 1815, the fate of Europe was decided on the wheat fields near the village of Waterloo. The results of this momentous struggle aroused avid and passionate discussion in America as well as in Europe. The young republic had only recently concluded its own war with Great Britain. Ties of alliance and friendship had long joined France with America.
The exploits of Napoleon had occasioned much interest and considerable admiration. Now Americans confronted an event that clearly portended a shocking alteration of the balance of power in Europe, an event destined to be ‘stamped upon the pages of future history’.