Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Before Waterloo: Imminent Danger

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The British may have triumphed against Napoleon Bonaparte's forces on the fields of Waterloo in 1815, but prior to their success, anxiety pervaded the island nation.

This exhibit looks at reactions to Napoleon’s threatened land invasion of England. It begins from the vantage point of the diplomats and policy-makers who tried to broker peace. It continues through the spate of nationalist sentiment expressed in popular publications and satires and the voluntary responses of citizens willing to form local defensive units. Finally, it concludes with some of the more grandiose, if improbable, strategies including the use of hot air balloons to convey troops across the Channel and analyzing Napoleon’s astrological chart as a way to forecast his downfall. 

Along with the companion exhibit, Waterloo@200: The Legacy, these exhibits mark the 200-year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and highlight collection strengths in DePaul's Special Collections and Archives.


Waterloo at 200


At its 200th anniversary, the Battle of Waterloo remains a watershed moment in European history. Despite Napoleon Bonaparte's long and triumphant career in warfare, he remains best known for his defeat at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. What was the significance of this battle, and why does it continue to captivate the public imagination after two centuries?

This exhibit is the companion to the exhibit Waterloo at 200: Napoleon and the Battle that Changed the World, originally displayed in the James T. Richardson Library at DePaul University in the winter of 2015.