10-Minute Talks: Napoleon and God

by Professor William Doyle FBA

5 May 2021

The world’s leading professors explain the latest thinking in the humanities and social sciences in just 10 minutes.

Napoleon had no religion, but he spent much of his career dealing with it. In this talk to mark the bicentenary of his death, William Doyle discusses how Napoleon saw that the upheavals of the French Revolution could never be ended unless its quarrel with the Catholic Church could be settled. This meant negotiating with the pope. Most of Napoleon's henchmen opposed the concordat which he concluded with Rome in 1801, but most French people welcomed it. Later, emperor and pope fell out, but public worship was never threatened again, as the pope always acknowledged with gratitude.

He is the author of The Oxford History of the French Revolution.

Speaker: Professor William Doyle FBA, Professor Emeritus of History and Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol

10-Minute Talks are a series of pre-recorded talks from Fellows of the British Academy screened each Wednesday on YouTube and also available on Apple Podcasts.

If you have any questions about this talk, please email events@thebritishacademy.ac.uk.

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