Descartes

Lead: Considered by many to be the seminal modern thinker, René Descartes remains an integral part of the philosophical canon.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1596, the year of the Declaration of Nantes with which French King Henry IV laid the foundation of religious toleration in Europe, Descartes’ work came to symbolize a philosophical break with the way in which people fundamentally organized intelligence and considered the universe.

 

 

Napoleon at Waterloo IV

Lead: From 1793 Napoleon increasingly dominated the affairs of France and Europe and, though defeated and banished in 1815, Napoleon’s legend grew during his life and showed no signs of going away after his death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 at his place of exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately authors and historians began to examine his life for clues as to Napoleon’s legacy. He had detractors and defenders as befit any colossal personality. His enemies sought to diminish his accomplishments, his allies, and particularly ambitious family members such as future Emperor Louis Napoleon, wished to enhance the luster of his name for their own benefit.

Napoleon at Waterloo III

Lead: In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, deposed Emperor of the French, banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba, escaped, landed in southern France and attempted to reclaim his greatness. His daring quest ended at Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 100 days of Napoleon’s last campaign sent shivers of panic throughout a Europe which had thought itself rid of Le Petit Caporal. He landed at Cannes with his guard, won over the regiment sent to capture him, and was in Paris by March 20th. While the French people were weary of Napoleon and had acquiesced in his exile after his abdication in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, they were committed to the essential elements of the Revolution and resented the attempt by restored King Louis XVIII to set back the clock. Napoleon’s welcome was at best tentative as he also wished to turn back the clock to the Empire, something many of his former Republican allies were loathe to do. Also, he faced a daunting array of allied armies converging on France to stamp out permanently the menace he represented. Once again, he would have to fight for his place in the sun.

Napoleon at Waterloo II

Lead: Napoleon Bonaparte, humiliated and banished, attempted to win back his losses in a dynamic campaign that began with his dramatic escape from the island of Elba.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It must have been very discouraging, living there on that tiny island just off the coast of west Italy. The Emperor of the French, whose power at its height, like a colossus stretched from Portugal to the Urals, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, this larger-than-life personality, reduced to 86 square miles of rock. He said, upon his arrival, that he wished to live as a justice of the peace, but such resignation was hardly possible for a man of such restless vigor who had led millions in battle since he burst on the scene in 1793.

Napoleon at Waterloo I

Lead: Having built his political and military career on acts of daring and boldness, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, in 1814, attempted to resurrect and salvage his greatness at the Battle of Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the second surviving child of a politically well-connected lawyer whose family emigrated to Corsica from Tuscany in North Central Italy during the 1500s. His father’s connections made it possible to send his sons to France for their education. Napoleon was not an exceptional student, graduating in 1785 42nd in a class of 58 from the Military Academy in Paris. Despite this lackluster record, however, he continued to develop his understanding of tactics and strategy by readings in the military masters and to hone his understanding of public policy while consuming the political works of Voltaire and Rousseau.

Louis Pasteur II

Lead: One of the greatest scientists of this era was one of the pioneers of the science of microbiology. His discovery that germs cause most familiar diseases is one of the fundamentals of modern science.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.               

Content: In 1865, the ever-practical Pasteur began work on diseases that were threatening the silk industry. Production was flagging and Pasteur was being called on to save domestic silk production. He discovered a microscopic parasite, which along with faulty nutrition, were the culprits. It took three years to come to these conclusions, but soon the industry was on the rebound.

Louis Pasteur I

Lead: French chemist Louis Pasteur had little scientific inclination in his early years. Despite a lackluster academic record his goal was to become a professor of fine arts.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in eastern France, the son of a tanner, Pasteur showed an early aptitude for painting. His interest in matters scientific grew as he studied at the Royal College at Besançon and then the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Successive teaching posts followed in Dijon, Strasbourg, back to the Ecole, Lille and the Sorbonne in Paris.  From the beginning Pasteur’s approach to his work wedded the theoretical to the practical, always with a view to innovation and never permitting conventional wisdom to suppress his creativity. In 1863 as the dean of the new science faculty at Lille University he instituted night classes so industrial and service workers might engage in continued education.

George Sand

Lead: In November 1830 in a chateau in central France, an unhappy 26-year-old woman discovered in her husband’s desk a fat envelope on which was written her name and the words, “Only to be Opened After My Death.” For the Baroness Aurore Dudevant it became cause for her declaration of independence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the packet, her husband Casimir had poured out volumes of bitterness and rancor built up in their years of marriage. For Aurore the role of dutiful wife and mother of their two young ones had never been particularly agreeable and the letter seemed good cause to break away from a man with whom she had little in common and whom she considered a drunken idler. Though her inheritance had provided the family its income, a married women in that era had little rights to her own money therefore when Madame Dudevant left for Paris she had to make her living as a writer.

Read more →