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Why did Napoleon call England "a nation of shop keepers" ?

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Answer`s (4):
1. poppy
One of Napoleon's most famous remarks for the English-speaking world is 'England is a nation of shopkeepers', ('L'Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers'). Whilst Bourrienne, Napoleon's faithful secretary from 1795 to 1802, gives a version of it in his Mémoires (vol. 1, (Paris: Ladvocat, 1831) p. 274 - "Angleterre...a people which he [Napoleon] so disdainfully used to call a nation of shop-keepers ('peuple boutiquier') which hates us", it does not appear in the standard compilations of Napolenoic quotes. The only quotations which have at least documentary backup are those which appear either in the Correspondance of Napoleon or in the Memorial de Sainte-Hélène by Las Cases.

From 1804 on, Napoleon forbade any trade connections between his subdued states and England. Believing the British to be ‘a nation of shop-keepers,’ existing solely by commerce, the tyrant thought he could soon force Britain to its knees by closing her trade outlets.
2. ?
Or more like; England and the English are not united like the French or Germans with a collective responsibility or identity as in being French or German but a fractured people who look at each other as suspiciously as they do at 'Jonny Foreigner'! Therefore his shop front or his castle is his home, house or abode.
Just look at how a Yorkshireman have a dislike for a Lancashireman (the roses), or northerners general disdain for southerners, and the prejudice reduces to someone's street and eventually home and family. Therefore, as pointed out, should be easily conquered in warfare. Though it didn't quite work out that way.
3. Kagami Hirragi
He assumed England would be easy to conquer so he insulted the nation

He got his just desserts in the end though
4. Elizabeth
He was saying the English were NOT a nation of soldiers and would be easily defeated in battle.


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