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How France Underdeveloped Africa

A  FEW centuries ago, France was the leading continental power in Europe. After the 1789 French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte became master of Europe. A man of great ambition, he aimed to bring all of Europe under French hegemony. He almost succeeded until his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Bonaparte had invaded Egypt in 1798 with a legion of soldiers and scientists. It was in fact one of his scientists, Jean-François Champollion, who deciphered the hitherto closed world of Egyptian hieroglyphics, thereby opening up a new vista for the discipline that we know as Egyptology today. His soldiers, we are told, often used the face of Egyptian mummies for their shooting practice. They aimed to destroy their noses, the better to prove that the ancient Egyptians were not Africans.

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