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Bronze Napoleon medal / European

Essay/Description

A Napoleon silver medal. Bust of Napoleon on the front. Inscription on the back reads, “Auspice Neapoleone Gallia Renovata.”

Silver peace medals were given to influential Native Americans as a symbol of friendship and allegiance with the United States government or foreign power. Medals were given on important occasions, like the signing of a treaty, and then only to very influential members of the tribe. The medals held even greater importance than normal during times of war or tension, particularly between the US and Great Britain. The countries would compete for the loyalty and friendship of the tribes, and a chief trading in British medal for a US one signified a change in loyalty (Prucha 2000, xiv). Gradually, the medals original meaning diminished, and they were given as rewards for good behavior. The practice was discontinued in the late 1800s.

Native Americans placed great significance on the peace medals and viewed them not only as a sign of friendship, but of powe

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Title(s): 
Bronze Napoleon medal
Culture: 
European
Date: 
19th century
Period: 
Historic
Place: 
France
Materials/Techniques: 
silver
Classification: 
Accession No: 
65.59
Department: 
Not On View

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