The Napoleon Trial was overall a great learning experience for; I am sure, all ninth grade students. Since the beginning of this project, I adored the role of being a lawyer. I am certain that I would have done better if I was a prosecution lawyer, but I still enjoyed the task of defending Napoleon. During the course of 3 weeks my main task was to research evidence and come up with conclusions. I learned so much about Napoleon that I did not know before when I studied him in California. The Napoleonic Era is filled with so much and truly a great time period in history. The amount of events that occurred makes it enjoyable to study upon. I also created our opening speech and helped with the mindmap and questions.
All in all, I learned more than just the general information on Napoleon. He was certainly too ambitious which eventually led to his defeats. I was surprised to hear that Napoleon had so many enemies from other empires/countries. Why? Were they jealous of him because he was so successful in his earlier life? I also learned about how difficult it is to keep power and how easy it is for it to slip right out of your hands. This definitely happened to Napoleon and many other leaders throughout history. It takes a lot of work to be a leader and one needs to have the right traits. Not everyone can be a leader that is for sure!
Other than learning about Napoleon, I also learned about how to be a lawyer and how to act in a trial. Throughout the last week, my entire team got together and researched about when and how to objects and other court rules. It is so interesting and exhilarating to be in an actual trial defending someone who is in a life vs. death situation! The portfolio helped me by keeping all of us organized and in order. It is a great way to know what you have to do and what you have finished. I am certain that my team would be in a muddle without it.
In conclusion, I wish we had more time (maybe a month?) to keep researching and perfecting our questions. I also wish that we worked more efficiently when we met after school with our witnesses. When we had these meetings, I found myself being strict and angry when people would mess around. I think a played my role very well because I objected quite a few times and stayed serious and mature. In order to be a good persuader, one must be calm, logical, and civilized. I still wish I had time to learn how to persuade someone to be on your side.
To conclude, I completely agreed with the verdict. The prosecution lawyers were more prepared than us and had the paper that Io signed defining crimes against humanity (that shot us down!). I think the judge was sort of biased and also the Haitian citizen completely ruined us since his words were strong and powerful. I wish they did not add a witness so late in the trial. But it is fair that they one since they were stronger as a team and had amazing points. I really enjoyed this project and I am so excited for the Truman Trial next year!