"The laws of circumstance are abolished by new circumstances" is a statement that is credited to Napoleon Bonaparte (August 1769 – May 1821). But, there is no actual record of him saying it. During his life, he was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of France from 1804 until 1814, and again in 1815. He had a commanding influence on European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars.

Scholars and historians have said that Napoleon's words in this instance were focused on the rules and standards that may be issued by a government or some other body which control or dictate how certain things happen. New circumstances are said to result from substantial changes due to facts that were unknown or unanticipated when a current condition or situation was still happening. The new items abolished the prior existing set of circumstances.

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