It recognized the equality of all citizens before the law, protected property rights, safeguarded employers by outlawing trade unions and strikes, and supported religious toleration. Above all, it abolished serfdom and destroyed all remnants of feudalism. In addition, Napoleon signed the Concordat of 1801 with the Pope to reverse the dechristianization attempts made during the "Republic of Virtue." Although he was not a religious man, Napoleon realized that most people needed to practice their faith. For France, this agreement made the Catholic Church an ally and they retained the power to nominate bishops.
As Napoleon conquered Europe he applied the same laws to everybody, everywhere. This set of laws is known as the Code Napoleon. Some of the laws enforced by the Code Napoleon can be seen in Napoleon’s Imperial Decree at Madrid, where Napoleon abolished feudal rights, such as banalities, as well as seizing church lands to be distributed among the people. Other actions he took were creating “constitutions” that created laws that applied to all people equally and could not be altered on a whim. These are the same actions taken during the French revolution applied to all other areas.
Gaining the title “the Preserver of the Revolution”, Napoleon Bonaparte transformed French society’s structure, while leaving a legacy of cultural memory. To suit Napoleon’s imperial form of rule, he adapted the key goals of the Revolution, including liberty, equality, and fraternity. Sovereignty now belonged to the people of the nation with the abolishment of feudalism. Napoleon incorporated sovereignty in his master plan ideology through the process of containment, a more centralized governance in order to establish a system of behavior among the population. Many historian scholars dispute whether Napoleon protected or betrayed the ideals of the French Revolution, but it is certain he consolidated the principles into rule and culture.
- Strengths and weaknesses of each viewpoint Despite all other viewpoints, Napoleon did benefit France and helped mold France and western society as to what it is today by introducing economic, political and social reforms to France's domestic policy. Napoleon was a political mastermind. France was divided in the judicial system they used. Northern France practiced customary law from medieval tradition, while southern France used law evolved out of Roman code. However, Napoleon codified the law code into one code for the entire nation.
"A major obstacle to internal peace was the steady hostility of French Catholics" (Kagan, Ozment, Turner 688). His most peerless act was to allow the Catholic Church back into to France through the concordat with Pope Pius VII. While in rule, he also created The Napoleonic Code. It was a complete revamp of the French law. It was based on two ideas: that all men are equal under the law and all people have a right to property.
To do this he used reforms of propaganda and thus caused people to think that they were getting the better end of the deal, but were actually, subconsciously giving Napoleon their approval for his actions. Among some of the methods he used for propaganda included getting all of the printers and book sellers to swear an oath to Napoleon and all newspapers fell under state control, so Napoleon gained access to almost everything that the citizens of France were able to read. Many of the gains from the French Revolution were kept, such as equality before the law, and careers open to talent. Some anti-revolution actions that Napoleon took included repressing liberty, restoring absolutism, and ending political liberty. He believed that allowing political freedom would end with a state of anarchy.
Napoleon as the Betrayer to the French Revolution Napoleon Bonaparte has remained one of history's most furiously debated characters. This is because there has been much speculation and many differing interpretations of his actions as leader of France from 1799-1815. Most historians tend to have been torn between the portraits of Napoleon as the heir of the Revolution or as the destroyer of the Revolution's most sacred principles. However, a third opinion has emerged that suggests that Napoleon made revolutionary ideas practical and therefore acted as a bridge between the Ancien Regime and the lofty ideals of the Revolution. Napoleon can be seen as the defender of the French Revolution for several reasons.
Being the ruler of France, King Philip IV did what he thought was right and wanted to tax all the eligible people of France equally in order to pay his country’s expenses. Ladies and gentlemen, Pope Boniface VIII is guilty of not willingly paying the Church’s share of taxes to help France pay certain expenses. Conflict arose from 1294 – 1303 between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV, known as Philip the Fair. King Philip’s IV desire to tax the Church to finance his wars was problematic for the papacy of Pope Boniface VIII, and other clerics. King Philip IV of France believed that everyone in France should be taxed equally in order to pay for his war with England.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s revolutionary and nationalist attributes are characterized in his political reforms. At first Napoleon favored the republic established by the French Revolution and he supported the Jacobins. Soon after he joined Abbe Sieyes in a successful coup d’ etat to overthrow the Directory. In overthrowing the Directory, Napoleon issued the Constitution of the Year VIII. The new constitution was established universal male suffrage that suggested democratic principles, a complicated system of checks and balances that appealed to republican theory, and a Council of State the evoked memories of Louis XIV.
It could be said that opposition to democracy rose and fell in harmony with movements in prosperity.’ Hitler exploited this with his political astuteness of knowing what and when to promise things in the ‘new’ Germany. Many reasons for the fall of democracy also link to Hitler’s rise of power. It could be argued that if Weimar had been a stronger constitution then Hitler would not have come to power. However Hitler was an opportunist and I believe that if Weimar had survived Hitler would have found another way to rise to Germany’s dictator.