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Napoleaon

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Napoleon Bonaparte restored stability and leadership in France but at a costly expense. The Napoleonic wars devastated the economic structure of France. Due to inflation incurred because of the wars French currency became vulnerable. Since all of France's money was going into the army it put the state into great debt. The wars and ultimate defeat also put France in a crisis regarding foreign trade. All of these factors contributed in crippling France economically during and after the Napoleonic wars. The Napoleonic wars was an attempt for France to assert itself as a force to be reckoned with among Europe. However in doing this they were forced to substitute this new found nationalism with a non-existent economic system. Wherever Napoleon's campaigns took him he was forced to topple monarchies using the only way he knew how; force. This force was his army which was built by using all of France's resources and money. As a result of the Napoleonic wars France's economic growth was stunted and inevitably sent them into a recession.

The unprecedented conditions of continuous warfare resulted in the destruction of France's currency leading to inflation. The war disrupted normal economic activities and forced the country to fend for themselves. Without any resources coming in the country was doomed to face a dismal market and decline. Prices skyrocketed and the country sunk deeper and deeper into economic disorder. France manufacturers and merchants were forced to find alternative markets making France's economy worthless. Budget deficits and tax increases caused discontent and a recession in 1810 to 1811 hurt the industry dramatically. France's only source of income was from increasing taxes on everything from houses to playing cards for a population that had no money. Inflation became so bad that Napoleon himself felt unsafe using paper currency. In order to try and stall the economic disaster “Napoleonic innovations were designed to place the French currency on uniform basis. In April 1795, the Directory has established the franc as the national currency and had fixed its metallic composition [...] Napoleon drew a lesson from the disastrous experience of the assignats and refused to issue paper money, basing French currency on metallic currency” (55). By doing little things like changing the currency Napoleon was trying to hide the fact that France had great inflation.
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