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.
The legal system was reformed with the Code Napoleon, which was one of Napoleon's greatest achievements. The Revolution had wanted to produce one code of laws for the entire country, which is exactly what Napoleon did. In this way he can be seen as the 'Son of the Revolution' carrying the teachings of liberty and equality forward, as he continually asserted that liberty and equality were at all times his chief concern. Napoleon confirmed the abolition of the remains of feudalism and ensured that the absolute monarchy ... ... middle of paper ... ...ried to find a compromise. Napoleon created a new form of government in France, reshaped the boundaries of Europe and influenced revolutionaries and nationalists all over the world.
Popular sovereignty caved in and in its place was raw authority of the Napoleonic regime - There could be no durable peace in the country with wars being fought continuously Support for Napoleon - Napoleon had been considered as 'son of the Revolution' by the revolutionaries of 1789 - Among the reasons were the following: - He was against the unjust and ineffective institutions of the ancien regime such as: Seigneurialism, the cumbersome institutions of Bourbon absolutism; the aristocratic privilege - Above all Napoleon valued principles of the Revolution which stressed equality of opportunity - The French wanted a strong and stable government; an assurance of basic revolutionary gains, and settlem... ... middle of paper ... ...and confiscated from the Church and sold during the Revolution would be retained by its purchasers. - On the other hand, the government dropped the ten-day week and restored the Gregorian calendar. - The balance of church-state relations tilted in the state's favour. - Napoleon intended to use the clergy as a major prop of his regime only. - The pulpit and the primary school became instruments of social control, to be used, as a new catechism stated, "to bind the religious conscience of the people to the august person of the Emperor."
Napoleon wanted his Empire to have one unified code of laws and he introduced this in the early 19th century. This was known as the Code Napoleon. However, as the French had controlled or influenced most of Europe at that time it was a clever way of enforcing his ideas not only over France but over Europe too. The code Napoleon consisted of a more simple set of rules, and concentrated on the rights of man but was still very biased against women, the code made men more powerful and women and children their property. Before the code was introduced, the church had the greatest influence over the way people lived.
However, he realized that he would have to allow the French people some of the freedoms and rights sought out during the Revolution. If he did not, he would have lost their trust and there could have been another revolution. Therefore, it is accurate to say, "Napoleon Bonaparte stabilized and united French society, yet supported the ideals of French Revolution." Peace and tranquillity in France came with Napoleon's strong, autocratic rule. After making himself a consul for life, he re-established the French monarchy, naming himself Emperor Napoleon I in 1804.
Enlightened despotism is when there is an absolute ruler, in some cases a tyrant, who follows the principles of the Enlightenment through reforms. Permitting religious toleration, allowing freedom of the press and speech, and expanding education are a few main guidelines to being and enlightened despot. Napoleon I is often referred to as one of the greatest enlightened despots. Although, he did not follow the ideas of the enlightenment entirely, he managed his country in a way that he maintained complete authority as well as many of the gains of the French Revolution. Yes, Napoleon did want to do a few things for himself, but he also ruled for the majority in most cases, promote government-funded education, and supported many other enlightened ideas.
When one looks at France after Napoleon’s reign it is clear that he had brought much longed for order and stability. He had also established institutions that embodied the main principles of the revolution. However, it is also evident that many of his policies directly contradict those same principles. Was Napoleon betraying the same revolution that gave him power, or was he merely a pragmatist, who recognised that to consolidate the achievements of the revolution he needed to sacrifice some of those principles? Firstly, in order to determine whether Bonaparte betrayed the revolution it is necessary to define what one means by “the revolution”.
In 1804, Napoleon did away with niceties and proclaimed himself what he had already been in reality for some time: the French Emperor. Napoleon's reign, though in essence a dictatorship, was the fusion of a familiar political structure and old forms with that of new ideology and reform. Bonaparte overthrew the Directory and he was able to consolidate his rule through war and by normalizing relations with the Catholic Church. Yet at the same time he kept the tenets of the French Revolution alive and recognized religious toleration through reform and the establishment of the Napoleonic Code. Initially, Napoleon's time in power was wise as he avoided the pitfalls committed by the old monarchy and revolutionary politicians before him; the result was an excellent start to a reign which would ultimately end in failure.
From the despair of the radical phase of the French Revolution emerged a great military hero who would overthrow the extremist Directory and build a formidable empire out of the struggling nation of France. After gaining publicity for his military victories, the young general swiftly rose to power. The rule of Napoleon Bonaparte signified the end of the Revolution and the start of a new age for France and the whole European continent. During his rule as First Consul and later Emperor of France, Napoleon completely overhauled his revolution-strained country with a new law code that would later be recognized as his most prominent contribution to history. But this law code did not grant women any of the fair rights which men were granted in excess.
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.