Despite the efforts of the French Revolution to rid the country of an autocratic ruler, Bonaparte came to power as Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I in 1804. He claimed that he preserved the goals of the Revolution, which can be easily argued as his rule became more dictatorial as it progressed. Despite his departure from some of the gains of the Revolution, he overall was a hero for the French people. Through his military ventures, political changes and social reform, Napoleon proved himself as a hero. This is not to say that there were aspects of his reign that were tyrannical, but he was overall beneficial for France.
This paper examines the factors that explain the rise and downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte I in France. His goal was to conquer all of Europe and throughout his life he nearly succeeded. He rose through the confusion of the French revolution to become Emperor of the French. Napoleon had once said, “I am the Revolution,” and he never ceased to remind the French that they owed to him the preservation of all that was beneficial in the revolutionary program. (Spielvogel, 2007) Life of Napoleon Bonaparte Arguably one of the most brilliant individuals and greatest military leaders in history was the former French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
How did a man with a promising military career loose it so quickly? Napoleon was one of the greatest military minds but did not always use it correctly, which eventually led to his downfall. This essay will explain what led to the downfall of Napoleon. Napoleon's military motto was concentrating on an enemy?s weak spot, capitalizing on it, and using it to crush them. After serving in the revolutionary army, napoleon distinguished himself in the military and gained the directory?s attention when he suppressed a riot in Paris.
The Tyrannical Hero The French Revolution was full of bloodshed and hurt. Even though many think that the French Revolution did nothing, there are many important events that took place. Much of what we have today is in place, because of how the French Revolution ended. As a new empire was rising up, a leader was called forth to unify the rebellious parties of the dissipating French Revolution. Many will argue that the acts of this man were at first of great benefit to his country, but then were made to feed his yearn for power and total dominance of Europe.
During 1792 to 1815 a number of wars were fought by Napoleon and he was extremely successful in those. This resulted in French hegemony over a major part of Europe. Napoleon’s power was increasing and attained the highest point in the year of 1810. Napoleon was a genius in military organization, and this was considered as the greatest reason of his success. “Napoleon executed a brilliant campaign of maneuver against Austrian and Sardinian forces in Italy and in the resultant treaty of Campo Formio forced Austria to cede the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium and Luxembourg), which became the fir... ... middle of paper ... ... politics and culture etc.
Because of Napoleon’s errors, he exhausted France’s resources and reduced his allies. Because his political views destroyed France’s relationship with Europe, Napoleon had to over expand his forces to maintain control of Europe. At the end of his reign, Napoleon was left without support from anyone outside of France. However, he was still trying to claw back the power that he once had. “Believing as he did that what was good for Napoleon was good for France, and in turn good for conquered Europe as a whole, his wider Imperial vision became a natural extension of his personal dynastic ambition” (Napoleon Profiles in Power p.81).
This is said to be the start of his downfall. The fall of Napoleon’s empire was caused by nationalism and his own greedy intentions. France was still dealing with poverty and the aftermath of the Radical Phase of the French Revolution. This was not the best time to France to expand, but during this time Napoleon was at the pinnacle of his power, and he began to extend himself too far, the first of his greedy intentions. Napoleon’s problems were not just condensed in one area; they were spread out over the world... ... middle of paper ... ...leon deserted what was left of his army and rushed back to Paris when he heard of this.
French Revolution brought a great number of great ideas, but ideas are not beneficial unless they are realized and stabilized. The man to stabilize the concepts of French Revolution was Napoleon Bonaparte. He started out as an Italian general and ended up being one of the greatest historical figures. First, Directors requested Napoleon's support while organizing a coup d'etat. Then, Bonaparte fought Britain in order to benefit France.
Under Robespierre’s radical leadership the Republic endured hard-fought years of power. This can be attributed to political dominance through terror, correcting economic failures of the ancien regime and fundamental changes in French society. However some of the success of the revolution was undermined by the revolutionaries’ failures to unify the people and achieve social harmony. The revolutionaries consolidated their political power more so through decisive action and fear mongering than actual policy making. Whilst their unusual approach to politics is often met with criticism, their approach of fear, terror and violence was successful in its own right.
It should also be pointed out that though the Sedition Act was anti-democratic in practice, Thomas Jefferson, who defeated Adams, used it against the Federalists in 1803 (People v. Croswell) and indicted a publisher (DeCarolis, 1995). Jefferson was not accused of being a dictator for such non-democratic actions. Adams was neither dictatorial in his conduct, or imperial in his policies. He appeared to have had the interest of the common people at heart. The conflict with France, the high taxes needed to keep the army and navy operating, and the poor legislative faux pas Congress made during period time, all cast a negative reflection on President Adams.