Was Napoleon Good Or Bad For France And The Rest Of Europe Essay

Was Napoleon Good Or Bad For France And The Rest Of Europe Essay

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Was Napoleon Good or Bad For France and the Rest of Europe? Napoleon was born on the island of Corsica in 1769 ;he was the son of a minor noble family. He trained to become an army officer at a French military academy. During the revolution Napoleon rose quickly through the army because many officers fled France. Napoleon did many things during his time ;he was a leader, a general, a tyrant, and a reformer. In Paris, Napoleon found that many people were dissatisfied with the directory (the directory included an elected legislature and a executive branch with five directors). With help from his loyal troops Napoleon and two directors threw over the government in 1799. They drew up another constitution ;it was the fourth since the revolution started. Napoleon was named first consul. Through my eyes I believe Napoleon was good for France because he was for the people of France, and he made one of the best militaries in Europe. Between 1799 and 1804, Napoleon centralized power in his own hands. In 1802 Napoleon had himself made first consul for life. Two years later, Napoleon proclaimed himself “Emperor of the French”. The majority of the French voters endorsed his actions. By the time 1804 had arrived Napoleon had gained almost absolute power. Napoleon knew the people of France would not want to return to the ways of the Old Regime so, he continued many reforms of the revolution, but at the same time, he kept firm personal control of the government. Napoleons greatest achievement in the government was the Napoleonic Code. This law code brought many reforms together into a single, unified legal system. It recognized that all men were equal before the law and guaranteed freedom of religion as well as a persons right to work in any occupation. The Napoleonic Code did not always preserve the ideals of the revolution, however. It put the interests of the state above those of individual citizens. It also dropped laws that were passed during the revolution that had protected the rights of women and children. Napoleon did many things to strengthen the French economy ;he enforced a law requiring all citizens to pay taxes. Napoleon also created the National Bank of France. Napoleon’s economic policies gradually brought inflammation under control. Napoleon did many things for education, he setup government run schools. Which encouraged extreme patriotism, and the same courses were taught in every school. When it came to religion Napoleon combined reform with tradition. Napoleon realized that most of the French people were strongly Roman Catholic and despite the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. In the Concordat of 1801, which was an agreement between the French government and the pope. Napoleon ended the election of bishops. Under the agreement, the French government appointed Catholic bishops and paid the clergy but the pope had the authority over them. The agreement also stated that the church would not demand the return of property seized during the revolution. As we have gotten this far, Napoleon has done everything that he has for the benefit of the French people. It may look like the things he has done are unfair but they are not, they just are helping the French come closer to a republic. Between 1792 and 1815, France was almost constantly at war. France armies fought to keep a coalition of European monarchs from crushing the revolution. When under napoleon, France fought several wars of conquest, Napoleon created an empire that spanned the continent of Europe. Napoleon was a skilled military leader ;he moved his troops in ways that were very unexpected. From 1807 to 1812, napoleon was at the height of his power. His empire stretched from France to the borders of Russia. He governed France and the Netherlands directly as emperor. The other nations such as Spain and Italy, and the Confederation of the Rhine were states that their rulers followed Napoleon’s policies. While ruling the vast empire, Napoleon helped spread the ideas of the French Revolution across Europe. Throughout the empire, Napoleon introduces religious toleration, abolished serfdom, and reduced the power of the Catholic Church. He also made the Napoleonic Code the basis of law in many countries. Like all great rulers Napoleon had to have a downfall during his rule of France and most of Europe. In 1812 Napoleon decided to invade Russia. Napoleon assembled an army of over 500,00 soldiers, and in May of 1812, he led this Grand Army into Russia. Napoleon was a hardened army general so he planned to defeat the Russians in a quick, decisive battle. But to his surprise the Russian army refused to stand and fight. Instead, they retreated, burning their crops and homes as they went. They forced Napoleon to lead his army deeper into Russian territory. Finally the Russians engaged the French army near Moscow. The French won, but Moscow was in flames. Napoleon soon realized he could not feed and house his troops in Moscow. In October 1812 he ordered a retreat. During the retreat the harsh Russian winter set in and Napoleon suffered disastrous losses on his men. The Russians attacked the few people that were left of the French army. Napoleon rushed home to raise a new army, but his efforts failed. In March 1814, the allies captured Paris. The era of the French Revolution and Napoleon had a lasting effect on France and the rest of Europe. In France, the revolution ended feudalism, with its special privileges for clergy and nobles. Although a monarchy eventually was restored in France, a written constitution limited the king’s authority. Under Napoleon, the revolutionary ideals of political and social justice spread throughout Europe. Through his wars and alliances, Napoleon altered European political boundaries. Both the French revolution and Napoleon contributed to the growing spirit of nationalism in Europe. In my eyes Napoleon had a great effect on France and Europe, he helped with the revolution and helped new orders happen. Another words he helped France and Europe he did not hurt franc like Louis XIV did.

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