Napoleon Bonaparte 3 Essay, Research Paper
Napoleon Bonaparte s natural character can best be exemplified of that being of a revolutionary and nationalist individual. The political, social, and economic reforms personify Napoleon Bonaparter s natural characteristics as both a revolutionary and a nationalist. Napoleon Bonaparte s characteristics as a revolutionary can be seen is his consolidation and institutionalization of many reforms of the French Revolution during his leadership of France. In addition, Napoleon s nationalist attributes can be best expressed in his ambitions to strengthen the power of France and the waging of the many wars in Europe historically referred as the Napoleonic Wars.
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. The new constitution in fact established the rule of one man the First Consul, Bonaparte. He was elected the First Consul, he was the first modern political figure to use the rhetoric of revolution and nationalism, to back it with military force, and to combine those elements into a mighty weapon of imperial expansion in the service of his own power and ambition. He can also illustrate his characteristic as a revolutionary by establishing an empirical government in France. As First Consul, Napoleon issued a general amnesty and employed in his own service persons from all political factions. He was ruthless and efficient in suppressing opposition, he established a highly centralized administration in which prefects directly responsible to the central government in Paris managed all departments, and he also employed secret police. All of these political reforms characterized his revolutionary attributes due to the fact that he embodied reforms that changed the political structure of France; also these reform characterized his nationalist attributes in that these political reforms were for the good of the state of France.
The social reforms that Napoleon Bonaparte instituted distinguish his traits of an individual as a revolutionary and nationalist. Napoleon continued the policy, of the French Revolution, of abolishing all the social inequality that marked the Old Regime. His social reforms safeguarded all forms of property and tried to make French society secure against internal challenges. Employment of salaried officials chosen on the basis of merit replaced the purchase of offices. Hereditary social distinctions were abolished, feudal privileges disappeared, and the peasants were freed from serfdom and manorial dues. In the towns, the guilds and the local oligarchies that had been dominant for centuries were dissolved or deprived of their power. New freedom thus came to serfs, artisans, workers, and entrepreneurs outside the privileged circles. The established churches lost their traditional independence and were made subordinate to the state. Church monopoly of religion was replaced by general toleration. These reforms interpret Napoleon s trait as a revolutionary individual in that he abolished the social order of the Old Regime, also the social reforms define his character as a nationalist in that these social reforms were intended first for his own glory and that of France.
Napoleon Bonaparte s economic reforms in France also illustrate his revolutionary and nationalist traits. Napoleon Bonaparte introduced new economic policies and also kept reforms made to the economy by the French Revolution. To begin, Napoleon reformed the tax structure, this exempted no person or persons from paying their taxes because of birth or privilege. Amazingly, people willingly, began to pay their taxes. Napoleon also authorized a central banking system. Because of the new reforms, French industries flourished under the protection of the state. Napoleon also extended the infrastructure of roads, which were essential for the expansion of national and European markets. The French currency was stabilized and was the most stable in Europe until after World War I. In 1802, Napoleon was successful in achieving the balancing of the budget in France. Taxes came from reasonable sources taxes were raised on alcohol and tobacco. The major economical reform was Napoleon s establishment of the National Bank of France. This improved France s ability to finance wars without the worry of inflation, which had been a problem for most French governments before and after 1789. These extensive economic reforms symbolize the nature of Napoleon Bonaparte s character of that of being a revolutionary in that he introduced new reformed economic policies and in that he kept some economic policy first established by the French Revolution. The objective of these economic reforms was to strengthen the economy of France, thus also symbolizing his character of that being a nationalist in that he wanted to help the well being of his domestic domain of France.
In addition, the consolidation and institutionalization of the French Revolution s reforms mark Napoleon Bonaparte s character as a revolutionary. The political reforms that Napoleon Bonaparte established outlined the reforms first established by the revolutionaries during the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte despise a monarchical government, and this dislike for a monarchical or even a constitutional monarchical government was illustrated when he and the army helped the Directory get rid of legislators that were reactionists and wanted a monarchical government back in France. Also by establishing the Consulate, and being the First Consul, and also establishing an empirical government in France Napoleon demonstrated his character of that being a revolutionary by establishing a new kind of government in France. The social reforms that the French revolution proposed, were also the same and similar reforms that Napoleon Bonaparte established as First Consul. Like the French Revolution, Napoleon abolished the social system during the Old Regime, abolishment of feudal privileges, and the abolishment of hereditary social distinctions. In the economic reforms, Napoleon Bonaparte, like the French Revolution, favored the new tax system in which nobody was exempted from taxation, not the clergy, nobles, or peasants. All of these revolutionary reforms first suggested by the French Revolution, were consolidated into the reforms that Napoleon Bonaparte brought to France during his reign. These reforms strongly depict his character of being a revolutionary, in that all of these reforms were embodied by the French Revolution and were also being newly introduced to France.
Napoleon Bonaparte s revolutionary attributes were best interpreted in his establishments of the Napoleonic Code. After taking full control of France and establishing himself First Consul for life, Napoleon Bonaparte set about reforming and codifying French law. The Napoleonic Code brought about many reforms in France and in the nations that Napoleon conquered because he enforce the Napoleonic Code universally throughout his empire. The Napoleonic Code was developed by Napoleon Bonaparte, but its roots lies in that the Napoleonic Code is constituted of the French Revolutions believes and reforms. It was named in honor of Napoleon, emperor of France, who had participated in the formulation. This code granted equality to all the citizens of France before the law. It confirmed the end of serfdom and slavery in France. It also gave people the freedom of occupation and the freedom to practice their religion. But, it reduced the rights of some groups including women. The Napoleonic Code codified all of France s civil, commercial and criminal law. The Napoleonic Code took into account many of the reforms made by the French Revolution. The social reforms that the Napoleonic Code introduced were that already established by the French Revolution, that is of the abolishment of hereditary social distinctions, feudal privileges, and social inequality characterized by the Old Regime. In addition, the Napoleonic Code introduced new reforms in social life. Workers organizations remained forbidden, and workers had fewer rights than their employers. Within families, fathers were granted extensive control over their children and husbands over their wives. Inheritance of property was distributed among all children, males and females. Married women could only dispose of their own property with the consent of their husbands. Divorce remained more difficult for women than for men. The Napoleonic Code embodies the ideas and reforms of the French Revolution, similarly the Napoleonic Code exemplify the nature of Napoleon Bonaparte s character of being a revolutionary and nationalist. The Napoleonic Code exemplify the nature of Napoleon Bonaparte s character as being a revolutionary, in that the Napoleonic Code have similar reforms as the French Revolution and that it brought a change to France s political, social, and economic state of being.
Napoleon Bonaparte s ambitions for the glorification of France illustrate his characteristic as a nationalist. Napoleon s political, social, and economic reforms embodied by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Code were reforms established to glorify the well being of France and his own goals. Although Napoleon Bonaparte was not born in France, he was patriotic leader of France and all his reforms were aimed to help France even if it went against his own beliefs, all he wanted was for France to be a great power in Europe. The establishment of his status as emperor helped him accomplish all his goals of making a France great nation. Ultimately all his efforts in making France a great nation were accomplished and he managed to give a France an empire because of his ambitions and military genius. His ambitions to make France a great nation came with a price and they ultimately led to many wars in Europe, which are historically referred to as the Napoleonic Wars.
The Napoleonic Wars were the direct consequences of Napoleon Bonaparte s ambitions to glorify the well being of France s state of well being, which illustrate his character as a nationalist. Napoleon Bonaparte s ambitions threatened the political, social, and economical structure of many European powers. These Continental rivals felt a hostility toward France and Napoleon reign feeling threatened that a revolution might occur in their domestic domain as well. This hostility and animosity developed into a continental war between France and many other European powers, usually allied in a coalition. The main rival and enemy of Napoleon and France was England, it was the only European power in which Napoleon and France could not exert influence of their reforms through the Napoleonic Code. After establishing himself as Emperor Napoleon I, and making France an empire, Napoleon s ambitions were to glorify the well being of France. Napoleon succeeded in glorifying the well being of France by conquering a European empire, exerting influence of all his and the French Revolution s reforms all over the Continental Europe. In leading the French armies across the Continent, Napoleon spread many of the ideas and institutions of the revolution and overturned much of the old political and social order. He also provoked popular nationalism in opposition to his conquest. This new force and the great diplomatic alliances that arose against France eventually defeated Napoleon. In the conquered European nations it became clear that Napoleon s policies were intended first for his own glory and that of France. Consequently, before long the conquered states and peoples grew restive. Although Napoleon exerted much influence over the conquered nations of his empire, the ultimate goal of his ambitions clearly characterize that Napoleon was a nationalist who only wanted to strengthen France and for France to become a great European power.
Napoleon Bonaparte can be historically characterize as a revolutionary and a nationalist individual. The extensive political, social, and economic reforms he introduced to France illustrate his attributes of being a revolutionary and nationalist. The characterization of him being a revolutionary can best be displayed in the consolidation and institutionalization of the French Revolution s many reforms under his reign as First Consul and thereafter Emperor of France. In addition, the nationalist trait of Napoleon Bonaparte s character is demonstrated in the Napoleonic Wars he waged to strengthen France and make France a great European power.