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Napoleon: A Child and Destroyer of the Revolution Essay

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Updated: Feb 8th, 2019

Napoleon Bonaparte is definitely one of the most famous leaders of the modern era. “Bonaparte’s prominence emerged during the last stages of the French Revolution” (Landau 67). He eventually established a new monarch in the country. Napoleon established a new hegemony across Europe. This explains why the political leader was able spread the ideas of the revolution across the continent (Hunt et al. 683). That being the case, it would be agreeable that Napoleon was both a destroyer and a child of the revolution.

On one side of the coin, Napoleon was a child of the French Revolution. For instance, Napoleon promoted some of the ideas and aims of the revolution. The fathers of the revolution wanted to make the people free by destroying the “absolute monarchy” in the country. Napoleon supported the same idea by established new policies to safeguard the needs of the people. “He also monitored the exportation of grains, food substances, and bread” (Hunt et al. 685).

As well, Napoleon controlled the prices of bread in order to safeguard the food needs of his people. He also created the Bank of France. The bank managed the country’s currency and economy thus promoting the country’s stability. These were the same visions held by the revolutionary predecessors.

The earlier government did not support the welfare of the people. As the new leader of France, Bonaparte introduced a new system of government aimed at making the people equal. He also introduced the famous Napoleonic Code. This code made the country successful thus influencing different legal systems and jurisdictions across the globe.

The leader gave the people their rights and liberties. The people of France were able to own land, property, and other assets. These were some of the major goals targeted by his predecessors (Hunt et al. 689). As well, Napoleon Bonaparte abolished “serfdom and feudalism” in the country in order to make the people free. He also reformed the country’s education system thus making it available to the people. “Napoleon centralized power in order to promote fairness and equality in the country (Landau 93)”.

On the other side of the coin, it would be agreeable that Napoleon broke from the targets of his predecessors. For instance, the new leader introduced indirect taxes thus affecting the people of France. A good example was the “land tax”. The taxes made it impossible for the peasants and laborers.

According to Abbott (82), “the revolutionary fathers were angered by such taxes since they affected the ordinary people”. It is agreeable that the revolutionary fathers wanted to make France a “democratic state”. The people of the country would elect good leaders and establish fair laws. Instead, Napoleon consolidated his powers and formed an “imperial monarchy” (Hunt et al. 685). This explains how he became a “destroyer” of the revolution.

Napoleon’s predecessors were fighting hard to abolish tyranny in the country. Napoleon created an authoritarian regime in the country thus limiting the people’s rights and liberties.

Napoleon also suppressed the people and the media. Napoleon also colluded with the police to suppress any opposition in the country (Hunt et al. 686). From this discussion, it would be agreeable that Napoleon was both a “destroyer” and a “child” of the French Revolution. This explains why France did not realize its democratic goals during the reign of Emperor Napoleon.

Works Cited

Abbott, John. Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print.

Hunt, Lynn, Thomas Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, Po-Chia Hsia and Bonnie Smith. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, A Concise History. New York: Bedford Press, 2006. Print.

Landau, Elaine. Napoleon Bonaparte. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Napoleon: A Child and Destroyer of the Revolution'. 8 February.

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