Did Napoleon betray the French revolution or further its ideals?
PB World Themes 10
Identification and Evaluation:
This investigation will answer the question; did Napoleon Bonaparte betray the French Revolution or further its ideals? The French Revolution was an important part of European history, where many different people used the chaos of the revolutionary phase to try and gain control for themselves and many people began to oppose an aristocratic system of government. This played an important role in the balance of worldly powers of seventeenth century Europe and its effects can be felt today. The scope of this investigation will be between during the …show more content…
France, having amassed a massive debt and being at war with nearly every country in Europe, was on the verge of collapsing . After the Old Regime and the Reign of Terror, the citizens of France, having grown tired of weak and corrupted leaders, willingly accepted Napoleon Bonaparte, a young, assertive, and capable individual. Additionally, at this time, Saint Domingue had experienced a successful slave revolt, causing France to lose a very lucrative colony and upsetting the balance of power in the “New World”. To maintain its power and place in Europe, France was ready to support Napoleon and follow in his bold footsteps.
With all the glory and the splendor that some countries may have experienced, never has history seen how only one man, Napoleon, brought up his country, France, from its most tormented status, to the very pinnacle of its height in just a few years time. With all of the corruption and inequality that the French revolution expected to wipe out, Napoleon only furthered the ideals of the French revolution. He did so by earning the respect of his people, improving the structure of France, and giving many people equality, freedom, and …show more content…
When Napoleon overthrew the Directory and established the French Republic (which was really a dictatorship), real changes were brought about under his guidance. His power increased tremendously when he decided to do away with the French Republic and turn it into a French Empire, with himself as the Emperor. In his coronation, he infamously takes the crown from the pope’s hands and crowns himself. Now in total control, Napoleon takes action and change the terrible French economy, which was one of the key factors leading to the French Revolution. When Napoleon became the Emperor, he changed the situation in less than a year. Fair taxes, increased trade, the development of French luxury industries, a new commercial code, an improved infrastructure, and a central bank to control monetary policy were keys to his success. The banking system made the French franc the most stable currency in Europe, which, in turn, improved the standard of living in France. In addition to the economy, Napoleon reorganized France's education system. He restarted the primary schools, created a new elite secondary system of schools (called lycées), and established many other schools for the general populace. He promoted education for girls and greatly improved teacher training. Literacy levels in France soared under Napoleon's reforms. Under Napoleon’s rule the the majority of lives in France greatly improved and