Napoleon Essay

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A larger than life figure--the first modern military dictator in Europe. Some of the achievements of the French Revolution (FR) were lost some were preserved. Legacy mixed.

Born in Corsica, 1769. Son of a petty nobleman. Military school; then to France to make his career. Brilliant artillery officer, military planner. RUTHLESS AND AMBITIOUS.

<li value="1793">: Drove English from Toulon during the FR
<li value="1795">: Saves the French Republic from Royalists
<li value="1796"> Fought against Austrians in Northern Italy; experienced glory, success, and believed he was "a superior being."

Challenged British control of the sea route to India. Lost Battle of the Nile at Nelson's hands in 1798. Slipped away from
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Was a good Catholic himself.

1804 promulgated the Code Napoleon (Civil Code). Revised and unified the body of conflicting civil codes with some major changes. Code enforced in all the lands he conquered.

Some LIBERAL revolutionary ideas now incorporated into the Civil Code: equality before the law (adult men only; not women or slaves or minors) ; right to choose one's profession, freedom to worship (conscience or religion), protection of property rights, abolition of serfdom in France, secular character of the state. "Careers open to talent", civil marriage, and attacked the privileges of the I and II Estates. Cleansed them. Modernization of Europe hastened.

The Civil Code also had some CONSERVATIVE ideas: He made wives subordinate to husbands, sons to fathers, workers to masters. Restricted women--child-bearing and religion was to be their fate. Not a champion of intellectual freedom or representative government. Liked dictatorship. Censorship enforced against journalists, writers, publishers. No freedom of speech, had a large establishment of spies.

Education was regularized and brought under state control. One secular curriculum for all French schools; Church involvement minimized. Girls not given the same education as boys--girls "marriage is their whole destination." Train officers for army and government, and bring up LOYAL, OBEDIENT citizens.

Economy: Had bourgeois supporters. Rebuilt and expanded infrastructure--roads, canals, bridges,

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