Napoleon Bonaparte did maintain the ideals of the French Revolution to some extent. He kept many of the changes that came with the Revolution. In the important areas such as the economy, the government and society and in religion, he succeeded in achieving the goals of the Revolution France was in a state of a very unstable economy before and during the Revolution. There was an inequality in taxation and economic deflation. So, naturally, the goals of the Revolution were to develop equal taxation and inflation in the economy.
When Napoleon came to power, his first order of business was to get the economy on a solid footing. In order to do so, he set up a well-organized tax-collecting system. Under his leadership, the first -ever national bank in France was also opened. This led to a better control in managing the financial problems and resulted in a better, more stabilized economy. Napoleon again lived up the Revolution’s dreams by abolishing the corrupted officials in government offices and employed new officials by practicing meritocracy-not based on family connections.
He also set up government-run public schools called “lycees”. The students there included the sons and daughters of the wealthy as well as those of ordinary citizens. The purpose of these schools was to provide the government offices with trained officials. Due to these, there was equal opportunity in government, civil servants with good morale emerged and citizens gained the chance for a public educationThirdly, the complicated affairs concerning the religion were stopped.
What the Revolution hoped for was a less powerful Catholic Church and a tolerance of religion among the people of France. A ‘concordat’ was signed between Napoleon and Pope Pius the VII in 1801, which promised a better relationship between church and state. The concordat also agreed the forbiddance of church control in national affairs. Furthermore, the government also recognized Catholicism as the faith of Frenchmen. On the other hand, the Napoleon Code (Napoleon’s comprehensive law system) restricted freedom of speech and press and limited liberty.
It also took away some of the rights women had during the Revolution. Moreover, it also restored slavery in the French colonies- an act that the revolutionary government had abolished. But by summarizing the many events and changes made by the great emperor, it is prominent that many of those alterations had positive effects to the country. And, looking from a bird’s eye view, Napoleon did maintain the ideals of the Revolution to a great extent.