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The Napoleonic Revolution Essay

Napoleon Bonaparte is famous in French history due to his revolutionary leadership, which reformed not only French governance but also that of entire Europe. His fame grew during the French revolution of 1789, which echoed the motto of liberty, equality and fraternity to the world. He overthrew the old regime, established a centralized form of administration, and framed the Napoleonic Code, but his despotic policy made him a reactionary autocrat (Rempel, “The Napoleonic Revolution”).

Napoleon was a revolutionary reformer, who became the emperor of France by the end of the nineteenth century. He was instrumental in abolishing serfdom in France, parts of Germany, and Italy. His civil code allowed the rise of bourgeoisie class, eradication of feudal rights of aristocrats, and empowered the Jews to worship freely (Rempel, “The Napoleonic Revolution”).

Napoleon gave importance to development of good infrastructure and public welfare, which he proved by developing water supply system, sewer management, fire department, charity for needy, healthcare system, sidewalks, bridges, and noted buildings like the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe. Napoleon was also a reactionary autocrat, who created his own despotic rule by implementing new policies that resembled those of the old regime, which he had overthrown earlier.

For example, he created the controversial Legion of Honor, which was hierarchical, and had another class of people with distinctions (Rempel, “The Napoleonic Revolution”). His introduction of princely titles, “Monseigneur and Most Serene Highness,” and a noble class based on inherited wealth, contradicted the ideals of equality of French Revolution. Thus, Napoleon was both a “son of the revolution,” and a reactionary autocrat. Works Cited Rempel, Gerhard. “The Napoleonic Revolution. ” Western New England College. 22 July 2009 <http://mars. wnec. edu/~grempel/courses/wc2/lectures/napoleon. html>.


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