Was Napoleon A Hero Or A Tyrant?

1337 words - 5 pages

Was Napoleon a hero or a tyrant?

The great Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "The art of government is not to let me grow stale." Napoleon meant that his leadership could protect France's advancements of eliminating the "old regime" but only if the French could keep him in power. Bonaparte grew up in a noble Italian family and attended some of the most prestigious military academies throughout France. His military education proved beneficial in the long run as he went down in history as being one of, if not the, most honored military leaders in the world. His military skill gave him the ability to establish a strong political government, where he had absolute power, which was what the people were looking for. Due to his meritorious military strategies and early revolutionary advancements as the First Consul and Consul for Life of France, Napoleon Bonaparte can be seen as a hero in history.

Napoleon Bonaparte's military skill and acts prevented France from being invaded during their construction of multiple governments to aid in the Revolution. Bonaparte entered the French military as a second lieutenant and won his first battle against the British at Toulon. This came as his first step in the fight against Louis XVI as he would then rise in rank and his image would become well known (Napoleon Bonaparte Biography). Bonaparte would always praise those who fought for him and never took full credit sharing it with those who truly put their lives on the line to protect their French nation. After his military career took a hiatus, due to an accident in a battle, he was moved to the mapping department for the military. His next major step came when several Emigres were attempting to overthrow the French National Convention (Napoleon Bonaparte Biography). Using military supplies his goal was to protect them from being overthrown. If those loyalists succeeded King Louis XVI could have risen to power so as result Napoleon was appointed as the Commander of the Army of the Interior (Cawthorne 146). Napoleon is also known for creating the Army of Italy and gaining the country of Italy as a territory of the French government. His soldiers were kept in incredible and immaculate conditions for soldiers which kept them fighting harder and morale increased tremendously. The morale increase proved beneficial when Napoleon and his army invaded Austria. His success kept them from invading France and disrupting the advancements of the French Revolution. Finally, due to all of the previous mentioned accomplishments, Napoleon rose to power after he executed a coup d'etat on the Directory with the assistance of Abbe Sieyes (Kreis).

There are many reasons that Napoleon's political career and reign of France can portray his heroism for his nation. During his reign, in power his first act was to create a new legal system, called the Napoleonic Code, or the Civil Code, which preserved the ideas of the Revolution such as: freedom of religion, equality for all, and no...

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