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Mock Trial Essay: Napoleon And The Enlightenment

957 words - 4 pages

Napoleon Bonaparte was a man with all the glory, never has history seen how only one man, who, brought up his country, France, from its most tormented status, to the very pinnacle of its height in just a few years time. He was a military hero who won many land-based battles, which allowed him to dominate most of the European continent. He was a man with ambition, great self-control and calculation, a great strategist, a genius; whatever it was, he was simply the best. Some of history's greatest rulers such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, and Joseph II have been considered to be enlightened despot. Napoleon Bonaparte was also one of them. The word "enlightened" ...view middle of the document...

One of the religious policies was the Concordat of 1801, which gave the Catholic Church special status. The Concordat also gave power to the government to nominate bishops who then had the power to appoint the priests. One of Napoleon's educational policies was the establishment of the Lycées, which were state run elite secondary schools. The curriculum was to glorify Napoleon and teach obedience. He also founded the École Polytechnique, which was an engineering school.The final way by, which Napoleon became a despot, is through his Code Napoleon. It codified and reconciled the customary law of northern France with Roman law of the South. The Code Napoleon also provided equality of all before the law, religious freedom, and "freedom of work," which reaffirmed the Le Chapelier law banning workers' associations. A benefit of the Code Napoleon was that workers were not allowed to strike and were required to carry passports that could be checked by government officials or employers. Napoleon could be considered a sexist because the code stated that a woman's income would pass to her husband's family and not to hers. Another thing was that women workers' wages did not belong to them; instead it belonged to their husband. Napoleon said, "In France, women are considered too highly. They should not be regarded as equal to men. In reality they are nothing more than machines for producing children." This is an example of Napoleon's discrimination towards women, which also relates to him being an enlightened despot.Rulers such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, and Joseph II have all been considered to be enlightened despots, but Napoleon Bonaparte is known...

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