France, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, did not have a government anywhere near as complex as the current one in the United States. This allowed their leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, total control without fear of consequences for his actions. The United States of America is a democracy and the people directly choose many of the high level public officials. For the past eight years a democratic president, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, has led our country. Although the president was never convicted of any wrong doing during his tenure in office, he was impeached and many of the citizens who voted for him began to disbelieve him. The majority of American citizens still feel the president was guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury and if those citizens were on the senate, 80 percent of them would have voted to convict the president on these charges (Agreement Poll). Obstruction of justice and perjury were the official charges against him, however, all of the problems the president faced stemmed from improper relations with an intern, Monica Lewinsky, and the lying which was used to attempt at covering up the incident. Napoleon caused similar controversies while ruling France, and a great deal of Europe, yet there was not a system in place to hold him accountable for his actions. If the rules that governed President Clinton in the White House today were in effect in France during the time of Napoleon, history may have been changed forever. Even though a majority of the Senate felt the president was guilty, that was not enough to remove President Clinton from office and he, like Napoleon, continued to rule the most powerful country of their respective times.
Our country has a series of checks and balances to insure that the actions of our elected and appointed officials are valid and well thought out. Without this vital part of the democracy in the United States, our country could possibly fall into the hands of a dictator, monarchy, or a board of rulers who do not follow the principles our country was founded on. The lack of such a system in eighteenth century France enabled this to take place. The system of checks and balances as well as the practice of public elections is our best attempts at preventing this improper rule. Some countries do not have the luxury of such a stable government or a guarantee of suitable leadership. For instance, in the early nineteenth century, France was put under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon was appointed to the position of first consul, the principal of a board of three, by his brother, Lucien Bonaparte. This position put him in charge of both the government and military of France, with no one to report to besides the lower two consuls. This virtually made him the emperor of France, and before long, he crowned himself the rightful ruler of the country and all its possessions (Jones, 4-30).
Bonaparte is portrayed as a masterful tactician and military leader in a vast...