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Napoleon: Hero Or Tyrant Essay

1003 words - 4 pages

Napoleon Bonaparte can be described as a Hero or Tyrant and it may even be a fair assertion to suggest he was both. Napoleon ended the French Revolution after 10 years of political and economical instability, he implemented significant civil reform, he implemented the ideals of the Revolution by advancing people from all ranks of society and he sowed the seeds of a free democratic republic to neighboring countries mired in their own outdate regimes.

These achievements were particularly significant because of who was behind achieving these accomplishments. He was not of any Royal lineage nor did he have any significant Nobility. A commoner would rise and become an Emperor, something that was probably unfathomably inconceivable, even by the most esteemed noble thinkers in Europe and indeed a threat to those that held the seat of a thrown that was “ordained” by God.

During Napoleon’s reign there were numerous events that changed the world however for this essay I will only address three significant events. The first event I will discuss is the Code of Napoleon followed by the Haitian Revolution and finally the sale of Louisiana.

Napoleon Code: The Napoleon Code brought together many ideas that were represented in the French revolution. However it also addressed many shortcomings in the French constitution that impeded the young ambitious Napoleon from aspiring for high-ranking positions that invigorated his supporters. He promoted and advanced people from all ranks of society on merit of what they could achieve and not nobility, wealth or ancestry privilege. The Bank of France was established to restore financial stability. He implemented public schools and fostered an atmosphere conducive for science.
Under the Code there would be no freedom of press, which meant that Napoleon could control the propaganda, which would spread the Napoleon and reach across bordered to people who found the Code favorable. There would be a Centralized State authority, however this ushered in the Concordat 1801, which recognized the Catholic and brought about freedom of religion in France with the use of appointed Bishops and clergy to ensure State control.
The Napoleon Code was revolutionary and aided in many of Napoleons conquests across Europe as it appealed to commoners that felt oppressed by their monarch regimes.

Haitian Revolution: Haiti was an important revenue generator for France with a large slave population and a small population of freed black men. The French revolution would begin to have an impact on Haiti as many of the demands made in France by the French could be related to the slaves and free blacks. In 1791 a slaves in the colony would revolt creating a civil war in the colony with only a few white colonialist to defend the colony as France begin to struggle with their own revolution and economic mismanagement.
When Napoleon takes control of France and reforms the constitution with the Napoleon Code many more Haitians are inspired and this...

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