To What Extent Does Napoleon Represent The Forces

1252 words - 5 pages

Napoleon, to a large extent represented the forces behind the French Revolution. In order that this essay is answered accurately the forces behind the French Revolution must be reckoned with first. It is essential therefore to understand that these forces could be categorized into four three main pillars of contention; political, socio-economic and ideological forces and could be represented by the different groups of revolutionaries. Napoleon's representation must therefore be assessed by how far he kept to these forces of change during his rule. He can be assessed in the area of his rule within and without France, largely his domestic policies and some of his foreign policies and more importantly how he carried them out as well as in comparison to other governments before him. Also not to be forgotten was what he, as a person from the Third Estate represented in the politics and ideological forces that held the people so pervasively at that time.Primarily, the forces of the revolutionaries could be examined in the three ways as discussed. The French Revolution symbolized the people's press for political representation, a cry for economic liberalization, ideological revision and social rights. Economic liberalization comprised the pressure for property ownership, free trade laws, laissez faire with the government support and an even distribution of wealth among the people as well a abolition of feudalism. The outcry for political representation could be heard loudest from the bourgeoisie and the nobility and it included right to make decisions on behalf of the masses and the end to despotism that undermined the basic individual rights. There was also the social force that could be explained through the rapid urbanization that the people was undergoing at that time. Poverty, social unrest and dilapidation mounted led people to question their livelihoods Rise of intellectuals and nascent disciples of Enlightenment ideas instigated tensions in the French social fabric. This force hinted the turn for a new social order. How far was Napoleon a successor of these forces, how representative was he of the Third Estate? Napoleon's rule brought about a new social structure and stability that was the gnawing pressure in the French Revolution. Derangement of social welfare due to the desertion of its importance by the King was addressed by Napoleon through his system meritocracy and system of direct control. With the abolition of feudalism and direct control that was continued by Napoleon he single handedly dealt with acumen and precocity silenced complaints. There was a need for a modern social order that was skillfully handled by Napoleon. Napoleon dealt directly with the problems of the people. He looked directly into every single aspect of France. He had officials from each province to report to him at the end of the day and he had a hand in every construction and architecture in the country. Not one event that went on in the country that escaped him....

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