History Questions and Answers on France

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1.How far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintain the ideals of the French Revolution during the period 1799–1815?

The key issue is the relationship between Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Revolution. ‘How far’ invites candidates to consider the extent and limits of the claim that he maintained revolutionary ideals. These ideals can be summarised quickly as ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’. The Revolution had sought greater equalisation between classes, the rule of law and the end of secular and religious privilege. The focus should be on the period from 1799 to 1915 and there is no need for long narratives of the period from 1789 as long as answers can put Napoleon into context. Napoleon maintained that he was the son of the Revolution and his Code incorporated some measures that ensured the rule of law. He encouraged promotion by merit rather than by birth. He confirmed the changes to property ownership that had taken place. On the other hand, the Code benefited the middle classes more than the peasantry and the emphasis on authority in the family returned to pre-1789 values. His rule was authoritarian and the establishment of the Empire was a contradiction of republican principles. Opponents were prosecuted by an active police system, headed by Fouché. Government institutions were not independent and Napoleon was able to nominate those to high offices. Lesser officials, although elected, could be removed. There is no need for long narratives of foreign policy but it will be relevant to explain how far it was driven by personal, rather than revolutionary, motives. Answers worth 22-25 will consider both sides of his rule and come to clear conclusions. 19-21 answers will be mostly secure but will miss some possible lines of discussion. 11-13 answers will show a basic knowledge of his rule but will be very narrative or descriptive, but sometimes incomplete. 14-15 can be awarded to fuller descriptions. 16-18 answers will make some salient points of comment in otherwise largely descriptive accounts.

2 How far did Napoleon Bonaparte achieve his aims in domestic policy?

The key issue is Napoleon's success in achieving his aims in domestic policy. The question is deliberately worded to exclude discussion of foreign policy and this will be irrelevant unless referred to briefly in an introduction or conclusion. For example, a good point would be that Napoleon achieved power largely by conquest and was then was brought down by failure abroad, not by internal opposition. But this does not mean that victory and defeat abroad must be described in detail. Answers can be awarded 11-13 marks when they contain relevant but basic descriptions of domestic policy. These answers will give little consideration to Napoleon's aims and will probably be very uncritical. Fuller descriptions but with a similar approach can be awarded 14-15 marks. The 16-18 band will require some specific study of aims although these might be treated broadly; the description will be quite full. The discriminating factor for the 19-21 band will be the concentration on aims and their achievement although the essays will contain some gaps. For example, they might be very one-sided. More complete assessments that consider alternatives can be awarded 22-25 marks. Napoleon aimed at personal power and he secured this from 1799, with the Consulate, and then 1804, with the Empire, until 1814. But candidates should note his abdication before his unsuccessful return. Credit will be given when candidates consider how far he wished to continue the reforms of the Revolution. He sought to maximise his support and offered promotion by merit. However, political opponents were treated harshly by the police system under Fouché. His attempts to stabilise the economy can be examined as can his relations with the Roman Catholic Church, which he stabilised. Candidates should consider the importance of the Code Napoleon.

3.The aims and methods of Cavour were completely different from...
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