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Mock Trial Essay: Napoleon and The Enlightenment

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Mock Trial Essay: Napoleon and The Enlightenment

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  • May 19, 2008
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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" means to be influenced by the values and ideas of the Enlightenment. Also, the word "despot" is defined as to exercise dictatorial authority. Napoleon can be considered to be a enlightened despot through his economic policies, religious and educational policies, and the Napoleonic Code.

Napoleon had many accomplishments through his economic policies, such as establishing the Bank of France and reorganizing and centralizing tax collection. He also established the Continental System, which attempted to block England from continental trade. Furthermore, Napoleon put into effect the Berlin Decree in 1816, which prohibited trade with England. In 1807, the Milan Decree was passed which stated that any ship which traded or even been stopped by the British Navy was to be confiscated. French manufacturing was wholly unable to makeup for the loss of British goods. Soon afterwards, the French manufacturers and merchants began to resent the restrictions. Napoleon regarded his allies and conquered territories as a source for raw materials, conscripts, and a market for French goods. Eventually, Napoleon's economic policies contributed to his fall.

Religious and educational policies were also part of Napoleon's accomplishments, which lead for him to be the greatest enlightened despot....