Napoleon rose to power during the aftermath of the French Revolution. He staged a coup d'état and installed himself as First Consul, later becoming the emperor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time because of his success in his wars. Napoleon sought to spread ideas of the French Revolution but contradicted them in many ways.
Napoleon wanted to be portrayed as supporting the French Revolution, and did in many aspects. For instance in one his speeches to his troops he rallies them behind enlightened French ideas, such as liberating the people, and respect of everyone’s property, religion, and customs. In this speech he said that anyone caught pillaging will be killed, in fact he halted the pillage of Rome, which shows his humanity but also connected himself to the people of France by showing how he supports the people. This is similar to how in his letter to Jerome he expresses his wish that Jerome abolishes serfdom and set up law and order in Germany, just like he did in France. With serfdom gone the people of France gained equality, a main issue that caused the French Revolution in the first place. Napoleon wrote the Napoleonic Code granting civil rights to every Frenchman. This directly supported the French revolutionist’s ideas by granting one of the laws they were fighting for during the French Revolution.
Napoleon turned against the ideas of the revolution seldom. He seemed to have almost a split personality. Count Mole references his extreme lust for power and greatness, the complete opposite ideas of the French Revolution. He even claims how Napoleon once told him that the impossible on the lips of power is only a sign of weakness. This seems to confirm his lust of power. In the painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques Louis David, he is shown sitting gloriously atop a beautiful stallion. When in reality the painting was simply propaganda, since the real scene looked nothing like it. He just...
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