Napoleon: a Leader or Dictator.

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  • Topic: First French Empire, France, French Consulate
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  • Published : March 28, 2000
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Napoleon: A Leader or Dictator.

There are never ending inquiries on the nature of Napoleonic power. But reason can prove to one that the Age of Napoleon was infact a time of democratic rule. Through Political, Social, and Economical reforms, Napoleon Bonaparte did not only transcend France, but he changed the course of history for Europe and the World today.

To begin, Napoleon proved himself a democratic leader thorough many Political reforms. In 1798-99, Napoleon, with the directory's blessing, he launched his Egyptian Expedition. It was a military disaster, but Napoleon came to France a hero and saved France from the second coalition. In 1799, he staged his "Coup D'etat," and setting up the Consulate, government body representing a country in another host country, with himself as First Consul. At first this does not seem just, but Napoleon then submitted his new constitution to a Plebiscite, a vote of the people, and it was approved by a vast majority. Although the constitution gave almost complete power to the First Consul, it was the people of France who voted , as a democratic society would, to enforce this new structure of government. In 1802, Napoleon again held a Plebiscite, and was named to be First Consul for life. Also, in 1804, he submitted to Plebiscite a new constitution, ending the consulate and establishing the First French Empire. Also showing Democratic Political advancement, Napoleon signed The Concordat of 1801 with the Catholic Church. He thus disarmed the threat of counter revolution among the catholic peasants. Catholicism became the "preferred" religion of France, but most importantly, Napoleon did tolerate other religions.

Next, Napoleon helped show the Age of Napoleon as democratic through many Economic reforms. To begin, Napoleon reformed the tax structure. This exempt no person or persons from paying their taxes because of birth or privilege. Amazingly, people willingly, began to pay their...
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