Was Napoleon Bonaparte the Saviour or the Destroyer of the Ideals of T

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 383
  • Published : October 8, 1999
Open Document
Text Preview
With all the glory and the splendour that some countries may have experienced, never has history seen how only only one man, Napoleon, 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 splendid 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. But, even though how great this person was, something about how he governed France still floats among people's minds. Did he abuse his power? Did Napoleon defeat the purpose of the ideals of the French Revolution? After all of his success in his military campaigns, did he gratify the people's needs regarding their ideals on the French Revolution? This is one of the many controversies that we have to deal with when studying Napoleon and the French Revolution. In this essay, I will discuss my opinion on whether or not was he a destroyer of the ideals of the French Revolution.

Certain individuals approved of Napoleon's reign as the saviour of France. He finished and completed the Revolution by fulfilling the ideals the people of France demanded. A person such as one belonging to the bourgeoisie, or even a peasant would be very satisfied with the way Napoleon ruled over the country. He gave them equality, freedom, justice, and many rights. Such things never existed during the reign of the monarchs before Napoleon stepped in. A banker too would be very affirmative on how Napoleon had truly helped France in its economic problems. He made the franc the most stable currency in Europe, and the banker had witnessed that, as probably one of the bankers of the Bank of France. Another type of individual that agrees that Napoleon isn't the destroyer of the ideals of the Revolution would be his soldiers and generals. He had fought alongside with his men in many battles. Through inspiration, he gained their loyalty, to "follow him to the stars" if he asked them to. Such inspiration would never be gained if he never respected them, if he never treated them fairly. And then, the "Legion of Honour", which awarded to some certain citizens for their civil and military achievements. People like Jacques Louis David, the Pope, a lawyer, or even a student from a lycee would support the fact that Napoleon didn't destroy the ideals of the French Revolution.

On the contrary, many individuals blamed Napoleon for betraying the ideals of the French Revolution. They believed that he destroyed it by denying the French people the equality that they have waged the Revolution for. One big issue was how the women were treated during his reign. That was one of the few examples that the critics are criticizing Napoleon on. An individual such as Robespierre or Danton would have cut off Napoleon's head, if we assume Napoleon was active during the Reign of Terror. The Sans-culottes would be outraged by the fact that Napoleon was in agreement with Pope Pius VII to restore the Catholic religion and make it as France's main religion. A republican would be against Napoleon for sure because his main idea was to get rid of the monarchy. So as with the Jacobins, they would absolutely be against Napoleon's being the Emperor of France.

The French Revolution belongs to one of the most significant chapters in the book of the World's history. The revolution altered the Frenchmen's' lives from being oppressed to being free, from inequality to being equal, and from being disjointed to being unified. Napoleon strengthened these ideals even more when he reigned. However, critics argue over the fact that Napoleon is the destroyer of these ideals. Hereon, I will prove that Napoleon is the saviour of France.

Liberty, Equality and Fraternity – this is the Revolution's battle cry, and of course, the main ideals of why they waged the...
tracking img