“His Main Aim Was to Himself in Power” How Far Do You Agree with This View of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1799 to 1850?

Topics: French Revolution, Voltaire, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: January 13, 2013
“His main aim was to himself in power” How far do you agree with this view of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1799 to 1850?

Napoleon Bonaparte was created by the revolution of 1789. In his 15 years of ruling, he managed to consolidate many of the aims of the French Revolution., However, whilst doing so, Napoleon also destroyed many aspects of the Revolution, breaking the trust and hope the people of France had in Napoleon when he promised to honour the revolution. Napoleon ruled the way he wanted to stay in power.

Napoleon was a war hero to the French people. His great military tactics helped him to rise to power. Napoleon believed that the army is the true nobility of a country. His skills as a general were both tactical and strategical. By 1810, Napoleon had dominated all of Europe; his victory made him popular amongst his people and brought praise. However, it this praise and popularity that urged Napoleon to stay in power. He thought that when one when does bring victory, then the people would soon get bored and uninterested, thus Napoleon became ruthless and tolerate no argument. This was to prove disastrous in his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon’s constant ambition to go to war and return with victory was his aim of keeping himself in power.

Napoleon domestic policies gained the popular support he demanded in order to keep himself in power. He provided France with a strong centralised government, one that he would dominate when he became emperor in 1801, thus he went against the ideals of the French revolution as people of France wished for an end of the Monarch and one man power. Napoleon wanted to keep himself in power and stand against any threats. He also shaped public opinion by crude forms of propaganda, secret agents, arbitrary arrests and executions. Like a dictator, Napoleon relied on public opinion to prevent hostile criticism. This too was against the ideals of the French Revolution. Napoleon now controlled the media, maintaining his...
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