Module 7 Essay

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, Liberalism, Voltaire Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: February 27, 2013
EESAY QUESTION: "Napoleon was a child of the Enlightenment". Assess the validity of this statement by using specific policies and attitudes of Napoleon. During the time period of the French Revolution, many governments came and went as a result of the unorganized and often times, radical political regimes that were recklessly installed by desperate people longing for equality and liberty. The French were inspired by the new liberal notions and ideas of political and economic rights for all proposed by Enlightenment thinkers. As different forms of governments and their leaders among them passed, one man named Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power by manipulating the Directory and the French people to enable him to assume authoritative powers over his subjects and, as a side effect, majority of continental Europe. Bonaparte used his autocratic powers to maintain the rights achieved during the revolution and inject new Enlightenment he had been educated from the small island of Corsica as long as they did not interfere with his thirst for power. Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power via the arrogance of a political leader who failed to comprehend the influence of Bonaparte and his army. Napoleon Bonaparte issued a constitution, the Constitution of Year VIII, to clarify his new political intentions he would impose. With this constitution, he created an illusion to the French people that people from all fractions of the political spectrum would be content with. His constitution appealed to the common man and democratic supporters with "universal male suffrage." An elaborate system of checks and balances between each sector of his government appealed to republican supporters. Also, the Council of State would satisfy any monarchists that remained in France. However, as an intellectually-inclined individual from his education in philosophy and military strategy, Bonaparte provided the French with a sound and stable state and what appeared to be a constitutional government in which...
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