Napoleon: tyrant, or hero?

Topics: Revolution, Law, Feudalism Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: December 19, 2013
Vive l'Empereur!
Napoleon was a big man in all ways except stature, with big plans, big actions, big passions, and a big appetite. Throughout Napoleon’s political and military career, he accomplished many goals of the revolution that had underlying democratic values, which he spread all across Europe. However, Napoleon was also an egotistical and oppressive character, and he took away many individual rights that had been gained during the reign of terror. Napoleon was a tyrant, twisted by his own passions and big ideas, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t heroic or that he didn’t accomplished any heroic feats. Although Napoleon seized power, he strived to strengthen his country, and gain a majority of the support, understanding that there aint(sic) no power like the power of the people. He soon had a group of lawyers write up a code of laws that governed the entirety of France, making a more just system of laws and taxation, as before the laws varied state to state, while the taxes varied by estate. While this stabilized the government and economy, and largely leveled the playing field among men, it also took away many women’s rights, and sacrificed certain rights to maintain Napoleon’s growing power. Those who crossed Napoleon or spoke out against him, whether in public or in the paper were targeted, and he destroyed printers that voiced ‘dangerous’ thoughts. During the same time period, Napoleon also took back the rights of free blacks in Saint Domingue that the slaves had won during a revolt of their own. The event that showed his domineering potential, and turned off many of his previous ‘fans’, was when Napoleon was crowned emperor. Up until this point, many intellectuals had admired Napoleon for his cunning, and France’s dramatic recovery under his careful guidance. However, as Napoleon snatched the crown from the Pope like an insolent child, another great mastermind drew a groan of pained frustration. Beethoven had been writing a symphony...
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