Napoleon was nothing more than a dictator in his rule of France between 1799 and 1815. How far do you agree?
“History is a version of events which everyone has agreed on” - Napoleon
Napoleon was nothing more than a tyrant as he exploited France in pursuit of his own ambitions to achieve a dynasty in his name. A dictatorship is often associated with repression and the workings of a police state. Both of these were, in fact, being used in France . For example Napoleon vigorously censored the press and even the theatre. When Napoleon took power, Paris had a vibrant newspaper business, by the end of his reign there were only four newspapers left due to his denial of a free-press and all of these had been under his control. These newspapers were censored and used by Napoleon for propaganda. He also had spies and informers working for his Ministry of Police, he used special courts and arbitrary imprisonment which really supports the concept of a police state under a dictatorship. Implementing these resources allowed Napoleon to repress any opposition to his rule and crush any civil unrest Considering these facts only it would appear that Napoleon was nothing but a tyrannical dictator , but , this would not necessarily be a fair judgment as throughout his reign he continued to use certain administrative bodies which limited his freedom of action , such as the Senate and the Legislative Body which suggests he didn’t have or want overall power as a dictator for matters such as law making . He also introduced the Civil Code , which assured legal rights , he also instituted a number of reforms that brought genuine benefits to the French people , such as religious toleration , which not only followed revolutionary ideal of freedom and equality as anyone was allowed to practice their chosen religion , but would also have had popular support in France . Under Napoleon, the upper reaches of representative government had no serious power and were reduced to supporting...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document