Did Napoleon Support the Aims of the Revolution

812 Words4 Pages
From 1799 to 1815, how far did Napoleon maintain the aims of the French Revolution? The main aims of the French revolution before Napoleon came to power was to promote “Liberty, equality and fraternity” by putting an end to feudal privileges and the absolute rule of the monarchy and the king. Napoleon made many reforms in France which mainly supported the ideas of the revolution. However he also made several steps in securing himself as an absolute ruler of France, going against the ideas of the revolution. In October 1799 Napoleon became first consul of the government and in so being became the most powerful man in France. Napoleon claimed to be the “heir of the revolution” and to begin with he introduced a new system of government promoting “career open to talent” which allowed people from various origins to take high ranking positions in the government and military. Napoleon also made feudalism, which was abolished by the revolution illegal in France thus showing his support for the revolution. Napoleon also introduced legal reforms by writing the “Code Napoleon.” With this he replaced the law codes of the ancient regime which during the revolution had caused much confusion. This new set of laws meant that every French citizen had equal rights promoting the revolutionary idea of equality among all men. These codes secured property rights and also supported the revolutionary ideas subdivision of estates between male heirs. These codes also contained many revolutionary ideas of equality between all classes and trial in the public by the jury system. He also made it possible for the public to vote after they had passed a certain criteria which pleased the revolution as it promoted their ideas of power to the people. The concordat signed between the pope and Napoleon showed that Napoleon recognised the importance of the church. This concordat meant that

More about Did Napoleon Support the Aims of the Revolution

Open Document