Napoleon Bonaparte Legacy

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Throughout history, Napoleon Bonaparte has been illustrated in many ways. Though he was known as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, many of his actions, such as his lack of mercy in the battlefield, created an image of tyranny. Moreover, Bonaparte held a confusing legacy due to many interpretations of his life. However, in The Epoch of Napoleon, Owen Connelly expertly takes away this confusion by creating a detailed look at Bonaparte’s life, in which he was not just one thing. In this work, Connelly shows Napoleon’s heroic military works, his personal life and ways in which he left an impact on future generations in Europe and throughout the world. By showing his power and influence in different areas such as education, law…show more content…
His civil code, which consisted of seven major ideas, was called the Napoleonic Code and with certain modifications, it is still the basis of French law. At its core, the code was created to establish individual freedoms and equality in certain areas. It also reinforced the ending of feudalism and the privileges that came to certain people through that system. However, some of his major ideas in the codes did not improve the lives of the French, especially women. For example, one of the laws made it nearly impossible for women to receive a divorce and in most cases, the husband would win the case. In this code, as many other laws at the time, women were put at a lower standard than men and this wrongful treatment continued in France until new laws were put in place. Although the Napoleonic Codes had areas of wrongful treatment, for the first time in France’s history, the entire country had the same set of laws and it soon improved their justice system and helped to find common ground on many issues. While influencing France in an extreme manner, Napoleon’s codes also shaped many laws in neighboring countries and set a standard for what laws are used…show more content…
In 1800, Bonaparte was responsible for creating the Bank of France, which has continued to be the main financial establishment in France. Created so that both the bank and commoners owned stock, this bank created stability for the economy by “supplying funds to enterprisers at whatever rate seemed required by the circumstances” (Connelly, 42). While noticing areas of weakness in his countries, Napoleon also saw a need for change in the exchange of moneys. He began to realize that inflation was bound to occur if hard coins, the most stable form of money, were not used. Therefore, Bonaparte changed the French currency to the franc de Germinal, a form of silver. This new coin solved problems brought by inflation and continued to be the French currency for over one-hundred years. In closing, Napoleon Bonaparte can continue to be characterized in many different lights. Although he showed cruelty and confidence in his conquests, Bonaparte saw a need for change in his conquered kingdoms. Through these changes in education, economics and law, a new way of perceiving Napoleon Bonaparte is brought to the surface. By focusing on many aspects of his life, Owen Connelly created a new man who was passionate and successful in his areas of
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