When it comes to Napoleon there are two views you can have. He was a hero, a champion of the revolutionary ideals who almost united Europe under one flag. He was a demon, a villain who betrayed the revolution that he came into power through, and he dealt more damage to it than all of the ancien regime combined. Some major figures in European history have had the former opinion, Charles De Gaulle, while others have had the latter opinion, Ludwig van Beethoven. Personally, when I think about what happened before, during, and after the revolution, as well as the basic causes and the core of the revolution, I have to agree with the later opinion despite my deep and heartfelt admiration for both Napoleon and his accomplishments.
This shows something that happens many times after a revolution. People often react very extremely to difficult situations, one of the most well-known example being the reign of terror. So when something like the reign of terror happens, all they want is stability and sometimes that instant stability comes at a price. For the moment, the initial cause was forgotten and people allowed Napoleon to gain absolute power because it was easy. People forget and move one very quickly; Napoleon’s rise to power is a good example of that on a large scale.
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.
In Document A, there is a map showing the land Napoleon conquered for France, Napoleon and his military conquered a lot of land for France and it even explains in Document B that Napoleon conquered so much land because he wanted to eliminate the tyrants of other countries to better the lives of people under their rule. Napoleon cared about the happiness and well being of others. In Document E the Napoleonic Code explains “All Frenchmen shall enjoy civil rights.” During the Reign of Terror and the Revolution Frenchmen had no civil rights and had no protection from the government. Napoleon reintroduced civil rights to France after their rights had been taken away from them. Document C explains that Napoleon believed in better education for France and thought better education would help create a stronger military.
The weaknesses faced by the Weimar Republic was known which also enabled Hitler to exploit the weaknesses of the left and the moderates. Appearing to be the strong leader and withholding the communication skills needed to lead a country, he was able to gain the votes he needed (Orlow 'Modern Germany ' p.185). There were violent strikes in the streets, back and forth fighting, rioting. People were killed and the people of Germany, who feared Communism and despise chaos, sided with the “volkishe” parties, who promised to establish law and order. The people of Germany thought rather than having thousands die it would be better to have law and order and break a few heads than to live with that chaos.
This aspect of military might became the key piece for centralizing power in France, controlling the army meant collecting taxes without the consent of the Estates General, therefore diminishing the power of Estates. This is the reason why the Military Revolution went hand-in-hand with the emergence of absolutism. Hatton describes “the term ‘absolutism’ denotes a form of power which is unrestrained; more specifically it implies that no external agency can suspend or delay the action of the sovereign power” (Hatton, 1976, p.18) Absolutism was also a product of power struggle between the King and the Estates, for example in France the Crown won, establishing monarchical
Post Thirty Years war left France looking for a new leadership style that would give plenty of stability. What France received was Louis XIV, who would reign under the new absolute monarchy government. During Louis’ reign, divine rights controlled rank in society. This left many confused on why they were picked to be at the bottom of society, and why the king was given his power. Jean Domat, a royally appointed juror by king Louis helped explain a better understanding of the new system of governance to the people of France in his writings.
It nourished the hatred people had for Weimar and helped Hitler rise and gain power. It was part of many factors, which slowly destroyed the Weimar Government and the values it defended. It was stipulated that in the Weimar constitution, before Hitler became president, that the army had to swear an oath of loyalty to the president and republic. This meant that the army had to follow the orders appointed by the President. The Weimar’s military leadership was mostly composed of conservatives who did not support the new Republic.
Taking advantage of the people’s desire for strong leadership, military mobility, and political forces that emerged from the French Revolution, Napoleon seized power. He was a very active and revered ruler, implementing several internal reforms that unified the power of the national state and created a fairer justice system. With the passage of the Napoleonic Civil Law Codes, Napoleon reinforced the ideology of equality among all men (not yet women). However, Napoleon did little to bridge the class divide. He limited civil liberties of his constituents through content censorship and virtual oversight.
Rough Draft A leader can benefit or destroy a nation, as well as lead their country to the top of the ranks or to the very bottom. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest and most influential leaders in all of history because he ended the French Revolution, reformed french and world politics and expanded his empire all over the globe. The Reign of Terror, a period of time that can be compared to the horrors of the Black Plague or the Holocaust, was swiftly ended by Napoleon Bonaparte, who launched an overthrow of the government and took over as the new leader. The new leader did everything he could to restore France to its former glory. He got rid of any of the fools who opposed him, for he knew they would hold back his great plan of creating a new, better France.