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Napoleon Bonaparte

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Jimmy Niederer

February 9,2005

European History

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte, a man of little stature but of large responsibility, played an important role in France's history. As a young military officer to becoming the Emperor of France, Napoleon accomplished many great feats that helped France when they needed it most. Napoleon did many things for France, which showed revolutionary thinking and proved he did in fact try to protect it although, one may also see how Napoleon also hurt and set back the revolution through his actions.

From the very beginning of his rule when Napoleon became Emperor of France he established a Civil Code or "Code Napolйon", which was used to restore order in a revolutionary way over France. With this revolutionary action Napoleon had taken, France had finally been given a single set of laws. The laws of the "Code Napolйon" were more revolutionary because they recognized the principle of equality of all the citizens before the law, the right of individuals to choose their professions, religious toleration, and the abolition of serfdom and feudalism. Before this France had about three hundred different legal systems governing the country.

Another reason why Napoleon can be considered a protector of the revolution is because of the laws that he had passed. Using the "Code Napolйon" along with his decisive military Napoleon was able to control almost all of Western Europe, which was known as his "Grand Empire". His Grand Empire consisted of an enlarged France extending to the Rhine in the east and including the western half of Italy north of Rome. He also had dependent states, which included Spain, the Netherlands, the kingdom of Italy, the Swiss Republic, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and the Confederation of Rhine. The last pieces of his Empire were his alleged allies who consisted of Prussia, Austria, and Russia, these were the countries that Napoleon defeated in battle and forced to fight alongside him. While expanding his empire Napoleon passed on his revolutionary ideas enforcing them to make countries better. Napoleon tried to destroy the old order where nobility and clergy had special rights and privileges and he decreed equality before the law and religious toleration. Napoleon also reestablished ties with the Catholic Church and France in the Concordat of 1801. This allowed Catholicism to be worshipped freely in French Empire. He also ensured his people that they may keep land that was confiscated during the revolution from the church, which made the people support Napoleon even more.

In spite of all the good that Napoleon did for the sake of the revolution, he did happen to do things that can be looked upon as being against the revolution. In Napoleon's

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