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Napoleon Essay

Essay by   •  November 8, 2010  •  661 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,586 Views

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There has not been a man so widely interpreted as Napoleon in European history. His early heroic reputation is questioned because of other dictators who went down the same path as he did but for other reasons, such as Stalin and Mussolini. The French Revolution had three goals, liberty, equality, and fraternity, and to make it truly successful these goals must be achieved. Freeing the French, making them equal within themselves, and unifying them, is what Emperor Bonaparte strived for with the Napoleonic Code. Although most believe he did not acquire Liberty, they are content with his achievements. Napoleon not only finished the revolution, he finished with what everyone expected, the demise of the King and the equality among all people. Napoleon truly is "the debate without end". Is he the child or betrayer of the revolution? A child is an offspring, of a man or of a cause. Without the revolution Napoleon would not have achieved glory, therefore it is the revolution that gave birth to Napoleon the man, the tactician, and the optimist.

Napoleon Bonaparte reinforced the idea that he was the child of the revolution by introducing the innovative Napoleonic Code which set out to unify France. Bonaparte, a certified pragmatist pleased the masses of France and gained support by fighting for their concerns and rights. At a time of chaos where France lacked foundation, Napoleon introduced a Civil Code. The code was a written statement of what the revolution stood for, unification. Is it not an absurd and terrible thing that what is true in one village is false in another? What kind of barbarism is it that citizens must live under different laws? ... When you travel in this kingdom you change legal systems as often as you change horses?" The Code introduced by napoleon changed the landscape of continental Europe. Before the code, laws relied heavily on customs and traditions that differed throughout the diverse land. The code represented a logical system where the law would be set out by principles and morals equally throughout France. The country of France longed for this grievance, obtaining it only with Napoleon! "It is legal because I wish it", is the perfect example of French law under the Sun King. The citizens of France were not happy with such an injustice and would be grateful to anyone who would help change this climate. With a national law present Napoleon could help resolve old feuds and unite opposing groups. During the early revolution the relationship

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