The Age of Napoleon

by Kyle, Gabe, and Morgan

Restructuring of Government

Before Napoleon the government had gotten rid of the Directory and there were disagreements on how the French government was to be ran. Once Napoleon took control of the French government he planned on restructuring the government so there would be equality to every citizen, except females. He wanted to have control as if he was a King but didn’t rule as a monarchy. He hand selected new nobles, ones that he would trust. He kept some ideas from the revolution but got rid of Liberty and freedom of press. After Napoleon his ideas of equality to male citizens decreased because it was uncommon amongst the rest of the world. Though some of his ideas stayed with France for sometime.

Educational System

Before Napoleon the educational system was taught only to males. Schools for the study of military were common, and Napoleon attended one of them when he was younger. Once Napoleon was in control of the government he would put people into military schools. Women were still not able to have an education. Napoleon did have an effect on education in France and after, some of his ideas of the educational system were kept. Some of Napoleon’s ideas were not kept though. Women later riot for more rights and the ability to go to school.

Financial System

There was still an imbalance in the economical powers until Napoleon became emperor. When he became Emperor, he made it so that anyone could become a leader or in government and it was based on whether or not you had the skills to do so. This followed ideas of the revolution, the beliefs that power should be earned not gained by birth. It started this practice in other countries as part of his legacy.

Legal System

The legal system of pre-Napoleonic France was in disarray. There were approximately 300 different systems rather than one that encompassed all of France. When Napoleon came to power, he codified France’s laws: this is considered to be his most famous domestic achievement. Napoleon created a seven-code system in which the Civil Code, or Napoleonic Code, was most important. This code preserved many of the gains of the Revolution including: the right to chose a profession, equality of all citizens before the law, religious toleration, abolition of serfdom, property rights continued to be protected, and the outlaw of trade unions and strikes. HOWEVER, Napoleon failed to maintain the rights of women. During the Revolution, women were made mostly equal, and it became easier for women to divorce and inherit property. Napoleon overturned these advances and women became considered “less equal than men” Napoleon also made it that women were treated as minors in court cases and their testimony was less valuable than that of a man’s. The majority of his changes to the legal system were in line with Revolutionary ideas, with the exception of women’s rights, since many of the laws were written with the changes from the Revolution in mind. The effect of Napoleon’s codification of laws was a base of Revolutionary ideas for France to build on and a step-back in the area of women’s rights.

Concordat of 1801

Before Napoleon came under rule, The Church was banned by the revolutionaries.

Once he became emperor The church and religion was allowed back in France.

These actions did not keep with the revolution’s views and it helped his standing with his people and stayed in his legacy as support for why he was a good leader.


Spielvogel, Jackson J. Glencoe World History: Modern times. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.