Grade Napoleon Bonaparte

You Decide: Was He a Hero or a Villain?


Well, here is your chance.

At the end of this activity you will grade one of the most famous men in history... Napoleon!

A child of the Revolution and a "military genius" at a time when France needed authority, Napoleon "rose from obscurity to mastery of France" in just a few short years. It's what he did next that you need to evaluate.


  1. You will research Napoleon's rule in France, looking for both positive and negative actions.
  2. You will evaluate his actions, and his intentions, in three main categories -- domestic policy, foreign policy, and ability to gain the trust and respect of his people.
  3. You will organize your evaluation into a report card format, grading both his effort and his achievement in each of these categories.
  4. You will then use this information to rate him, overall, on a hero--villain continuum and support your ranking with details for his reign.


To accomplish this task, you must

  1. Use your textbook and the resources below to learn about Napoleon and complete a research focused worksheet.
  2. Using your research to help you decide what grade Napoleon should earn, fill out the report card for each category (domestic policy, foreign policy, and trust/respect of his people). Evaluate him both for effort and for achievement. Complete all parts of the report card.
  3. When your report card is complete, review your grades. Then, on the bottom, decide where Napoleon should be placed on a hero--villain continuum. Justify your ranking on the back of the report card with at least 3 strong arguments.
The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

From this activity, you should not only have a better understanding of Napoleon and his rule in France, but also of why the world tried so hard to prevent future "Napoleons" from rising to power.