Before Napoleon, France was known for it’s educational system being one of the best. It was run mainly by the Catholic church, but after Napoleon went into power the french government began to get really involved. Promotion became based on ability, and made education much more strict. Developing a powerful centralized administrative system.
Napoleon had trained and centralized teachers reinstated, the government being in control of the schools. The university of France was established, maintaining uniformity throughout french education. Military schools became a huge part of education, regulated by the state.
His reforms were in line with the revolution, Napoleon wanted boys to be brought up in military schools and for classes to be precise and timely. He also wanted the government to have control of education instead of the church.
His teachings did have a legacy of the education in france being a very high priority. Although the Catholic church remained playing a huge role in education, more students were going into professional jobs, including architects, scientists, and engineers.
Before napoleon rose to power the legal system consisted of many codes for the citizens to follow, over 800 of them. During the time before napoleon's reign there were also more rights for women and less equality in the eyes of the law (discrimination between classes).
The reforms and changes that napoleon made included making basic overall laws for the citizens to abide by instead of a large amount of codes. He also restricted all the gains that the women’s rights movement had made in france, limiting the power that women were granted, some of these included the rights to owning land or divorce. Napoleon also made everyone equal in the eyes of the law, this meant that there was to be no classism or positions given to a certain class.
Some of these changes were in correlation with the ideas of the french revolution, the equality in the eyes of the law being one example. Other reforms, the limiting of women’s rights, were not in line with what the french revolution fought for. Overall, the majority of napoleon’s reforms were not aligned with what the french revolution stood for, but napoleon was able to sugarcoat these reforms and manipulate how they were viewed in order for them to pass.
Many of napoleon’s positive reforms were kept, some of these including the agreement between the church and the landholders, but most reforms that napoleon issued in order to move up in ranks or manipulate the people were not kept for long after his reign.
Concordat of 1801
The concordat of 1801 was a treaty of Napoleon and Pope Pius VII. It was signed on July 15, 1801 and stayed in effect until 1905.
Before this concordat, France had been separated from the church. It had been like that since 1789 when the National Assembly tried to dechristianize France. The Pope had lost his right to appoint priests and bishops in France. The Church said that they still had the rights of owning the churches in France but France didn’t see that as so. Napoleon was set on finding a solution to this discord.
When Napoleon signed the concordat, he still had the upper hand. Now while the majority of France was Christian again, that was about all the Pope got out of it. Napoleon on the other obtained the right as the first consul to appoint the bishops and priests he wanted to appoint. Second, the Church never got their land back that they lost during the French Revolution. Finally third, the Church was making a lot less money because Napoleon took away the tax that peasants paid to the church.
The changes and reforms were not in line with the ideas from the French Revolution. The French Revolution had the idea that Christianity would not be a thing in France when it was over. Second, the French Revolution had the idea that Marat was the new messiah but a lot of people have already forgotten about him.
Napoleon did have a long lasting effect when it came to the concordat of 1801. He made it so that you have freedom of religion in France and the main religion of France is still Christianity to this day.
Restructuring of Government-
The Directory was ruling France before Napoleon overthrew them. The Directory was not supported by many French people, they had many problems, economical and political. Also they had many European enemies. This was a time of corruption with the directory at rule.
Then General Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. He was very popular and very successful. He ended the French Revolution and dominated Europe. He created a new government called the consulate. He had absolute power. He also crowned himself the Emperor Napoleon I.
All of these new change in France were not all French Revolution ideas but he did preserve many. For example he created peace with the Catholic Church which was the French Revolutions oldest enemy. Napoleon also introduced a Bureaucracy and a new aristocracy.
The new changes had a legacy on government because he created and improved new systems. He saved France from corruption and improved it, ended the revolution and brought peace throughout the country.