The Age of Napoleon
By Isabella, Lauren, Max, and Kyle G
Reconstruction of Government
Napoleon made many changes to the existing system. He made fair taxes on the citizens, increased trade with other countries, made a new commercial code, and a central bank to hold the money made. He is the creator of Civil code, or code Napoleon. It was made up of other codes, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure. They made set laws for each province in France. Napoleon fixed the tax system so that even more income was made. He made levies on goods like wine, tobacco, and salt, to raise even more money. The Banque de France or central bank, is still standing in Laon, France.
The Concordat Act of 1801
Concordat of 1801 was an agreement between Napoleon and the Catholic Church that took place on July 5th, 1801. It remained in effect until the year of 1905. This act sought to reverse the de-Christianization that occurred due to revolutionary ideals and concerns. This act was not in-line with revolutionary ideals. During the revolution, France was de-Christianized. Land was confiscated from the churches, and artifacts were stolen and sold. While The Concordat Act of 1801 declared Catholicism the primary religion of France, it did not return to the church the land that was taken. This appealed to the landowners of France. Both the Church and France’s landowners were pleased. The church got Catholicism declared to once more be the primary religion of France, as well as the church’s bishops and curés were granted salaries from France. Landowners did not have to sacrifice the stolen church land that they had bought. This compromise is a great example of Napoleon’s political skill.
Before Napoleon took control of France, the legal system was ruled by the first and second estates. When France had been bordering on bankruptcy, the King had called the Estates-General to court. The first two estates would always out number the commoners vote two to one because each estate only received one vote. After Napoleon took over, he created a set of laws to replace France’s 300 different legal systems. The most important, the Napoleonic Code, focused on the equality of the people in the face of the law, and the abolition of serfs and feudalism. These reforms were in line with French Revolutionary ideas because a great portion of the revolution was about all men being equal, and ending unfair taxation, along with getting rid of all relics of feudalism. Beyond Napoleon’s rule, the Napoleonic code influenced many countries that were trying to reform their government.