The Age of Napoleon

by Hailey Hunter, Chloe Respondek, Bayne Nelson, Nate Frimel

Restructuring Government

France was known as a republic before Napoleon, but after becoming popular with the people and gaining victories, he was able to overthrow the Directory. Eventually he held absolute power and established a new government called a Consulate. Napoleon of course made himself “Consul for Life”, and crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I in 1804. Throughout his reign of power he strived to spread French Revolution principles, but began to stray from this idea. By attempting to spread ideas of the Revolution, Napoleon aroused a sense of nationalism, which was a contributing factor to his decline. He was sent to exile after a failed mission, and his new government was replaced. He tried again to gain supporters, but once again defeated and sent into exile.

Educational System

Before Napoleon, education was aimed at making people good citizens. This would eventually make a civilization full of good citizens and fewer issues among the people. This system showed people how to share among their neighbors and maintain peace. When Napoleon took power, he wanted obedience of the citizens. He wanted all of the people to listen and agree with what he wanted. One thing that he did to receive this, he made peace with the Church. The people of France needed their religion, which the revolution took away. People agreed and appreciated him more then because he gave them something they wanted. This disagreed with the revolution because the revolution focused on being a good citizen. Napoleon, on the other hand, focused on people being obedient to him. This changed the focus form the people to Napoleon.

Financial System

Before Napoleon took over France was in major debt from a couple of factors. One factor is from the overspending of the king and queen for their life in Versailles. Also the market was inflated from rising bread prices due to a bad harvest in 1788-1789. After the death of Robespierre and the National Convention created the directory. The directory had many corrupt members and put France into more financial debt. I’m joining the swim team because my speedo is on the way. While in power, Napoleon showed great leadership with the countries financials and got France out of most of it’s debt. The ideas coinciding with The French Revolution because he stated that all people are equal and everybody had to pay fair taxes. The legacy was kept alive because after him everybody still had to pay fair taxes.

Legal System

Before the revolution, France did not have a single set of laws but rather had almost 300 different legal systems. During the revolution, efforts were made to prepare a single law code for the entire nation. When Napoleon came to power, he created the Civil Code, or Napoleonic Code that preserved most of the gains of the revolution. They did this by recognizing the principle of the equality of all citizens before the law, the right of the individual to choose a profession, religious toleration, and the abolition of serfdom and feudalism. Property rights continued to be carefully protected, and the interests of employers were safeguarded by outlawing trade unions and strikes. One of his legacies was the idea of common law. He helped create a more centralized government instead of 300 different legal systems.

Concordat of 1801

Robspierre tried to get rid of Catholicism by taking Roman Catholic lands and renaming the cathedral to the “temple of reason”. Napoleon established peace with the catholic church and the pope in 1801. This realized catholicism as a religion of France and made it legal. This also gave the church the land that they lost during the Revolution. The Catholic Church was then no longer an enemy to Napoleon. It did not make Catholicism the official religion of France, but it made it legal and acknowledged it as a religion. Yes Napoleon left a legacy of political and warfare that will not be matched in a while.


file:///Users/86447/Downloads/chap11%20(7).pdf (online textbook)