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Napoleon Bonaparte

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Essay title: Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte, a Corsican born in 1769, was a natural leader, and was brought up learning war tactics and studied firearms technology in school. At age 9 he started military school, and although he was not the most popular child, he had a natural tendency for war. He was made an officer in the French Army at age sixteen, and he worked his way up through the ranks, fighting for the side of the revolution. He eventually rose to emperor and declared, "I am the revolution." (Video) Napoleon preserved the legacy of the French Revolution through the changes he made to the French style of living, the social changes he enforced, and the geographical changes he made through his conquest.

In 1799, a coup de' tat overthrew the French king, Louis the XIV. Napoleon, who was part of the rebellion, was given almost dictatorial powers to make decisions for France. He made many changes to the French way of life. One of his major accomplishments was instating the Napoleonic Code, also known as the Code Napoleon. The code was published and sent out all over France. It was posted everywhere so that everybody would understand the laws they lived under. People were able to understand there rights and freedoms better because of the way Napoleon advertised his new code. The code gave people new freedoms that they did not have before. People were given the freedom to speak out, and there was no censorship of what they said. Freedom of religion was enforced so that no one would be persecuted, and there was no censorship on the press and books. Napoleon bases his laws on the basic morals of life. "Public morals are natural complement of all laws: they are by themselves an entire code." (http://www.ddg.com/LIS/InfoDesignF96/Emin/napoleon/quotes.html)

Napoleon was also a large part of many political and social changes. He helped create the Consulate, the government installed after overthrowing Louis XVI. He became emperor and worked to improve France. The Napoleonic code gave new rights to people, and the middle class flourished. Napoleon did not however give rights to women. They were only allowed to divorce if her husband committed incest. Some historians think that Napoleon was not a women's rights supporter because of his love for Josephine, who was a strong woman that Napoleon had trouble dealing with. But when Napoleon was running his country, he always kept the basic morals and ideas of enlightenment thinkers in mind. "The heart of a statesman must be in his head." (http://www.ddg.com/LIS/InfoDesignF96/Emin/napoleon/quotes.html)

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