Despite the great power achieved by some states, there has hardly been a man in history, who managed to rise from the lowest ranks to the greatest heights. Actually, Napoleon was such a man who achieved success in limited few years’ time. He was a great warrior who won grand battles, and this enabled him to govern most of Europe. He was a motivated self-controlled man who could easily devise tactics and be good at any task he undertook. In this essay, I will express my opinion on good things that Napoleon did for France.
Some people viewed Napoleon as the liberator of France. He ended the Revolution and established the standards that the French people needed. Any individual, be it a representative of bourgeoisie or a farmer, would be pleased with the way Napoleon governed the state. Napoleon gave people equality, freedom, justice, and numerous privileges. Such things never existed under the rule of royals before Napoleon came to power.
Nevertheless, there were people who accused Napoleon for revealing the standards of the French Revolution. They thought that he ruined it by denying the French the equality that they have sacrificed during the Revolution. One of the significant issues was the way how women were treated during his reign. This is one of the examples that Napoleon is often blamed for. Robespierre or Danton would have cut Napoleon’s head off if to accept that Napoleon was took active part during the Reign of Terror. The sans-culottes would be annoyed by the fact that Napoleon was in pact with Pope Pius VII to return Catholic religion and make it the main religion of France’s. A republican would definitely support Napoleon, because his main idea was to discard the kingdom. Besides, the Jacobins would also support Napoleon in the role of the Emperor of France.
In my viewpoint, Napoleon did more good than bad in the history of France in regards to religion, code and banking system.
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity ‑ this is the Revolution’s motto and, obviously, the central morals of why they rewarded the uprising. This is considered to be what people needed. Napoleon supported the models of the French revolt. He fulfilled people’s striving for liberty, equality, and fraternity.
After he hired the Concordat, “churches of France reopened in April 1802, and the population of France rejoiced in this rejuvenation of Sunday services.” What about Judaism and the other faiths? It does not make logic, because he had nothing governmental to advance. However, these unfulfilled requests were soon revealed in a secret talk Napoleon had with his doctor Barry O’Meara during his stay in St. Helena. The doctor inquired why he assisted the Jews, and Napoleon replied:
My primary desire was to liberate the Jews and make them full citizens. I wanted to confer upon them all the legal rights of equality, liberty and fraternity as was enjoyed by the Catholics and Protestants. It is my wish that the Jews be treated like brothers as if we were all part of Judaism. As an added benefit, I thought that this would bring to France many riches because the Jews are numerous and they would come in large numbers to our country where they would enjoy more privileges than in any other nation. Without the events of 1814, most of the Jews of Europe would have come to France where equality, fraternity and liberty awaited them and where they can serve the country like everyone else.
Bankers approved of how Napoleon had actually assisted France in its financial difficulties. He made franc the most stable currency in Europe.
Maybe one of the most significant gifts that Napoleon provided to the French people was the Civil Code, or most generally identified as the Napoleonic Code. This was written at the time in history when discrimination was widespread. It was then that Napoleon decided to offer liberty, equality, and fraternity to the Jews, protestants, and adherents of other religious beliefs. He also re-opened the cathedrals that were closed down for years.
It was after the implementation of the Code that he endorsed the ideals of the Revolution. Being determined to unite France, he wanted to establish a single set of written rules that would be useful to everyone. He made it flawless, rational, and understandable by everybody. This new code of laws equally applied to all French people regardless of the position they were occupying in the society. According to the Code, all men were equal before the law and judgment. Each civilian had to pay the same tax like everyone else. This was another example of equality among the people of France. Nonetheless, there have always existed contradictions regarding the way Napoleon established fairness among people.
Since Napoleon was so successful in his reign and implementation of new rules and standards, he became known as the one who changed the course of history. No other character apart from Caesar, Alexander the Great or Jesus Christ has been so long remembered as Napoleon. There can be many others like him, but nobody so prominent and respected. He gave France freedom by giving the Frenchmen rights and privileges that they asked for. He gave France equality by giving the people right to be taxed in the same way and be equal before the law.
Napoleon’s reign ended the French Revolution. Napoleon devised its principles and gave it directorial configuration. His life resembles that of a fireball, briefly striking the evening sky of France’s history. Napoleon Bonaparte is certainly the savior of France.