James C Grade 12 W. W history 1/15/12 Was napoleon a revolutionary, despot or both ? The question ponders through the mind of hundreds: Was Napoleon a revolutionary, despot or was he both? The information provided shows he was both a revolutionary and a despot. Here are the four main points: he was a prominent figure, taking initiative in leaving France, explaining how he started out, and how he betrayed the French revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte was a prominent figure during the French revolution.
Napoleons legacy as a leader showed him as a skilled administrator who used his intelligence not only to navigate the French, but he also aided other countries through many hard fought battles. Napoleon was distinguished military man that carried the burden of his territory with great courage until the day he died. When he left France he was in his early 20’s and went back home to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, during the French revolution. When he got to Corsica he joined Pasqual Paoli who was a freedom fighter, and a revolutionist.
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Through this move, Napoleon succeeded in becoming a lieutenant-colonel of the national guard of Corsica in 1792. Even though Napoleon was a revolutionary, he didn’t approve of the way France was going crazy during the revolution. Napoleon came into power and then put a stop to the revolution in 1799. Even though Napoleon started out as a revolutionary he certainly became a despot once he was in charge of France. Napoleon introduced strict censorship and imprisonment without trail although there were elected legislative bodies under his regime.
Legislative bodies had virtually no power and Napoleon ruled almost entirely by imperial decree. Napoleon influenced by roman law he gave immense power to male heads of the family. Napoleon deprived women of all their right they gained in the revolutionary decade. As shown in many other examples before and after Napoleon, he may have started out as a revolutionary but he eventually became a despot. Whether that made him a dictator or not is matter of semantics.
Napoleon also betrayed the French revolution at the same time as being a revolutionary. If he betrayed the revolution, then he betrayed the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. The ideals rather than realities that allegedly betrayed. The reality of the French revolution is 8 periods of constant change and successions of polices and leaders. With each new leader and party bringing amendments to the revolution. Napoleons “coupd’e tat of 18 brumaire was in insurance against both Jacobin revolutionist and royalist restoration. The French people expected him to bring back peace, order and to consolidate the political and social conquest of the revolution. Napoleon considers this conquest to be “the sacred rights of property, equality and liberty. ” Napoleon also seized control of island greates cycecs to France and churches. This is the answer to the question that ponders on peoples mind: Was Napoleon a revolutionary, despot or was he both? The information provided above shows that Napoleon was both and not just revolutionary or despot.