Essay on Napoleon's Domestic Reforms in France

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Rajmajj
Words 293
Pages 2
In 9th December 1799 Napoleon managed to seize power of France. Between his seizure of power and the resumption of the war in Europe, Napoleon introduced several important domestic reforms. His policy focused on the law, education, the church and economics. Peace, prosperity and an administration characterised by vigour were the hallmarks of the consulate and for these Napoleon is often given a lot of praise. Although he did introduce many lasting reforms many of the consulate's 'achievements' were becoming apparent before Brumaire. Through his reforms Napoleon aimed to end the disorder and discontent produced by the revolution. He moved progressively towards a dictatorship of the political right wing. His new reforms occasionally went against the revolutionary principles and his rule was more one of enlightened despotism than the revolutionary democracy.

As emperor Napoleon ensured he had a firm grasp on the law and used it to silence his opposition. He nominated magistrates for life and this gave him a firm control over the judiciary. In 1800 the Council of State began a scheme to codify and simplify the law. This codisation rejected the liberty of the revolution and this gave Napoleon greater power over all his subjects. In 1804 the Civil Code was introduced. This confirmed the rights of individual property. This reassured the bourgeois who had gained land during the revolution, which used to belong to the nobles. It gave Napoleon greater support and paved the way for him to allow the emigres back into the country. The Civil Code also restored the despotic authority of the father over the family. This had been removed during the revolution when women's rights became recognised due to the principle of equality. By restoring it Napoleon was undoing something established under the…...

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