Napoleon believed in the principles of the French Revolution and governed accordingly, abolishing serfdom, protecting religious freedom, instituting universal education, establishing the Bank of France and ensuring bread prices were kept low. However, he also restricted women's rights, centralized power into his own hands and outlawed trade unions and organized labor.Know More
Napoleon concentrated French power into a strong central government with a powerful and extensive bureaucracy, focusing on bringing the ideals of the French Revolution into effect. With the Napoleonic Code, he used revolutionary principles to regularize several different systems of law, focusing on freedom and equality – at least for some. Freedom of religion was protected, though freedom of speech was strictly curtailed. Careers were opened to people of talent and serfdom was abolished, but women were heavily restricted and children had no rights at all. Private property was protected as well, and government was divorced from religion.
Whether he was a despotic emperor or not, his Napoleonic Code still provided more freedom for ordinary people than most other European countries. For this reason, Napoleon used domestic reforms based on the ones he instituted in France as a means of conquest. His armies moved into small sections of countries, deposed the regional power and instituted rule based on the Code. Because it provided rights and protections most ordinary people hadn't dreamed of, French rule quickly became popular among the lower classes of these areas. Once rule was cemented in a section, the armies moved on, leaving a bureaucracy answerable to either Napoleon or one of his puppet rulers. Even today, most European countries base laws largely on Napoleonic Code.Learn more about French Revolution
The French Revolution was a 10-year period of upheaval in the country that began in 1789 with the summoning of the Estates-General by King Louis XVI. The deputies of the three Estates of French society were to meet to deliberate voting on taxes to fund the financially weakened Bourbon monarchy.Full Answer >
The main social cause of the French Revolution was the high population density in the country. Overpopulation caused an unrelenting strain on natural resources in the country, and this led to a number of complications that eventually gave rise to the revolution.Full Answer >
The French Revolution was a war led by the French people against the monarchy. It involved untold numbers of commoners and the upper echelon of French society.Full Answer >
The massive debt of the French state, the resistance of the nobility and clergy toward any tax increases, the growth of Enlightenment philosophy, and a rise in food prices led to the French Revolution. All of these factors destabilized the Ancien Régime and increased the power of commoners.Full Answer >