Q:

What were some of Napoleon's domestic policies in France?

A:

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.

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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What did European monarchs fear from France?

    A:

    According to The Flow of History, during the French Revolution, European monarchs feared that France's revolutionary ideas would spread, leading to rebellion in their own kingdoms. Napoleon affected Europe dramatically, causing changes that would take dire political work to change. Even after his defeat, the countries of Europe went to great lengths to stabilize.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When did France gain its independence?

    A:

    France's independence day, which is also known as Bastille Day, celebrates the beginning of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789. This is considered France's independence day because it symbolically marks the dissolution of the king's absolute power and the forming of a new republic in 1792.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were the causes of the Napoleonic Wars?

    A:

    The Napoleonic Wars were caused by the French Revolution, the bankruptcy of France as a nation under the monarchy, and the overthrow of the French aristocracy and royal family. Named for French general and dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, the Napoleonic Wars involved France's rise to power over much of western Europe from 1792 to 1815.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was Maximilien Robespierre important?

    A:

    Despite his unassuming appearance, Maximilien Robespierre came to symbolize both the brutality and idealism of the French Revolution. He was described by his contemporaries as either a tyrannical dictator or a revolutionary democratic leader. He led the Committee of Public Safety and was responsible for the Reign of Terror that began with the execution of Marie Antoinette and caused the deaths of 30,000 people.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore