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Lecture 3

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HIST 106
Paul Garfinkel

Lecture 3: Napoleon (reading: chapter 19, pp. 561-577) Lecture questions: [1] Why did Napoleon return France to authoritarian rule? [2] Why were his administrative reforms so enduring? [3] Why did he pursue a Grand Empire across Europe? [1] Why did Napoleon return France to authoritarian rule? Basics • 15 year rule 1799-1814 • From an impoverished noble family, eventually led France in their war abroad • Seized power in 1799 by an invited coup, was going to be a temporary leader • Within 5 years he crowns himself emperor 1804 • When first in power created a new constitution (Constitution of 1799) and declared himself the First Consul, with no democratic power • Ruled by plebiscites, rigged in him favour to assure “popular” decision • Authoritarian rule was a reaction to a very weak Directory • People wanted stability and that was achieved through power (had more than Bourbon monarchs) • He cuts a deal with the church Concordat of 1801, which brings the church back to France, but under him, not Rome. (popular with people) Authoritarian State • Puts prefects in charge of different areas in charge of local affairs • Creates a police state • Prefects become eyes/ears of the state, who keep order and keep government informed • Appointed mayors • Censored press • Created a secrete police to persecute political opponents/Jacobins • Joseph Fouché oversees this all Patronage • Gives out favour in exchange for loyalty • New social hierarchy based on talent • Bankers: private banks • Church: creates pact • Émigrés: can come back with amnesty and are compensated • Army: becomes new nobility through Napoleon’s Legion of Honor, gives awards/title to distinguished officers. [2] Why were his administrative reforms so enduring? • Abureaucracy was seen through − Restructuring tax policy to make country profitable − Filled jobs with talent − Civil servants become loyal because the state pays their salary. • Code of Napoleon 1804 (New Civil Code) − All men are equal before the law − Private property is absolute − Religious liberty − Defended patriarchal power (women given same status as children) • Social Legislation − State orphanages − Soup kitchens/work houses − Legalized prostitutions (regulated) to prevent the spread of STD’s prostitutes are examined, and paid (to keep military healthy) He succeeded in stabilization of the state in his reforms (fulfilled moderate phase of the revolution). He ended the republic and the counter-revolution. Reforms were so good that when Bourbon’s restored, they keep them. State coercion became a simple fact of life. [3] Why did he pursue a Grand Empire across Europe? Idea that France would enlighten Europe • Had a Grand Army − Conscription based on patriotism • Began annexing and colonizing as much as possible • Created a Three Part Empire − French Core (annexed) − Dependent Satellite Kingdoms (nominally in charge) − IndependentAllies (Austria, Prussia, Russia) • The greatest impact was on annexed places. This came with French reforms − Feudalism abolished − Church became subordinate − Napoleonic codes in place − Welfare and infrastructure built • Became considered as a tyrant because of taxes, conscription and status • He created a reactive nationalism in annex areas especially • His biggest undoing was in trying to colonize independent people Legacy Domestically • Freedom, equality, rule of law, liberalism, spirit of war • More power than the King, or constitutions without any divine right. He claimed to rule according to the people. • Founder of
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