The Napoleonic Wars—His241H1 9/18/2012 9:06:00 AM
Named himself First Consul—after taking over in a Coup d’état
o When he took power, he made a declaration to the French
People—that the Revolution lives on through him—that he will
follow the guidelines, be true to the ideals of the revolution.
o Napoleon was the final stage of the revolution.
Fighting between left & right and in-fighting between
left radicals & moderists
Results of Revolution
o Abolition of Feudalism
o Rights of Man & Citizen
All men have the same rights as the king
o Created a new system and in doing so challenged Europe (as
it was still composed of ancient regimes)
o To have a new political system established in such a powerful
state—was not a good thing
Napoleonic France—Who Was Napoleon?
Born in Corsica (island off of France in Mediterranean) bought by
France in 1769—a lot of opposition in Corsica to French rule since
o There is STILL resentment in Corsica to this day
After the revolution, napoleon joined the Corscican nationalists and
wanted to separate from France.
Things went south for the Corsicans so he joined the revolution
(Revolutionaries had the upper hand)
o Clear indication that he has no principles—only joined the side
with the better odds.
Napoleon in France
Came to prominence in France, especially excelled in the Military
o As a child, he was often ridiculed for his Corsican accent,
height and because of his original Italian name. o UNTIL he blew up the class one day as part of a chemical
By mid-20s he was a Major and offered his services to the French
First Assignment in Revolution: Free Toulon 1793
Naval base of the French Mediterranean fleet located in the South.
British & Spaniards seized the city during the First Coalition—cut off
resources from the Mediterranean.
o Also paralyzed the French navy
After two days of reconnaissance, Napoleon came up with a brilliant
plan—forcing the Brits & Spaniards out of the port—by doing so, he
freed the French navy
This brought him to the attention of the French revolutionaries
Two years later, he offered to save the revolution by firing on the
French population—using artillery (Grate shot—like a massive
o Came to the attention to the politicians as an indiscriminate
individual who would do everything to promote himself
Eventually his brilliance and unscrupulous activities brought him to
Coup D’état—1799, 1801 & 1804
By 1799 he proved to be the only one of the revolutionary generals
who was willing to participate in the Coup detat against the
In doing so he overthrew the directory, formulated a consulate,
made himself the first consul and didn’t think of sharing power
despite there being two other consuls (3 consuls in a consulate)
He called the shots.
1801—Napoleon named himself First Consul FOR LIFE
1804—Declared himself Emperor of the French—bringing France
back to where it started before 1789
o One individual decided all affairs of the state—like a bourbon
monarch. How true was he to the ideals of the revolution: Libertie, Egalite
Freeing each man in France—one of the most cherished goals of the
Napoleon said he supported this but was peeved by criticism. By
making choices & decisions by himself, he became a target of
criticism by the French Media—especially that of Paris.
When the Bourbon monarchy was overthrown—Paris became the
centre of the free world—and especially Freedom of speech as well
as Free opinion
No less than 74 newspapers were established in Paris (from all
areas of the political spectrum)
They had the freedom to look at the Rights of Man & Citizen
o Second article promises to safeguard liberty (freedom of
liberty, thought, speech)
o Key principle of French revolution
Napoleon didn’t like criticism
Within a year, he reintroduced Censorship
They not only censored newspapers but theatre, movies, etc.
o Censored anything that could be produced under the
freedoms of thought, expression, speech, opinion.
Thereafter, by 1802—60/74 newspapers were prohibited and
By the time he declared himself Emperor, only 4 newspapers
Freedom of Speech was eliminated
France was also organized as a state with provinces—but napoleon
created 83 departments
o Each department was run by a prefect personally appointed
by napoleon and personally responsible only to Napoleon
o New state resembled the absolutist monarchy than free
Freedom of thought o All universities came under the control of Napoleon himself
o Established the University of Paris—given the right to control
every Uni in France—control the curriculum, censor the
syllabus and see who is enrolled in there—professors &
students—to keep tab on potential opposition
o Reorganized the secret police—became modern
Kept this implemented much longer than Liberty
Agreed that all men were equal
o Reorganized French law—laid down that all French citizens
were equal in the eyes of the law
o Gave everyone legal defense when charged
o To prohibit the courts from arbitrary arrest
o Make sure no one could be held in jail until they were
France originally did not have a single law during the bourbon
monarchy but three—one for Northern France, Southern France and
Paris (three separate)
Chaotic system—eliminated by the Civil Code
Napoleon did not really like the result of equality.
The Legion of Honour—Napoleon’s Retort to Equality
Developed a system where people who supported him must be
rewarded—shown as an example to the rest of society.
Developed the Legion of Honour—a reward system that promoted
bureaucrats and military individuals—generals.
o Went back to the same style as the absolutist monarchy—
these rewards are mere buttons to hang on one’s chest.
o Napoleon agreed, but said men are led and go for such
bubbles—motivated by them and cherish them.
o The minute you become distinctive from another man, it’s a
o Couldn’t go with a communist society—differences needed to
be kept Despite this, everyone was liable to such an award—anyone could
have gotten it regardless of their standing (military, commoner,
etc.) so long as talent was there & put into service for the state
Napoleon’s Hereditary Nobility
Developed in 1808—gave titles monsigneur and nobles, brining
back to eliminated class
Though anyone could achieve said titles, by implementing this he
recreated the same class system the revolution tried to destroy in
As First Consul he realized that as long as his rule is not
consolidated he will never be able to takeover the rest of the
To achieve stability at home—he settled the issues between French
Catholics & revolutionaries
o Primary target of the Jacobins during the revolution in 1791
was to eliminate the power base of the Church—remove the