Napoleon And The French Revolution Essay

886 words - 4 pages

The nation of France underwent a crucial revolution from 1789 to 1799. Amidst this period, Republicans took control of the French government from the King and later on The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was instituted to provide protection for its people. At the helm of these revolutions, Napoleon Bonaparte, a young general had began to win many foreign battles and was steadily rising in the army's ranks. It was through these battles that Napoleon was able to lead his armies to conquering most of Europe and many other nations of the world. During these many battles, Napoleon believed he was spreading French Revolutionary ideas to the countries he overtook by ensuring he left behind a system which honored the citizen's possessions and properties, religions and human rights. As he lead armies across Europe in conquest, he never strayed from his original plan of spreading the societal ideals of the French Revolution.
It is from the very beginning that Napoleon hopes to instil the idea that he is conquering countries to free their people, not to overtake or enslave them. A notable example of this is shown in the way he addressed the people of Italy in 1796 as he was overtaking the nation. To the citizens of Italy he said, "Peoples of Italy, the French army comes to break your chains; the French people is the friend of all people; approach it with confidence; your property, your religion and your customs will be respected". This quote shows very early Napoleon's intentions on being a liberator and not an emperor seeking personal riches. He later told his army that if they are caught plundering they will be sentenced to death. It was through these principles that he was able to gain the loyalty of a nation, which allowed him to spread his ideas with more ease.
Another method Napoleon used to gain power and further his cause was religion. He used the power of religion in two ways, to gain the respect of countries he overtook, and to keep the system in France running smoothly. He gained respect by adapting his religion to whichever the situation required. In a passage he had written inside his diary, he wrote " I am a soldier, because that is the special faculty I was born with; that is my life, my habit....It was by becoming a Catholic that I pacified the Vendee and by becoming a Muslim that I established myself in Egypt". There are two meanings to his quotation, first it showed how Napoleon is a master tactician equip with knowledge of winning battles and keeping the...

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