The French Revolution: Napoleon Essay

1270 words - 6 pages

The French Revolution was a period of social and political turmoil in France from 1789 to 1799 that greatly affected modern and French history. It marked the decline of powerful monarchies and the rise of democracy, individual rights and nationalism. This revolution came with many consequences because of the strive for power and wealth, but also had many influential leaders attempting to initiate change in the French government and the economy. In 1789 the people of France dismissed King Louis XVI of his title, took apart his monarchy and executed him, his wife Marie Antoinette and thousands of nobles. The French set up a new system of government with specific revolutionary ideals, including liberty, equality and fraternity. This was a new start for France and the people hoped it would put them in the position they wanted to be in as a country. Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest military leaders and Emperor of France, was born on August 15, 1769 in Corsica. Even though his parents were members of the minor Corsican nobility, his family was in fact not wealthy. Napoleon was affiliated with the Jacobins, a group greatly supporting democracy. In November 1799, Napoleon became first consul and in 1802 he was pronounced consul for life, but later decided to change his title to Emperor of France in 1804. He was a brilliant military leader and knew how to win battles and gain the support of the public through his powerful, persuasive, inspirational speeches. Napoleon Bonaparte was an extraordinary military leader and although not all his ideas completely supported revolutionary ideals he helped shape the French government and legal system due to his intelligence, manipulative ways and his persistent attitude.
In July 1793, Napoleon was involved in the attack on the Mediterranean port of Toulon, protecting revolutionary France from its enemies, the British. Toulon was a French harbour full of royalists that deliberately invited the British to land in the harbour and stop the revolution, but Napoleon was sent in to stop this from happening. At the attack of Toulon, General Jacques François Dugommier said, “I have no words to describe Bonaparte's merit: much technical skill, an equal degree of intelligence, and too much gallantry.” 1This event was very significant to Napoleon’s career as it was his first victory as commanding officer. Napoleon’s success won him praise and recognition from the public and showed them a glimpse of what he is capable of. Napoleon once said, “The word impossible is not in my dictionary,” 2proving his determination and persistence. In December when the city is taken, Napoleon’s artillery approach and his strong leadership skills during the final battle played a crucial role in his recognition. His reputation from Toulon remains significant in the military.
The Code Napoleon, originally entitled the Code civil des Français, is the French civil code established by Napoleon in 1804. This code forbids any special...

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