Napoleon Was NOT a Son of the Revolution Essay example

770 Words4 Pages
At the end of the French Revolution, the hopes of the early stages of the Revolution had been mangled, leading into the Reign of Terror. France had dissolved into anarchy, with internal and international turmoil. It was out of the foreign wars that Napoleon came to power. Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power, victory by victory, eventually making himself Emperor of France, creating a strong central government while continuing the foreign wars, creating a mass French Empire. Although Napoleon was a product of the French Revolution and maintained the image as a “son of the Revolution,” idealism always fell to pragmatism as Napoleon’s main purpose was creating a strong unified France. Napoleon’s policies reflected some of the ideals…show more content…
Despite the imagery he implied, Napoleon cared less about the ideals of the revolution and more about keeping France together while expanding its power, and would go against these ideals in order to ensure his own power. Although Napoleon gave countries “constitutions” he didn’t give them democracies, or even representative governments. Napoleon kept major positions of power in the family, declared himself the King of Italy, apparently in the face of the principles of the Revolution. Within the Code Napoleon itself, there were steps backwards. For example, during the revolution women were actively participating but under the Code Napoleon women were rendered economically and politically dependent and therefore inferior. Napoleon picked and chose the aspects of Revolutionary thought that profited him and discarded the rest. He could use this image though to gain support from the Bourgeoisie of the countries he invaded. He monopolized the image as a champion when it was useful, and the image of an emperor when that was useful. Many paintings show the type of propaganda Napoleon was implying. Many official portraits of him, such as Napoleon I by Baron Francoise Gerard and Napoleon I, King of Italy by Andrea Apiani, show Napoleon with a laurel wreath, a
Open Document