Napoleon and the Enlightenment Essay examples

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Napoleon and the Enlightenment The enlightenment was a time of great learning throughout Europe during the eighteenth century. Although the period is significant for scientific and other scholastic advancements, it is most important because it allowed for the opening of great minds—such as that of Napoleon Bonaparte. Shortly after this enlightenment made its way through Europe, revolution and civil war ripped through France between 1879 and 1899. The unrest of the time called for a strong ruler. A man/woman with an open mind and an enlightened soul. France needed a child of the enlightenment to sew its tattered flag. Napoleon Bonaparte was a child of the enlightenment. This was displayed in both his attitudes and…show more content…
He said, "Fifty . . . bishops paid by England lead the French clergy today. Their influence must be destroyed. For this we need the authority of the Pope." Through the concordat, the Catholic church was able to gain back authority that it had lost during the revolution, however, it was never allowed to recover its former autonomy or power. Napoleon kept the French church in his pocket. He paid the clergy directly, and he made them financially dependent on his treasury. As a child of the enlightenment, Napoleon used cold authority and calculation to wield one of the most powerful weapons in the world—religion—and he did it successfully. It is hard to reconcile whether it was Napoleon's political genius that made him enlightened or whether it was his enlightenment that made him a political genius. Regardless, he will always be recognized as a charismatic and remarkable enlightened despot. Everyone who encountered Napoleon Bonaparte were immediately impressed by his amazing wit and blunt intelligence. As a military figure he is unmatched and as a leader, he has been mimicked throughout history by other rulers hoping to eclipse his success. The element of Napoleon's character that made him enigmatic to France at this time, however, was not eloquence or dazzle
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