Napoleon as the Betrayer to the French Revolution Essay examples

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Napoleon as the Betrayer to the French Revolution

Napoleon Bonaparte has remained one of history's most furiously debated characters. This is because there has been much speculation and many differing interpretations of his actions as leader of France from 1799-1815. Most historians tend to have been torn between the portraits of Napoleon as the heir of the Revolution or as the destroyer of the Revolution's most sacred principles. However, a third opinion has emerged that suggests that Napoleon made revolutionary ideas practical and therefore acted as a bridge between the Ancien Regime and the lofty ideals of the Revolution.

Napoleon can be seen as the defender of the French Revolution for
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Napoleon realised that religion was of great importance to the people of France. He managed to agree to a Concordat between France and the Pope that recognised Roman Catholicism as France's principle religion and sees the Pope as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. However, Napoleon managed to introduce further terms that effectively made France in charge of religion.

The view that supports Napoleon as the defender of the Revolution is Napoleon himself! Emmanuel de Las Cases, who accompanied Napoleon into exile on St. Helena, was the author of Napoleon's main biography, "The Legend of Napoleon". In his writings, Napoleon became the founder of the Revolution and the protagonist of its achievements. He preserved the principles of liberty and equality, confirmed the destruction of feudalism, united the fractions within France and propagated the principles of the Revolution abroad. In the 1830s and 1840s, the Napoleonic Legend arose in France. People in France yearned for the excitement and adventure of Napoleon and his legend provided this. Napoleon actually himself believed that he was the heir to the Revolution and that he made the principles work for France.

However, many historians view Napoleon differently. They see his reforms for France as increasingly autocratic. They perceive that the Legend glorified Napoleon
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