Napoleon And The Aims Of His Revolutionary Predecessors

Read Complete Research Material

Napoleon and the Aims of his Revolutionary Predecessors


Napoleon had the advantage of inheriting the lessons of the French Revolution, which used pamphlets, art, architecture, music, plays, and festivals to convert the public to its ideology. Napoleon Bonaparte—he was not called by his first name until he became emperor in 1804—needed propaganda as much as his revolutionary predecessors since he first gained power through a coup (1799) rather than by virtue of inheritance or by being elected and therefore had to establish his legitimacy. Moreover, he needed propaganda to muster support for his ongoing warfare against other European powers, which lasted all but fourteen months of the period in which he led France.

Napoleon was a better absolutist monarch in some ways than the others that had preceded him. He had the vote of the common people as opposed to that of others. He didn't approve of the aristocracy and was bound to create a code, the Napoleonic Code that would set boundaries for all people. Napoleon was an emperor who feasted upon a Grand Empire. His military conquests helped him achieve this. In the end, Napoleon failed by overreaching the bounds of territory and by the nationalism that had arisen from the French Revolution. Unlike his predecessor Louis XV & XVI, Napoleon had the ambition of success among people and territorial empowerment. Much to say, he was called the "Enemy & Disturber of the Tranquility of the World" when he made his way back into France. With his persistence and will to fight, he was finally defeated at the battle of Waterloo in 1815 (Durant & Durant, pp. 1789-1815).


Napoleon can be viewed as a more accomplished ruler because of his will and determination. Compared to his predecessors, Napoleon was involved with the people and created laws, which succumbed to his reigning end. ...
Related Ads