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Napoleon's Gain To Power; How He Sustained It And The Effects

1301 words - 6 pages

One of America's greatest patriots, George Washington, had once stated, "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." Following the years of the French Revolution and the respective Reign of Terror, France was left in disarray, or moreover the irresponsible action the first president had spoken against was ever-present. But, as the mythical phoenix rose up from its own burnt ashes, likewise did the nation of France. Following the hypothesis of Arnold Toynbee in his expository entitled Study of History, the moral conflicts that plagued the nation would ...view middle of the document...

Through this code of laws and his conquest of foreign land, he is described by Rude as "'liberalizing' the constitutions of many European countries," another enlightened ideal of the spread of knowledge. In another enlightened effort, Napoleon formed the privately owned Bank of France. Rather than a governmental reservoir of funds, this institution created a stable foundry for the funds of the state and financial oligarchy. While fair and just legislation is a prevalent necessity of a nation, it is only possible and successful when implemented via a supported ruler.
The Enlightenment marked the end of Divine Right rulers; a time period in which sovereignty in one form or another was in the hands of the people. Either by representation or a revolutionary coup movement a ruler could be placed in power or removed, such as the 1642 execution of the English king. Extending and creating this definitive popular right, Napoleon had an actual election, in which he was chosen as ruler. While some may argue that he was a dictator who could not be ousted, one must look into his voluntary military. Dwight D. Eisenhower had synopsized this notion in stating, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." If he truly was not supported, such a vast number of volunteer soldiers would not come to his aid; thus, his final place in government - defined by his military power - could be removed upon popular consent. Moreover, such statements corroborate Bergeron's assertion that Napoleon governed how the greater number wishes to be governed. Extending such enlightened prowess, he further created a sovereign nation by the extension of the French bureaucracy. One of the leading failures of nations is its fragmentation; remedying this foible Napoleon successfully created a centralized state. Through a network of appointed subordinates dispersed throughout his accumulated territory, his laws were carried out in these areas. Following the catchphrase, "There is no limit to what man can accomplish," Napoleon created a bureaucracy allowing upward mobility, in which he would reward his most talented officials. This yielded a two-fold benefit: decreasing the chance of a coup d' etat due to the overall happiness of his subordinates, and also provides incentive for one to fulfill his duty. The Age of Enlightenment placed a great focus on Deism and a shift from the earlier pro dio beliefs.
The new ways of enlightened thinking, searching for natural laws of the universe, led to the religious thought of Deism . Alexander Pope, a famous English poet, wrote a couplet describing the attitude of the time: "Know then thyself; presume G-d to scan. / The proper study of mankind is man." Following such ideals Napoleon established new sanctions with the church and his respective authority. The Enlightenment saw the end of religious warfare, but to further strengthen this...

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