Did Napoleon abuse the ideas of the French Revolution?
The French Revolution was the turning point in french history. The French adopted the “American” ways and created the Declaration of rights of man. The Declaration of rights of man gave people their natural rights and abolished the absolute monarch government.
So France became a democratic republic government. The French wanted to completely ignore and look down on any ideas or events that happened before the French Revolution so when the French had a person in charge of their country they wanted the person to obey the Declaraction of rights of man and give them their natural rights. France went through many leaders who just wasn’t the right fit for their country until Napoleon came. Napoleon abolished religion in France and burned down all of the churches in France. He gave the land that the churches used to occupy, to peasants for a place to live .
Napolean did this to symbolize a new beginning from the days before the French Revolution. He wanted to show the French that you shouldn’t be catholic because it brings back memories of the “old days” before the French Revolution. He wanted to show France that he is going to obey the Dec. of rights of man and not dissapoint them. But this wasn’t working out for France since the majority of France was still Catholic even though they didn’t agree with the absolute monarch government.
So in 1801 Napoleon had an agreement with the catholic church and declared catholicism as the religion of the majority of Frenchmen. Napoleon was trying to show people that the French government is tolerant of religion and anyone can be a part of any religion they wanted to based on their preference. Religious tolerance was one of the promises of the French Revolution. In 1804 Napoleon was voted as emperor by the senate and the people. During that same year The Napoleonic Code was formed. The Napoleonic Code secured the gains of the peasants and middle class during the French Revolution.
But the code also took away all the gains made by women during the French Revolution. Although divorce was made easier for women by the code. The code also cut down Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the press. Napoleon created the Lycee system of education which made the school system open to all social classes and made it possible for poor kids to go to school because now they had the opportunity to get financial aid. But at the same time girls were not allowed to go to school.
Napoleon also believed you earned talent and you were not born into it. This meant that just because you were born out of nobility does not gaurantee your success. Instead you need to earn it just like anyone else needs to earn their success. Napoleon abused some of the ideas of the French Revolution by stopping the press from writing bad articles about him and forcing German people into the French army. Looking at the Napoleonic Code and some of the laws and orders Napoleon made when he was emperor of France shows that Napoleon did abuse the ideas of the French Revolution. Napoleon may had gave the French some kind of rights but he still abused the ideas of the French Revolution because the purpose of the the French Revolution is to give everyone regardless of their social class or gender their natural rights and Napoleon did not do that.
In the Napoleonic code women still did not have rights and the only rights they had was that divorce was made a little easier for them. Napoleon also did not allow girls to go to school but he allowed boys to go to school. Napoleon stopped the press from writing bad articles about him which is violating freedom of the press. He also forced Germans to go into the French army which is violating freedom of speech. Napoleon also abused the ideas of the French Revolution when he burned down all of the churches in France because he is supposed to support religious tolerance and they were some french people who were still catholic. These are the reasons why Napoleon abused the ideas of the French Revolution.