Napoleon and the Modern state
Napoleon Bonaparte established reforms that began and marked the transition from an absolute government to what is today The Modern State. Napoleon’s political structure, legal codes, security apparatus, and the mobilization of national resources is what lead the French state to the modern state. Napoleon may have been defeated at the battle of waterloo bur he left a legacy and state of government that is still used today in the modern state. Napoleon Bonaparte set a political structure for himself as the new leader of France.
Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as first council and he had no plans of sharing his power with others. His not sharing of power came easy to him because he was not associated in the public minds with anyone in the government, or the factions, so he was able to relate to all the French men. Napoleon created the written document The Constitution of the Year VIII, which secured his powers as first council .
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This provided him with two subordinated councils and three house legislatures and gave him enough power to become the most powerful man of France and even Europe itself .
Napoleon knew he had the support of his Frenchmen when in February 1800 the plebiscite, those who voted as the electoral votes, had three million votes for yes and only 1,500 votes as no . Because of the plebiscites Napoleon was given the title first council for life in 1802 and became emperor, which he crowned himself as in 1804. As fist council and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte established the legal codes that governed France all the way through the 19th century. Napoleon established a centralized administration by rehabilitating the Ancient Regime.
One of Napoleons most known legacies among in the modern state are the Napoleonic Codes. Thanks to Jean-Jacques de Cambaceres Napoleon oversaw the new laws for the French Nation known as the Napoleonic Codes, which remains the basis of the French law today . This code did things such as forbidding privileges based on birth, gave freedom of religion. This code was the first modern legal code adopted in Europe . Napoleon issued other than the Napoleonic codes to maintain power a security apparatus. Napoleon enforced a security apparatus to keep his Bonapartist regime as dictator by enforcing police and military power.
Napoleon established a prefect for each of the 83 departments. The job of the prefect was to enforce the government laws and monitor its people. They were also responsible for local order . They were also given the power to override the local officials. One of the most important documents that is the basis of human rights were made by Napoleon on 1789. With the French revolution cam a lot of deaths but also the Declaration of the rights of men and citizens. Another set of authority Napoleon had control over was the secret police.
Joseph Fouche who was kept by the directory after the reigns of terror was in charge of this secret police. The secret police was to be very strict. They censored the press authors, and playwrights. If the secret police believed that someone was breaking the law the police and the prefects supervised the individual in their home. Napoleon was also able to keep his powers because of the support he was able to retain. In 1799 when Napoleon came into power the revolution had put France with civil unrest, because of the dechristianization policies was put at distress.
Napoleon used his powers to reconcile with the Catholic Church. Napoleon was not a very religious man but he understood that if he made peace with the church he would gain more support of the French men. On July 15, 1801 Napoleon signed the Concordat with Pope Pius VII. Most of France approved of this step making Catholicism Frances main religion. Bonaparte also gained power to appoint French bishops at this time . Mobilization of resources came about once Napoleon had power. One of the first things he did was give power to his family members.
This in the modern world did not look good and is one of the problems that he caused for himself that eventually led to his fall. He annexed many countries including Holland parts of Germany and Italy. One way that he mobilized resources was with the continental system of 1806. This forbade any trade with France and Frances territories with Britain. Napoleon thought that this continental system will work in the favor of France but it did the opposite ruining its economy and Napoleons Satellites .
Napoleon did many things like to leave France and Europe itself with the Modern Government there is today. Though not everything he tried Worked for his benefit a lot like the Napoleonic codes and the French declaration of the right of men and citizen is still the basis of what we have today in our country. The French revolution led the people to fight for what they believed was right and used Napoleon Bonaparte as their leader. While he made not have ended with the best legacy he set standard to today’s government that is still used today.