• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Napoleon a Dictator

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what Extent Was Napoleon A Dictator? The word dictator refers to a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession. This definition proves that Napoleon was definitely a dictator, as he centralised power around himself, although there were dictatorial principles that Napoleon did not enforce so strictly, or even liberal principles which he allowed, such as plebiscites. After Napoleon finally brought peace in Europe in 1802, he started on leaving his mark internally on France. One of the first internal affairs was his life consulship. This made him leader of France for the rest of his life, leaving him with absolute power in France as no one could challenge him as Life Consul. Then he furthers his position as a dictator by having the right to nominate his successor, which would leave an unelected leader, also known as a dictator, and also proves that Napoleon was unchallenged in France. After centralising power he then sets about by strengthening his power. ...read more.

Middle

The new constitution seems to disprove that Napoleon was a dictator. For instance the Constitution that he sets up is a form of representative democracy, with many bodies in government such as the Council of State, who help draw up legislation, and the Legislature that get to vote on such legislation, and in secret. However this was not as liberal as it seemed, with the main bodies of government being formed by Napoleon's yes men, and even if they did not agree with Napoleon he could go over their head on the matter. The voting system changes also promote the idea of democracy not dictatorship, simply being elections are anti the dictatorship principle. However this was not democratic in the slightest, as it was not universal suffrage being proposed, just for men over 21, who paid for the right to suffrage, therefore not incorporating those who couldn't afford it and women. Even then it is questionable whether the elections were fair, many people fearing the prefects, as voting was not secret, and even if it was the prefects or ministers would increase their figures to please Napoleon. ...read more.

Conclusion

The concordat allowed religious tolerance in France for all religions, and allowed religion to be freely exercised in France, by the great majority of citizens. Nevertheless it strengthened Napoleons powers, as public worship had to be "in conformity with police regulations" and the church became state controlled, whereby the clergy became civil servants, being bound to the government by oath. When the Organic Articles were introduced, it became even more illiberal because clauses limited Papal control over French bishops while state control increased. Napoleon even standardised church catechisms, which were taught in schools, which scares the people into obeying Napoleon as the catechisms make him seem like a God. In conclusion it was clear that Napoleon was a dictator as he centralised power around himself, especially in his style of government and the constitution he sets up, where all power is given by Napoleon, and no-one could challenge that power. Even the liberal reforms introduced where just a front to appease people, and his real intentions was to make people loyal and obey him, either through fear of the police state set up, or giving menial concessions to the people that were actually illiberal in themselves such as the Concordat. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. The First English Civil War

    This position, the Royalists stormed on 5 July. The battle of Lansdown was a second Stratton for the Cornishmen, but this time the enemy was of different quality and far differently led. And they had to mourn the loss of Sir Bevil Grenville and the greater part of their whole force.

  2. Julius Caesars reform

    and that he took the greatest pains to cultivate it, so that in this field the second place was indisputably his."- in Plutarch- Caesar, 3.

  1. To what extent is it true to say the Provisional Government faced an impossible ...

    This reluctance was seen by most Russians as an attempt by the bourgeois ministers to hang on to power and it cost the Provisional Government greatly as it made the task they faced harder by increasing the resentment and anger felt by the majority of the Russian people towards them.

  2. Growth of Democracy

    The government hoped that by giving the vote to the working classes, they would become involved in normal politics rather than support this new and dangerous revolutionary idea. The 1884 act doubled the electorate, bringing it up to five million.

  1. To What Extent Had Mussolini Established A Personal Dictatorship by 1928?

    On October 29th 1922, Mussolini was summoned to meet Victor Emmanuel * Mussolini arrived on October 30th and was sworn in as Prime Minister. Only then were the Fascists who had gathered outside of Rome allowed to march in triumph through Rome.

  2. Consider David Starkey(TM)s and Francis Pryor(TM)s respective versions of the nature and extent of ...

    The Discontinuity view suggests that Roman Britain flourished until c. AD 400, but then dramatically collapsed and nothing was left of the old Roman system after 430. Pagan Anglo - Saxons then migrated into Eastern England, but in lesser numbers than thought previously.

  1. The Changing Nature of Warfare - Napoleon

    Nevertheless this proved that he unintentionally made himself an innovator as the limited resources and 18th century constrained influenced the men who came after him. Battles if time Quality of Soldiers Recruitment, training and discipline Some men volunteered, some were conscripted whilst some criminals were forcefully enlisted.

  2. To What Extent Does History show that there is no such thing as absolute ...

    was an absolute monarch; however, it didn?t necessarily mean that he was bestowed with absolute power. In Ancient Egypt the Pharaoh?s word was law and could rule to his decree and not code of law. However, over history it shows that a Pharaoh?s power was limited within the empire, which was affected by the priesthood, military and the nobility.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work