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

    If you did not, then you were certainly in danger from fascist thugs. In the March election that followed the Acerbo Law, the Fascist Party got 65% of the votes cast and, therefore, easily got the 2/3rds of parliamentary seats - a clear majority.

  2. The First English Civil War

    Cromwell and the Eastern Association This had already intervened to help in the siege of Reading and had sent troops to the abortive gathering at Nottingham, besides clearing its own ground of "malignants." From the first Cromwell was the dominant influence.

  1. Julius Caesars reform

    - Head Priest of Jupiter (Flamen Dialis) - Flamen Dialis had many restrictions - Becoming priest helped him slowly to gain power - Believed that he only held this position for a very short period of time because he was more interested in his future career (being a politician and a soldier)

  2. 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.

  1. Growth of Democracy

    The Education Acts in Scotland and England meant the population was becoming more educated and literate. By the 1880s another new political idea was spreading in Europe. This was Socialism. Socialism means taking away the means of production and distribution away from private ownership and giving it to the community as a whole.

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

    The Britons and returned to a 'Celtic Iron Age' way of life similar to the Anglo Saxons. They lived in warring tribal Kingdoms and around 550 they start to make progress through the west. Richard Reece based his interpretations from excavations in Cirencester.

  1. The Changing Nature of Warfare - Napoleon

    Without introducing any further battling techniques he effectively made a significant impact with his army by developing on the conventional tactics of linear battle. However, despite his successes he was not able to progress to the extent that he wished as a result of the limitation of weapons.

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

    Images would be engraved onto temple walls and pompous titles adopted such as ?the king of kings? or ?the eternal?. Egyptian people thought so highly of the pharaoh that there were even images of the pharaoh worshipping himself. Therefore, as a God, it would be fair to say that Tutankhamen

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