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Napoleon Bonaparte: Son or Enemy of the Revolution?

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Napoleon Bonaparte: Son or Enemy of the Revolution? Table of Contents______________________________________________________________ Plan of Investigation____________________________________________________ Page 3 Summary of Evidence___________________________________________________ Page 4 Evaluation of Sources ___________________________________________________ Page 8 Analysis _______________________________________________________________Page 10 Conclusion_____________________________________________________________Page 13 Bibliography___________________________________________________________ Page 14 Plan of Investigation___________________________________________________________ Was Napoleon Bonaparte a son or an enemy of the Revolution? The aim of this investigation is to assess the role of Napoleon Bonapartee role of Napoleon in the revolution; whether he was the son or the enemy of the revolution. in the revolution; whether he was the son or the enemy of the revolution. The scope of this research rests upon the use of secondary sources and focuses on Napoleon's domestic, economical, foreign, social and religious policies during his regime; the Napoleonic era (November 1799 to 1815). The investigation will analyze different interpretations of other historians regarding the role of Napoleon in the revolution; whether he was the son or the enemy of the revolution. Under the section "Evaluation of Sources," two sources (Napoleonic Era and Napoleon From 18 Brumaire to Tilsit 1799-1807) will be evaluated according to their origins, purpose, values and limitations. Summary of Evidence__________________________________________________________ Background Information: -Bourbon family, King Louis XVI, ruled France until the French Revolution occurred in 17891. -In November 1799, Napoleon seized power of the French empire as The Revolt of Brumaire broke out, triggered by the failure of The Directory, until his fall in 1815.2 Domestic Policy: -Before Napoleon seized power, the Bourbon family appreciated ...read more.


It is the Volume I of the two volume set which covers the period of 1799-1807 presenting a history of those years that were dominated by Napoleon Bonaparte. It provides a general history of the French people and the background to the revolution that gave Napoleon his chance, incorporating relevant quotation from other sources and primary documents, adding objectivity to the interpretations put forth. Nevertheless, as the author is French, one might question its objectivity in that the work could either be too pro-Napoleon or anti-Napoleon. Yet, Lefebvre would have had a better understanding of the subtleties of the French language; hence, his analysis of French documents concerning Napoleon would be more effective. However, the translation of Lefebvre's book into English could be a problem, depending on the level of accuracy of the translation. In addition, he often wrote from a viewpoint which he felt the peasant of the time would have held 23 - neglecting the viewpoint of other French social class. Also, Lefebvre was influenced by the Marxist idea that history should be concerned with economic structures and class relations 24, therefore, could have neglected other aspects of history in his work. On the other hand, Napoleonic Era, written by Will Durant, an American, is also a secondary source, published in 1963. The book was written with the purpose to provide insights of Napoleon's character and personality, as well as, the events occurred in his era to students. ...read more.


Napoleon intended to use the church for his own purposes; his treatment of the Pope in the later years of the Empire gave strong warning against making any church a forum for discussion which might be considered hostile to the government. Conclusion___________________________________________________________________ All in all, Napoleon, a product of the French Revolution, who seized power after the end of the Bourbon dynasty, was neither a son nor an enemy of the revolution but a fusion between the two. From the evidence found, it is clear that Napoleon used the ideas of enlightenment during his rule despite the fact that he sometimes made despotic decisions and changes. It is true that there were some negative aspects during Napoleon's rule such as intimidation and execution. However, after the investigation, there seems to be more evidence that justify Napoleon as a son of the revolution. And this is due to the fact that he made progress, reforms and established order, stability not only in France but Europe as well. Also, the creation of modern national states in Europe such as Italy and Germany owes its existence to Napoleon. Furthermore, Napoleon was fully responsible for making France a powerful nation; one of the great-influential powers in Europe by uniting France, reinforcing nationalism by conquests, and gaining tremendous amount of resources and territorial acquisition. And, after the abdication of Napoleon, the French Empire once again faced domestic and foreign problems and started to fall apart. ...read more.

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