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

To what extent can Napoleon be considered the "Son of the Revolution"?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent can Napoleon be considered the "Son of the Revolution"? Napoleon Bonaparte has been described to have been a "Son of the Revolution" by many people. If a son can be described as someone who will naturally follow the ideas of his father, did Napoleon support the principles of the Revolution in order to reach total power and success in his empire? Before the French Revolution, France was in a critical state, where there was great social inequality between communal estates (classes). The lower class complained about the lack of rights and of the overwhelming taxation system and the bourgeoisie (middle class) complained about the privileges given to the aristocracy and clergy (upper class). The popular will was to overcome the monarchy and the feudalism; and to apply a new type of government based on the three ideals, "libert�, �galit�, fraternit�". By 1795, The Directory had not yet worked, resulting in a continuation of the revolution. ...read more.


Napoleon believed sovereignty of the public would not entitle people to a say in the government but with to a ruler who would govern them as they pleased. He believed people wanted him; he portrayed himself as an enlightened despot. The "son" had now destroyed one of the three pillars imposed by his "father" as he was closest to the Ancien Regime than to the Revolution, in 1808. Equality, perhaps the most important of the revolutions principles was another ideal torn apart by Napoleon. Napoleon confirmed the abolition of Feudalism, also established a civil code which states equality in relation to legislation and laws. The right to own property was also safe, but that was about it. His Legion of Honour, and the awarding of titles and honours was a clearly a contradiction to equality as these could be bought and kept for life. He claimed that everyone had the chance to be a Duke or have a title but this was untrue, the Nobility was strictly made of the old Nobility, the Bourgeoisie and other people who were awarded for military services. ...read more.


I can conclude that Napoleon in fact brought the Revolution to an end. He had no passion for the principles of the revolution. Napoleon, a son of the revolution, having used it as a stepping stone to grow and reach his final title of Emperor. The son learnt that equality, fraternity and liberty could not rule an empire; they would bring failure and terror to his government. Nevertheless, he centralized his power and willingly used his army to alter the make up of the governments, which were ideas of the Directory. Napoleon retrieved the ideas he thought were necessary and would bring him success form his "father" but others, were discarded. Napoleon was in fact a creation of the revolution as he rose to power because of the situation France was in, though he did not back up its principles using his own ideals created from a combination of both the Revolution and the Monarchy. ?? ?? ?? ?? Eduardo Castello Branco 10M History HL Sources: Napoleon: For and Against - P. Geyl (1949) Napoleon, France and Europe - Andrina Stiles and Dylan Reses From Napoleon to the Second International - AJP. Taylor ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon - revision notes

    and gossips at court. They wanted to increase their income and play higher political role. b) The Provincial Nobility (szlachta prowincjonalna) - they were extremely diverse in economic terms. Some of them lived a life of ease (dostatnie zycie) in their chateaux (zamek na wsi).

  2. Revision notes - Causes of the French Revolution and the Development of the Revolution ...

    Encouraged by the popular orators such as Camille Desmoulins, on 12-13th July the poorer citizens of Paris began raiding gun shops and swords smiths in an attempt to provide themselves with weapons. Order broke down as some of the French guards began to listen to the revolutionary speakers and other royal troops were forced from the street.

  1. Napoleon: Son or Enemy of the Revolution

    To do this he used a device which he became particularly popular in the Second Empire (1852-70): the plebiscite (Lee, 21). Napoleon wanted to get rid of any record that was unpleasant towards him. As a result, he established a severe restriction plan, in which he controlled the media.

  2. French Revolution: Success or Failure?

    France people celebrate this holiday to symbolize not only the uprising of the modern nation but also the downfall of monarchy. France is one of the countries that have strong nationality in Europe and this nationalism is actually reinforced through the French Revolution.

  1. Causes of the Mexican Revolution

    They decried efforts at centralization and advocated federalism in order to bolster their position on the periphery. In the course of these disputes a political agenda developed around the themes of "no reelection" of the president, the return of political and administrative authority to the states and localities, the opposition

  2. Napoleon Bonaparte: Son or Enemy of the Revolution?

    French Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 24, 2006: 1. 5 Herson Jr., James P. Napoleon: A Political Life: 1 6 Pilbeam, Pamela M. Themes in Modern European History, 1780-1830. Routledge, 1995: 48. 7 Matthews, Andrew. "Napoleon and Europe: France 1799-1815." Revolution and Reaction Europe 1789-1849. Cambridge: Cambridge Univesity, 2001: 76.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Attitude 1. Made it clear from the beginning that he would never permit limitations on autocratic rule. 2. Father?s assassination confirmed hostility to reform, determined to stamp out political opposition. 3. Rejected suggestions of western-style parliamentary institutions in the belief that they were foreign to Russia and that the peasants did not want them.

  2. To what extent did women gain social equality during the 1920s?

    She describes young women with the flapper image, as having a negative public image. “Latham’s analysis, casting the seemingly superficial phenomena of fashion and advertising as agents of cultural change, explains the effects of the risqué public image of young defined my the flapper image.” (Mike Tribby)

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