To what extent are Napoleon's reforms during the Consulate (1799 - 1804) explained by his need to secure himself in power?
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:://History To what extent are Napoleon's reforms during the Consulate (1799 - 1804) explained by his need to secure himself in power? Napoleon, having seen many governments come and go, was weary of the problems involved in governing a country. Napoleon realizing the failures of past governments, wanted his to be a secure and lasting government. He wanted to unite all power in the country at one centralized base. These are the ideals that flow through his reforms under the consulate. His reforms are aimed at gathering all power to him, the main areas of reform were; the constitution, religion, the legal system, the judicial system and the economy. All of these reforms, in one form or another, were means to gathering and centralizing power around him. After the coup of Brumaire, there was confrontation between Sieyes, the original mastermind behind the coup, and Napoleon. There were differences in opinion and ideals between the two men on how the country should be run. Napoleon utilized Sieyes to his own end and forced through his changes to the constitution. The constitution of the year VIII was composed mainly of Napoleons ideals; it was a great success for him.
The pope had much to gain in the sense that any influence in France is better than none, by signing the concordat the pope gained some influence in France. This again was a way of gaining support from the people, making the people think that he is doing what is best for the country when in reality he is choosing the best course of action that suits him and his administration. By legalising Catholicism in the country, his popularity among the people rose. Napoleon realised the advantages of this, he could use the church as a method of control amongst the people. He could distribute his message to the whole of France via the churches, considering most of the country was catholic and attended church regularly. Considered one of Napoleons greatest legacies amongst the people of France was The Civil Code. It was drawn up during 1800 but took another three years to actually introduce. It was an attempt to unify the legal structure of the whole country. As it stood when Napoleon came to power, laws varied from town to town, this was quite the opposite to Napoleon's idea of centralization. The code made sure that all the people of France had equality in the eyes of the law, religious freedom and a separation of the state and church.
He wanted the secondary school system to have a strict National Curriculum and have an Authoritarian system, to teach the pupils what he wanted. He wanted them to be loyal to his regime; he also wanted to prepare them for administrative jobs in the government and as soldiers in the army. In 1802 he introduced the Lycees, which was mainly for the sons of the middle class of society, quite the way away from the roots of the revolution. The state appointed the teachers; this meant that Napoleon had control over who teaches and what is to be taught in schools. A ministry to control education across France was also introduced by Napoleon, the Imperial University, albeit the name it was not a university. The school system was under the direct control of Napoleon, he had great influence over the future citizens of France, he could tailor them to accept his regime and breed loyalty among the young. Overall Napoleons reforms were aimed at increasing power but as a side-effect of this he also managed to aid the French people. He pursued any action necessary to make sure that he and his administration gained support. Often at times he intentionally or unintentionally also aided the French people through his reforms, the civil code is an example of this. ?? ?? ?? ??
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