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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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  • Essay length: 1631 words
  • Submitted: 06/04/2004
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University Degree 1800-1899

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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

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