Napoleon: American Revolutionary War and Napoleon Essay

Submitted By cabj23
Words: 892
Pages: 4

Christian Jones 12/1/14

Whether or not that you believe Napoleon betrayed the revolution, you have to determine first what exactly is the French revolution? And what are the revolutionary ideals that Napoleon allegedly betrayed? If Napoleon betrayed the Revolution then he betrayed the ideals of Liberty, and equality. However if Napoleon did not betray the revolution, he consolidated the revolutionary ideals. The only way of determining whether Napoleon consolidated or betrayed the revolution is to explore his actions such as his military success, Dictatorship and social reforms. The problem with trying to say that he was a good for it or bad is that he had views that support historians for both arguments that’s why this is a very popular question.
If Napoleon betrayed the revolution, then he betrayed the ideals of Liberty, and equality. For it is ideals rather than realities that Napoleon allegedly betrayed. The reality of the French revolution is the eight periods of constant change and successions of policies and leaders, with each new leader and party brining amendments to the revolution. Napoleon's coupe of 18 brumaire was an insurance against both Jacobin revolution and Royalist restoration. The French people expected Napoleon to bring back the peace, order and to consolidate the political and social conquests of the Revolution. Napoleon considered these conquests to be the sacred rights of property, equality and liberty. If Napoleon gained power with the promise of upholding the principals of the French Revolution how did he betray the revolution? I think that Napoleon was an effective but ambitious leader. I believe ambition led to a dictatorship, which they consider Napoleons ultimate betrayal. However the most convincing thought temporary solution to the political and ideological problems bequeathed by the Revolution. Napoleons dictatorship was a progression through time from the authoritarian nature of the French revolution. Probably one of Napoleons best characteristics was that he was an outstanding military commander and had many successful campaigns. Napoleon maintained the Revolutionary system of conscription and encouraged promotion based on ability. However his motivation for military success was the consolidation of his authority Napoleon said “My power is dependent on my glory and my glory on my victories... Conquest made me what I am; conquest alone can keep me there." Napoleons Military campaigns can be interpreted as either a consolidation or a betrayal of the revolution. Napoleon continued in the Revolution by liberating and introducing revolutionary ideals to the territories he conquered. In the areas he conquered Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, and created efficient governments and fostered education, science, literature and the arts. However these reforms always failed as Napoleon was always attempting the politically impossible.
Napoleons battles were fought in order to maintain his dictatorship. His Military success initially maintained the revolution, but once he turned France into a military dictatorship he betrayed the revolution. Although Napoleon's military conquests started off based on the ideals of the French Revolution, Napoleons constant quest for personal glory lead to a dictatorship. The Ultimate betrayal was the institution of a hereditary monarchy. This hereditary monarchy began in Napoleons action of crowing himself Emperor and culminated in his marriage to an Austrian Hapsburg princess. Napoleon claimed that his motives for marrying an Austrian were to consolidate the Revolution, by allying France with a dangerous neighbor, and defended his actions of crowning himself Emperor and marrying a Hapsburg by declaring "democracy establishes sovereignty;