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There is no doubt that Napoleon Bonaparte achieved a great number of things during his rule of France i. Definition of achieved - success b. His achievements were both foreign and domestic, and were all good for France: i. Domestic – stabilized France’s economy, Concordat, public education, Civil Code ii. Foreign – raised huge armies and defeated most of Europe, Continental System, gained power for France c. We will use a historical perspective, and relate achievements to France Domestic Achievements a. Many of Napoleon’s greatest achievements were accomplished within France – all meant to make France more stable and secure b. Financial – created Bank of France (1800) i. Purpose was to solve problems of government borrowing, stabilize currency, and facilitate payment of annuities ii. Wildly successful – franc was most stable currency ever, significant factor in stabilization of France as a whole, remains as central financial institution today c. Concordat with Church (July 15, 1801) i. Sought reconciliation with Church ii. Church recognized Republic and titles of church lands purchased during revolution iii. France allowed free exercise of Catholicism, paid clergymen’s salaries iv. Napoleon healed branch between constitutional and traditional clergymen d. Public Education (1808) i. Established Universite – system of schools from elementary to higher education ii. More students went to school e. Civil Code (Code Napoleon, 1804) i. Possibly most significant achievement of Napoleon ii. Guaranteed equality of all male citizens before law, uniform system of law for entire country, religious freedom, right of individual to choose profession, freedom from unlawful arrest, equality of taxation iii. Termed as a compilation of the ideals of French Revolution iv. Brevity and clarity was unmatched v. Successful not only in France (remains as basis of laws today), but also in New World (Canada, Louisiana, South America, Japan) f. Napoleon’s domestic achievements were incredible in nature and all served to stabilize and further France’s development as a nation
Foreign Achievements a. Napoleon succeeded in converting France from a semi-powerful nation to a dominant nation b. Treaty of Luneville (February 1801) i. Austria abandoned possessions on Italian peninsula c. Treaty of Amiens (March 1802) i. New British PM – Henry Addington ii. Britain returned most colonial territories it had won since beginning of the war d. Reorganization of Germany i. Imperial Recess of 1803 - 112 states of HRE went out of existence, 6 free cities remained ii. Napoleon attracted secondary states indebted to France and willing to accept French leadership iii. Confederation of the Rhine – July 1806 e. Battle of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805) i. Possibly greatest military battle by Napoleon ii. Napoleon defeated both Russian and Austrian armies, gained minor territories f. Grand Empire of 1810 i. Included France, Holland, Papal States, Illyrian provinces, and many more territories g. Continental System (1806) i. Berlin Decree (November) – banned commerce with Britain ii. For two years (1810-12), proved that continent did not need Britain h. Overall, Napoleon’s ingenious military and foreign policy strategies helped to establish France’s powerful presence in Europe Limitations a. Some might argue that Napoleon’s achievements were not entirely good i. The word “achievement” is used in regards to Napoleon’s goals, which were mainly to build glory and power for France, and any accomplishment that contributed to these goals were achievement Conclusion a. Napoleon had a considerable amount of achievements, all benefiting France and helping to stabilize it internally and gain power externally b. One might even say that even though Napoleon created disorder throughout Europe, he was the savior who brought France out of the chaos of the revolution and put it on the pathway to greatness