Napoleon Forges an Empire
Napoleon Forges an Empire
Napoleon Seizes Power
In 1769 Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
He was sent to a military school at 9 years old.
In 1785, at age 16, he finished school and became a lieutenant in the artillery.
When the Revolution broke out he joined the army of the new government.
Do you think you would have been a good lieutenant at age 16? Why? Why not?
Hero of the Hour
In October of 1795 Napoleon and his gunners warded off royalists at the National Convention.
Napoleon was seen as a hero for this.
In 1796, Napoleon was appointed to lead a French army against the forces of Austria and Sardinia.
He entered Italy and won a series of victories.
He then tried to disrupt British trade with India.
He didn't succeed, however he was able to keep his failure from the newspapers and remained a hero.
What evidence shows that Napoleon cared about his image?
There is evidence that he kept his losses from the people of France. This shows that he cared for his image because he wanted people to see him as a hero. He took great care of keeping his image of a hero to the people. He even stopped newspapers from publishing his failures.
Why was disrupting British trade with India important?
By 1799 control had been lost over the French people.
In November of 1799 Napoleon dissolved the Directory.
He established a group of 3 consuls.
He was one of them.
Napoleon took the title of first consul and became a dictator.
Britain, Austria, and Russia wanted to drive Napoleon from power.
All three nations ended up signing peace agreements with France.
By 1802 Europe was at peace for the first time in 10 years.
How would you compare Napoleon’s actions in October 1795 and November 1799?
In both cases he was seen as a hero to at least some people. Although in one case he was working for the Directory and in the other he is dissolving the Directory. Also in 1795 he used guns and a more war like way to accomplish his goal, and in 1799 he took a more political approach to the situation.
More Information on the Directory
France was also at war during this time.
What factors do you think led to this repeated chaos among the people?
A sudden seizure of power is known as a coup. The phrase Coup d'État means blow to the state.
Biography of Napoleon
More Information on Napoleon's Early Life and Rise to Power
Napoleon Rules France
Napoleon pretends to be the chosen leader of the constitution at first.
In 1800 a vote of the people was held to approve the new constitution.
The people were desperate for a strong leader and approved the constitution giving the power of first consul to Napoleon.
What did the new constitution entail?
Restoring Order at Home
Napoleon kept most of the changes of the revolution and did not return to king Louie XVI times.
He passed bills that would strengthen the central government and help achieve some the the goals of the revolution.
He set up a national banking system and an efficient means of tax collection.
This ensured the country a steady supply of taxes and good financial management as well as economic stability.
Napoleon also battled corruption by firing corrupt officials as well as setting up public schools for male kids with all backgrounds to train them for government positions.
Napoleon also set up a concordat with the church that recognized the churches influence but rejected it on national affairs. This gained him a lot of support.
He prided himself most on his Napoleonic Code which united the country under set laws, but limited freedom of speech and press while restoring slavery to French Caribbean Islands.
What caused Napoleon to reach an agreement with the Pope?
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The concept of cooperation applies to the agreement between Napoleon and the church.
What made the admissions policies of the Lycees significant?
Most political positions used to be inherited or earned by making connections, but now the focus was on your adeptness.
In general, did Napoleon make the French government stronger or weaker?
Yes. He strengthened the government and its reputation among the people.
The concept of change applies to the changes brought in by Napoleon.
Napoleon Crowned As Emperor
In 1804 Napoleon made himself emperor with the support of the people.
On December 2nd, 1804 he walked down the isle of the Notre Dame Cathedral and took the crown from the popes hands and put it on his own head. This signaled he was more powerful than the church as they were the ones who usually crowned French rulers.
How did the church respond to this?
The concept of change applies to the way Napoleon was crowned.