How did Napoleon reform local government in France after 1800? (The…
How did Napoleon reform local government in France after 1800?
17 Feb 1800 - law passed which reformed local government in France
the key position in this new structure was that of prefect
each department would have a prefect. they and their assistants, the sub-prefects, of the arrondissements (the sub divisions making up each department) were the men responsible for managing local government throughout France
they acted as agents of the central gov and were directly appointed by N and accountable solely to him
heart of the system of state control of the population
the other mayors and all the municipal councils were nominates by the prefect
the result was a highly centralised bureaucracy for the collection of taxes, the enforcement of conscription, the dissemination of propaganda, and the obtaining on information, operating through a body of well trained and loyal administrators
the prefects were expected to monitor closely public opinion in their areas and to report on any suspicious political activity
a system of house arrest was available through the prefects who did not warrant imprisonment but who was considered a danger to state security
CENTRALISED CONTROL OVER THE PROVINCES
lead educational inspections
this became an elite and efficient professionial force, made up of army veterans of 1.75m or taller, who had been vetted for their good service record.
it was renamed the Gendermerie Imperiale after 1804
the tasks included everyday law enforcement - dealing with bandits, theft and violent crime, as well as putting down riots or rebellions and helping to enforce conscription
the gendarmes generally proved effective, even though there were still gangs of wandering labourers and urban unemployed that could cause periodic incidents, and enforcing conscription was not always easy
Reform of the Law Courts
from the beginning of his regime, he made a number of changes to the judiciary in order to ensure its loyalty and deter any potential threats
judges, apart from local justices of the peace, were appointed by the government for life and were kept subservient and loyal by a combination of close supervision and a system of 'purges'
a whole new hierarchy of judicial tribunals was set up. the criminal, commercial and penal codes were essentially concerned with punishment - perpetual hard labour, loss of the right hand and branding were among the penalties laid down.
special new courts emerged - there were military courts and tribunals for political offenders presided over by 'magistrates for public security'
in 1810, a system of arbitrary imprisonment without trial was reintroduced. this was never extensively used, as the authorities favoured imposing a form of house arrest imposed on those considered to be potential threats to the state. a number of extra prisons were built in France and it is estimated that in 1814 they were occupied by about 16,000 ordinary convicts (three times as many as in 1800)
was introduced on 1 dec 1803 to control workers. was aware of the strength of urban workers, the sans culottes had been an active and militsnt feature of many of the upheavals in the early years of the rev.
Maintaining control of workers was a priority for the police, the guild system was abolished in 1789- there was no longer a system of control over the entrance of workers into different trades. Wroekrs freedoms were reduced by the Le Chapelier law of 1791 (passed by the national assembly and banned strikes and made trade unions illegal).
livret was a 'passbook' that every worker was expected to have, had the holders employment record.
It operated as a form of ID. workers were unable to get jobs without it. Movement of labour was thus tightly controlled as those who wanted to leave an employer for another were reliant on good references.
used in ancien regime
N CAN MONITOR MOVEMENT OF WORKERS
The General Police
Operated under the control of the Minister of Police - position held by Joseph Fouche for much of the Napoleonic era
In Paris, one of their main functions was to monitor the state of public opinion in the city and to report daily on variations in food prices
Focused much of their efforts on surveillance and gathering intelligence on those suspected of being a threat to the security of the state
In their capacity as trained spies, they had a range of functions, principally:
the importance of censorship
the surveillance of possible subversives
the search for army deserters
the organisations of raids on areas believed to be sheltering draft dodgers or enemy agents
Factfile: Joseph Fouche
one of the most ruthless and feared men of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period and also one of its greatest survivors - remarkable considering his passion for conspiracy and plotting against his superiors
during the Terror - he was a ruthless representative on mission sent to restore Republican authority in the provinces.
while on missions, Fouche actively supported the policy of 'dechristinisation'
always question marks regarding his loyalty - his propensity to plot and conspire with the enemies of napoleon and france led to his dismissal
survived the fall of napoleon and entered the service of the Bourbons, his past as a Jacobin regicide caught up with him and he spent the last years of his life in permanent exile
GENDArMERIE N's elite- responsible for surveilling, p0lice are for general maintenance of law and order