How was Napoleon able to maintain his power? (Censorship and propaganda…
How was Napoleon able to maintain his power?
Patronage and Honours
Napoleon gathered the loyalty of the wealthy landowners and important military leaders.
Napoleon could pick who was in the senate he then “bribed” them with honours and other such titles for example the “Legion of Honour” or being a “Notable”.
He could become a dictator. For example the senate were dependent on Napoleon and feared a return to the monarchy and this lead them in 1802 to make Napoleon Consul for life and in 1804 the Consulship became Hereditary and Napoleon crowned him self as Emperor which all increased his control and support all over France, leading him to be able to change even more things.
Napoleon created “Code Napoleon” to bring uniformity of the law to all of France. This Code was illiberal, restrictive, authoritarian and brought order. Napoleon then banned trade unions and introduced “The Livret”.
these changes gave Napoleon perfect power to remove any opposition, as he had influence of appointment of judges and the Supreme Court.
Napoleon also had his own secret police so that he had supreme power to remove anyone at all that stood against him. Napoleon also appointed Prefects for each department which was important as it made a connection between local and central government and Napoleon made the prefects responsible for propaganda, education and conscription within each region, so Napoleon could make sure that he kept his support through out France.
Censorship and propaganda
Examples of censorship include reduction of the number of political journals published in Paris from 73 before 1800 to 9 by the end of that year.
Napoleon made them rely on military or government articles and bulletins which were easily biased.
Napoleon introduced Censors on newspapers, books, plays, lectures and posters.
use of propaganda by using Artists, sculptors and architects for monuments, statues and paintings depicting Napoleon as a romantic hero-figure and increasing the feeling of an Empire.
This is how Napoleon wanted people to see him
By getting the public to love and support him by restricting and controlling there opinions this consolidated his position greatly as ruler of France.
wanted to create loyal and disciplined army officers; he neglected education for common people which contradicted his belief in equality yet as part of patronage secondary education was restricted to sons of “notables” and army officers.
To do so he introduced the Lycees in 1802, highly selective militarised schools.
to control even future peoples opinions he controlled the schools through the Imperial University which he created in 1808.
What the teachers taught was dictated by the needs and demand of Napoleon and the government.
without money, he might lose support if there was a weak economy and Napoleon wanted to expand France through war to make France a great empire and increase popularity
However France was in debt, Napoleon introduced uniformity and centralisation, he founded the Bank of France in January 1800, he also reorganised the Treasury.
He also makes the Tax collectors more official and efficient with the Tax Register.
In order to gain money there were many direct and in-direct taxes, he also introduced a new metal coinage in 1803. Napoleon was quite successful in sorting out the economy which helped it grow and pay off debts and there were no big shifts of inflation or deflation.
Maintained support of military
this could be a possible threat to his power if another Coup would occur.
need the loyalty of the army to deal with any opposition and to expand French territories. Napoleon gained the support of the army through a variety of means including Patronage of officers, by offering there sons a free and militarised education. He also used propaganda and censorship to increase morale of the army, especially the image that Napoleon was the rightful leader of France.