The French Revolution and Napoleon

In: Historical Events

Submitted By chanasararosenwa
Words 313
Pages 2
Lisa Rojas
Jeff Johnson
Civilization 2/HUM2052

Out of the chaos and confusion of the French Revolution, one man arose who would change the course of French and European history. This man has been called everything from a military genius and heroic soldier to a delusional dictator and paranoid executioner. Whatever one’s opinion may be, one thing is certain: Napoleon Bonaparte redefined post-Revolutionary France and, in turn, redefined the idea of what it meant to be a military dictator.

To say that there was chaos and political unrest during the French Revolution is a huge understatement. After decades of oppression amidst a feudalistic society, the country peasants revolted against wealthy landowners and the aristocracy. The gap between the wealthy and powerful and those who were less fortunate was enormous, and the majority of Frenchmen would no longer tolerate living amidst poverty, hunger, and sickness while the French aristocracy lived the life of luxury off the taxes they imposed on the impoverished. After the uprising, France quickly fell into political unrest and financial disaster, with different men rising to power on nothing more than their own aspirations or “reigns of terror”, a la Robespierre. France was spinning out of control and nothing seemed to stabilize society or wield control on the population. The French were desperate for a hero, someone who would come and not only save their dying country, but also reinstate their dignity, power, and sense of national pride. Napoleon recognized himself as just the savoir France needed. He was already a well-established and highly regarded military tactician when he seized his moment. On November 10, 1799, Napoleon seized control in a coup d’etat, becoming a military dictator.
Napoleon’s ambition and ruthlessness is legendary. He was a complex personality with…...

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