Considering the entirety of his career, was Napoleon Bonaparte good for France?

Essay by PATHFIND3RCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2014

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Alex Clark

Hist 102


Considering the entirety of his career, was Napoleon Bonaparte good for France?

Napoleon was alive in an era of France where radical change in government and society were continually developing. The fall of Robespierre left the country almost leaderless. France was then left to be led by a republic that wouldn't back up its own beliefs. The first election since becoming a republic took place in 1795 where the majority asked to have a monarch return to power. The only monarch who was able to take the seat was Louis XVIII who was brother of the last king of France. He announced that if he took the thrown, he would sentence to death all that helped kill his brother. The republic, well aware they all played a part in that role, chose to ignore France's first election and chose another route. During these following years, the republic became very corrupt, seeking to protect their own party's personal political interests.

Napoleon, at that time, was thought to be a hero to the French. Where politics failed, the military flourished under Napoleon's reign. In 1799, Napoleon took control of all politics and military becoming the first modern day dictator. Even with all of the opportunities to follow a corrupt path, Napoleon used his dictatorship to positively affect the French lifestyle overall.

There are many people who would argue against my opinion, stating that Napoleon contributed by doing more wrong then good. His greatest feats had been tarnished by his blood thirsty greed for power, where millions died under his command. People may even argue that he was in the wrong simply for becoming a military dictator. Freedom of speech was removed and many individual rights were stripped giving the appearance France was returning back to the dark...