Napoleon a Villain or a Hero

Napoleon was the leader of France’s army and became Emperor after the Radical phase which was a time where many people were killed and lived in terror. Napoleon hoped to reenact the way Charlemagne ruled. He conquered Spain, Belgium, Holland and much of Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Prussia, and Austria.

Napoleon was considered a tyrant from many people because of how differently he treated people of opposite genders, his ineffective decisions, and the amount of men that died under his leadership. The Napoleonic Code was a clear set of laws meant for all members of society. Although in the Napoleonic Code women’s rights did not gradually change. Men were assigned to protect their wife while the wife’s job is to obey and stay loyal to her husband. Women were not allowed to deny their husband’s wishes and in return was provided with whatever their husband gave them. Napoleonic Code gave men much more freedom compared to women which represents how he believes men should be in control while women should follow their lead and be spoiled. Some of his decisions were unsuccessful like The Continental System.

The Continental System was suppose to be a blockade to prevent trade and communication between Great Britain and France. Sadly, in response Great Britain created their own blockade and Portugal declined, so The Continental System had no use. Napoleon was known for the many battles he lead although thousands of people died while under his command. For example, The Invasion of Russia was considered one of Napoleon’s biggest mistakes. Napoleon sent 420,000 to invade Russia, but less than 10,000 returned. Napoleon’s leadership caused over 410,000 deaths which made people believe that he was incapable of protecting his own people.

Despite his mistakes Napoleon was also considered a heroic figure. Napoleon brought liberty and equality to every Frenchman, made efficient and fair taxes, and ended government corruption. Napoleon made the Napoleonic code to ensure that every Frenchman had their own rights by stating “The exercise of civil rights is independent of the quality of citizen, which is only acquired and preserved conformably to the constitutional law”. Unlike before Napoleon wanted his people to have independence and to not live in fear, so he created the Napoleonic code to protect his people. Unfair taxation is one of the reasons why France’s people were upset because the citizens of France would be charged unfairly and their money would not be put to good use. Napoleon set up a way to make tax more useful and convenient for his people.

France’s government was despised by its people before Napoleon came in power so as a result Napoleon demolished the government’s corruption by establishing the Lycees. The Lycess provided children a chance to go to public school and get a good education. Napoleon believed that education was the key to success and wanted young kids to have a chance to learn. Napoleon and Pope Pius VII made an agreement on 1801 which was to separate the church and the state after recognizing the influence of the church. Napoleon wanted everyone to be religious, but was very tolerant of different religious groups which gave his citizens the freedom to practice their own religion freely and worship any god.

Overall I believe that Napoleon was a hero instead of a villain. Napoleon had his faults but truly cared about his people and fought hard for France. He gave his people the liberty they deserved, changed the taxes in France , and established a safe government.

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Napoleon a villain or a hero. (2021, Jun 02). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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