Napoleon Bonaparte "Saves the Revolution", or Not?

Napoleon Bonaparte “Saves the revolution”, or not?

Modern Western Civilization

Napoleon Bonaparte.   The very name congers many different images, stories and in some people even national pride.   Was Napoleon the “Destined savior of

France” as he truly believed? Or did he belong to yet a different group of world leaders including the likes of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler?   To fully appreciate

Napoleon Bonaparte’s role in the French Revolution, it is helpful to discuss the situation in which he found himself.   Bonaparte was a man placed in a very unique

situation that was both of his own doing while also a result of forces far beyond his control. (Western Civilization, pp659)

The French Revolution was a result of an “Old Regime’s” monarchy pitted against the changing forces associated with the Enlightenment.   The Enlightenment

offered new and exciting viewpoints as man’s understanding of the world and indeed the universe was rapidly changing.   This great new appreciation of the

workings of the world encouraged and motivated great thinkers to look not only outward towards the stars but inward at themselves as well.   Everything was open

to review and evaluation.   Many people, oppressed peoples in particular, choose to reconsider the society in which they lived and examine its flaws.   They

discussed and debated how their society might be improved for the benefit of all peoples.   It was only a matter of time until the people of France became extremely

dissatisfied with their Absolutism society and sought change.

For the people of France change meant revolution.   The people were aware of vast changes in the societies of other nations such as Britain and the American

Colonies, these included more individual freedom and equality under the law.   The true goal of the revolution for the mass majority of the population of France was

undoubtedly to have a better life for themselves and their families.   This required having a workable...

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