An analysis of enlightened despotism in the rule of napoleon bonaparte

History[ edit ] Enlightened absolutism is the theme of an essay by Frederick the Greatwho ruled Prussia from todefending this system of government. He believed that an enlightened monarchy was the only real way for society to advance.

An analysis of enlightened despotism in the rule of napoleon bonaparte

Table of Contents Context From a position relative obscurity as the scion of petty Corsican nobility, Napoleon rose to become Emperor of most of Europe, and a primary symbol of his time. All over Europe, monarchies were weakening, but it was still unclear what forms of government would replace the old order.

One possible form was that of "enlightened despotism," which Napoleon represented: Yet Napoleon did not retain his power through his domestic policies alone: A child of the Enlightenment and a son of the French RevolutionNapoleon was simultaneously a traditional monarch, embracing all the pomp and formalities of the monarchic customs, and a revolutionary, bringing sweeping—and lasting— changes to the regions under his rule.

The educational network of lycees high schools and universities that he fostered remains the cornerstone of the French educational system, and the French financial system still centers on the Bank of France that he established.

Moreover, his central project of creating a single, unified Europe was itself a revolutionary one: Although he never did rule over a united continent, Napoleon left an eradicable mark on European geography: Few leaders from the eighteenth century remain as well known among the public today.

Although the first authors to write about Napoleon tended to vilify the man—indeed, he had kept Europe in a nearly constant state of war for two decades—his heroic reputation hardly suffered.

An analysis of enlightened despotism in the rule of napoleon bonaparte

Painters, too, upheld his heroic image, even polishing it a bit: In reality, he rode a mule. So, too, did popular accounts romanticize his relations with Josephine de Beauharnais, often depicting it as a passionate love affair, when, in reality, both of them had lovers and Napoleon had their marriage annulled in order to marry a younger woman.

The Napoleon we think of today is the result of so many portrayals in books and movies that despite being a real historical figure, he is also partially a fictional character, leading a vibrant existence not only in textbooks, but in imaginations.Napoleon is a classic example of such a ruler and clearly throughout his rule, exhibits the characteristics of an enlightened despot.

The first example of Napoleon's despotism is seen in the multitude of military conflicts in which France was involved during his rule.

James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation.

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An analysis of enlightened despotism in the rule of napoleon bonaparte

Examples from Napoleons rule: The French revolution did away with the old feudal system of France. Napoleon gave France a system that could replace it with a rule of law and modern style public services.

Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte), sometimes considered the greatest enlightened despot, was the first modern political figure to use the rhetoric of revolution and nationalism, to back it with military force, and to combine those elements into a mighty weapon of imperial expansion in the service of his own power.

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