Friday, January 9, 2009
Napolean as an Enlightened Despot
I think Napolean was an enlightened despot especially due to his government reforms. He established constitutional monarchies in his HRE territories, and he himself set up reforms and a constitution that let the people think they had the power with the voting they could do. He got rid of any kind of bias in the legal systems against classes. Everything was now "jobs open to talent" and the aristocracy now had no special priveledges. The declaration of the Rights of Man was incorporated in Napolean's reforms and people were equal no matter how well off you were. Slavery was abolished in the French colonies, evidence of his enlightened principles of humanity and equality. As a despot he naturally wanted to help mankind, and therefore he liberated other people on his conquering campaigns to free them to enlightened principles as well. IF he hadn't been an egomaniac and overstretched his armies and campaigns he probably could have successfully kept france together and held his salelite territories. All in all his principles were good and he did progress France to an enlightened state that was more sensitive to the rights and equality of man. Even though it was a bloody part of French History, the Revolution and the Napoleanic period was one of the best things that happened to France to put in on an even playing field republic wise with Britain.