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3.6 Napoleon Bonaparte

With the outbreak of the French Revolution "European history merges into the history of one nation, one event and one man; the nation is France, the event is the French Revolution and the man is Napoleon."

Napoleon astride a horse

Exhibit 3.7
Napoleon


On 10th November 1799, Napoleon ended the regime of the Directory by force. By influencing the two Houses of the legislature he got a law passed by which the office of the consul was to be created. There were to be three consuls. The first consul was Napoleon Bonaparte while the two others elected were Abe Sieyes and Ducos. Napoleon thus became a virtual dictator of France. Hayes rightly observes about it in the following words: "As soon as Napoleon become the First Consul, he got awakened to his responsibilities. He studied the fundamentals of the Revolution very carefully and drew prudent inferences from the facts before him. He himself had witnessed some sensational events of the time. He had also realized that how horribly freedom was abused when it fell into the hands of the commoners. He clearly visualized that it would be detrimental to allow liberty, particularly political liberty, to the people. It was something different, if he allowed them to enjoy equality. Napoleon looked determined about it. He uttered the following words in this connection: 'What the French need above all things is equality, not liberty.' Hence as First Consul he made all efforts to take away freedom from the people but he bestowed equality on them instead."

Index

3.0 - Introduction
3.1 The Seven Years' War
3.2 Catherine the Great
3.3 The Industrial Revolution
3.4 The French Revolution
3.5 France as a Republic (1795 - 1799)
3.6 Napolean Bonaparte
3.7 Points to Remember

Chapter 4





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