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Napoleon established a Legion of Honor in his regime which consisted of 6,300 members. They were appointed on grounds of merit. Napoleon was of the opinion that the mainstay of the republic should be in talented and meritorious people from various fields. Keeping this in view, he established the Legion of Honor. The persons who had served the nation or society were made its members.

Napoleon made several efforts to give back to the nobles and clergy the property which was forcibly seized from them during the period of the Revolution. He changed the conditions regarding land sanctioned by the church. This made numerous farmers jubilant. The peasantry looked upon Napoleon as their well-wisher. The local administrative units were placed completely under a central government.

Every department was placed under a Prefect and Arrondisement (the largest sub-division of a French department under a sub-prefect, and a Mayor governed the commune. All these officials were placed under the Central Government and they got these assignments directly from Napoleon. The police of the cities having a population of more than a lakh was also placed under the Central Government. The Elective councils looked after the collection of taxes.

Economic Reforms

Napoleon eradicated evils like black-marketing, speculation, profiteering etc. He punished the offenders very severely. In order to improve the financial condition of the country the Bank of France was established in 1800. It facilitated commerce and trade. Hayes praises this epoch-making venture in the following words: "It is one of the soundest financial institutions in the world." Napoleon improved the tax-structure of the country which made the finances of the government sound.


Reforms in Education

Napoleon perceived the importance of education in a democratic set-up. As soon as he came into power, he put in his best efforts for the spread of education. He based his educational policy on three principles: (i) Loyalty to the Crown, (ii) Faith in Christianity (iii) dutiful attitude towards the rules of the department of education and the universities.

Primary schools were established in every commune. They were placed under the supervision of the Prefects and sub-prefects. Many secondary or grammar schools were established. Latin and French were taught in these schools. These institutions were aided by public funds but were supervised by the Government. There were also institutions for higher education. They were known as Lycées. The government appointed the members of their teaching staff. There were special schools imparting specialized education to the students - crafts, military science, civil service, administration etc. They were known as Art Schools. A school established in Paris imparted education in pedagogy to the new teachers. A university was established in France in 1808. Its purpose was to maintain a universal standard in education. Public education and establishment of schools was inconceivable without its prior recognition. Napoleon himself appointed its high officials.

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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