The Enlightenment Period And Napoleon's Rule

1230 words - 5 pages

The time of the Enlightenment was a time of great change, reform, and the emergence of great minds such as Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and even Copernicus. These men cleared the path to thinking in a new way and brought about the change necessary for the Scientific Revolution. The Enlightenment allowed people to think more critically and even was the time in which the “Experimental Method” was consolidated by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642, Buckler, J., Crowston, p.592 para. 6). It allowed people to begin to think “out of the box” if you will. Monarchies and the power of the king before this time ruled over the general population unthreatened and very rarely did opposition come to stand. Quite often if opposition did stand it was shortly met with a quick disbanding, or even the death of the “heretic” that created the uprising. Napoleon was a good example; he did not stand for freedom of speech and quite often worked to regulate public opinion. However, with the Enlightenment around the corner, it helped to pave the way and prepare the country of France for the French Revolution. Commoners, as well as the clergy, and nobility began to stand up more against monarchical rule, and voiced their opinions on controversial subjects. With the emergence of Napoleon Bonaparte the future of France seemed to be a dictatorship under his rule inevitably. The French Revolution was a time also of great change. The hopes of the people were moving from an absolutist monarchy to a hopeful constitutional rule by the peoples, with the help of the Estates General which had not been called upon since 1614 (Buckler, J., Crowston. P.689, para. 3). In July, of 1788 King Louis XVI listened to his people and called a spring sessions of the estates general to address the current problem of bankruptcy.
However, the most notable ruler of France and a most interesting militaristic mind was Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleons’ rise to emperor in France was indisputable mostly because of his overthrow of the Directory. His success’s as commander of the French army in Italy, only led to his aspiring status change to “Emperor” of France after overthrowing the Directory in November of 1799. His undying ambition for expansion of the empire he was creating however would be his undoing. Napoleons rule as emperor of France was quit spectacular actually and many admired and adored him as ruler. His ways were very appealing, and as a speaker he was very persuasive and admired by most of his people until his later years in his fall and demise. However, Napoleon did not seriously adhere to the ideals of the French Revolution, he did that of the Enlightenment but his undying ambition and character as “Emperor” undermined the true need of the French Revolution.
The ideals of the Enlightenment were pretty straightforward. They involved the change of speculation, to experimentation thanks to the help of Galileo (1564-1642, Buckler, J., Crowston, p.592 para. 6), the hope of...

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