In turmoil and in ruins France was a devastating political battlefield. The French Revolution decimated its political system with its reign of terror and beheading the king. With changing leadership so frequently and with the struggles of the National Assembly, it was difficult for France to retain its formal reputation and status. Until Napoleon Bonaparte entered the field. Unlike past leaders, he was a man of the people. He fought for the enlightenment values of the revolution while maintaining the stability of the kingdom. He was truly France’s hero.
Napoleon Bonaparte came to power through his intellect and resourcefulness on the battlefield. During the Revolution, he soared through the ranks of the military. As a general, he was successful in Austria against larger enemies which simultaneously fueled his ego and boosted his reputation back in France. He was chosen to lead an effort to invade Britain. But being a wise general he instead cut off their trade routes to India by invading Egypt. While in Egypt he was both unsuccessful and successful. In Naval battles, he did poorly while on land where the French expelled he did magnificently. Nevertheless, he still stood as an icon for France and weakened their enemies. His heroism was demonstrated by him protecting France and weakening their enemies.
In November of 1799 was part of a group that would ultimately overthrow France’s current government. At that time they had a directory led by five people. Then they overthrew it and replaced it with a consul where Napoleon was the first consul. Despite earlier conflicts with the British. In 1802 he and the British signed the Treaty of Amiens which sealed their peace. Then with his newfound political power, he sought to stabilize France after the revolution. He reformed the nation and supported the arts as well as scientific breakthroughs. One of his more significant breakthroughs was the creation of the Napoleonic code. Even to this day, it is still the basis of French Civil Law. He proved himself not only a hero with the sword but a hero with the pen as well. He tamed the wild beast that was France.
On a personal level, he was a symbol of triumph for the average middle class of France. Born to a minor noble on an island on the coast of Italy, he was not expected to have the impact of his proportion. Growing up not so rich he proved that anyone could climb the social pyramid to the top and make their mark on it. He soared through the ranks of the military and seized every opportunity life offered him. While in power he could relate to his people as a commoner and a people’s man. They saw him as something different as he never dressed as a king nor acted like one. This made him stand out which made him gain support from the people who after the Revolution were sick of the monarchy. However, when he did crown himself emperor, his support dropped which was a reason for his demise. Pride always came before the fall is not any less true with Napoleon. But before this, he was a hero as he was a man of his people and wanted what they wanted and supported.
Napoleon was a magnificent man and a better symbol for France. He led them from a place of political ruin and embarrassment to the glory of an Imperialistic conqueror nation which should be feared. With both success on the battlefield and the political arena he was a hero to all of France and left a lasting impact with the Napoleonic Code and his rules of law. Like many before him, he was a magnificent hero of history.