Those interested in the French history are eager to know whether Napoleon preserved or perverted the gains of the Revolution. Well, Napoleon was in some regard responsible for spreading many of the ideals of the French Revolution across Europe. In spite of the fact he never openly supported revolutionary values his Empire as well as government was in many regards the living embodiment of those ideals. The three major areas that he had a considerable impact were secularism, individualism, and also nationalism. Before the French Revolution, class or social status played a greater role in French society as well as government than the individual.
The Revolution did away with it and openly stated that all people were equal in the eyes of the government. Napoleon enshrined these values with a new aristocracy built around on merit. Those who performed and made a decent contribution were accordingly rewarded. The new Dukes, Princes as well as Barons were men who honestly earned their titles, usually on the battlefield. A review of his Marshals would unveil that they descended from all walks of life, such as a barrel maker, a former sergeant, a cabin boy and a minor noble. Besides this, Napoleon managed to create the Legion of Honor in order to recognize those who deeds really merited it. The French Revolution dared to place the state above the Church. That revolutionary concept had no rivals at that time. Gradually the Revolution went far and banned organized religion.
Napoleon was geared towards healing the rift between the government and the Catholic Church, but only on the condition the Church would stay away from state affairs. As a result, the Church was deprived of its right to run schools, and to boast special taxes as well as privileges. Nevertheless, Napoleon re-opened the churches and was quite tolerant of all religions. Furthermore, Napoleon invited the Pope Pius VII to his coronation for the purpose of crowning him the new Emperor of France.
Napoleon's true feelings on his specific relationship with the Church were clearly demonstrated by his actions during the coronation. So, when the Pope went to place the crown on Napoleon's head, the latter took the crown out of the Pope's hands and did it on his own. Thus demonstrating that as he embodied the State, the Pope didn’t have the legitimate right to crown him for in the revolutionary new country. Everybody agreed that the state wasn’t subordinate to the Church any longer.
Those interested in the French history are eager to know whether Napoleon preserved or perverted the gains of the Revolution. Well, Napoleon was in some regard responsible for spreading many of the ideals of the French Revolution across Europe.