“Napoleon had destroyed democracy in France but in the administrative field he had incorporated revolutionary principles in order to make the whole system more rational and efficient” Analyse the statement with arguments.
Napoleon became the ruler of France on 2nd December,
1804. He established a monarchical political system. He was worried by the democratic forces unleashed by the revolution. But at the same time he did not want to ignore them entirely. So he introduced some reform in the administrative system. He tried to make the whole system more rational and efficient. To achieve this goal he took some important steps. These were
(i) He introduced civil code of 1804 which did away with all privileges based on birth. It established equality before the law and secured the right to property.
(ii) He simplified administrative divisions, abolished the feudal system and freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues.
(iii) Moreover, guild restrictions were removed, transport and communications systems were improved, standardised weights and measures and a common national currency were introduced.
By these new policies peasants, artisans, workers and new businessmen were benefitted and started to enjoy a new-found freedom.
Thus, it can be concluded that Napoleon had destroyed democracy in France but in administrative field he had incorporated revolutionary principles.