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Napoleon: Hero of the French Revolution

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A hero is someone who has a vision for a better future, acts on their visions, and has the perseverance to get through obstacles. Throughout history there have been countless heroes: Charlemagne, Alexander the Great, and many others. In 18th century France, during the French Revolution, one of the greatest heroes in history emerged. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte, and he was a product of both the Enlightenment and French Revolution.. His beliefs were forged by the French Revolution and he upholded its key ideas: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). Napoleon was also firm in practicing Enlightenment ideas of giving all citizens basic rights and freedoms, as well as many others. Napoleon's vision and pursuance of creating a unified Europe, his courage to fight for the liberty and equality of people, and his perseverance to overcome obstacles posed by other nations classify him as one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Napoleon's vision was to spread the ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity throughout a world dominated by kings and unify Europe so there would forever be no more wars. "I wished to found a European system, a European Code of Laws, a European judiciary: there would be but one people in Europe," were Napoleon's words, emulating the idea of a united Europe almost 200 years before the European Union was formed. He also pursued the peace of Europe and stated, "Europe thus divided into nationalities freely formed and free internally, peace between States would have become easier: the United States of Europe would become a possibility." Napoleon knew that one large entity with subdivisions would be far more peaceful than multitudes of separate entities which would constantly have conflict between them due to their differences. Through this vision, Napoleon was a clear representation of an Enlightened Despot, a product of the French Revolution, and most of all a hero.

Napoleon not only had a vision, but acted upon his vision of peace and equality. He pursued the equality of the citizens of Europe and thus created a single set of laws, a single set of rights for all citizens of his French empire (which he wished to expand through Europe's entirety) in the Civil Code of 1804. Through this he sought to make all laws uniform and give men their rights such as equality, the right to own property, and freedom of speech. Being an enlightened despot and product of the French Revolution, he also instituted tax systems that were fair to all classes and prevented allowanced based on rank or wealth in his Civil Code of 1804. Also, being knowledgeable of the importance of education, he created the baccalaureate exam, an examination which one takes to qualify for university, and the University of France. Napoleon's heroic reforms for the equality of all citizens give him the characteristic of being a true hero.

Through Napoleon's



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