FRENCH REVOLUTION

Chronology of Important Events

Date Event
8th August 1787 Decision was taken to summon Estates-General
27th December 1787 Number of representatives of third Estate were doubled
5th May 1789 Beginning of the session of Estates-General at Versailles
17th June 1789 The Third Estate proclaimed itself as National Assembly
27th June 1789 The king ordered the representatives of Nobles and the Clergy to join with Third Estate
14th July 1789 Fall of Bastille
20th July 1789 Beginning of Great Fear
5-11th August 1789 End of Feudal order in France by National Assembly
26th August 1789 Adoption of Deceleration on Fundamental rights by National Assembly
10th October 1789 Louis XVI was proclaimed as the king of French People
29th October 1789 Order was issued which clarified the rights of the Active and Passive citizens
2nd November 1789 The property of Church was nationalized
27th August 1791 Pilnitz declaration of the king of Prussia and Austria
14th September 1791 Louis XVI accepted the new Constitution
28th September 1791 The Slavery was abolished in France
1st October 1791 Ist session of Legislative Assembly began
9th February 1792 The property of émigrés was seized
21st January 1793 The King Louis XVI was executed
3rd May to 2nd June 1793 Fall of Girondists
24th June 1793 The Constitution of 1793 was accepted
28th July 1794 Robespierre was executed
9-10th November 1799 The rule of Directory was overthrown by Napoleon and his associates

 

Developments during 1789 to 1799

National Assembly

  1. Members of the National Assembly achieved phenomenal success in very short span of time. The relics of feudalism and serfdom were destroyed. Considering the conditions under which they labored, they accomplished a great deal.
  2. The National Assembly abolished all class distinctions and the principle of equality was declared as basis of state and society. Rights of hunting. Corvees and other customary services were abolished. Tithe was also abolished. The guilds and other close corporations were eliminated and combinations of workmen were prohibited. The offices ceased to be purchasable and were thrown open to all.

Constituent Assembly

  1. After destroying the old Feudal order of France, the National Assembly undertook the task of framing new constitution for France and declared itself as the Constituent Assembly
  2. The constituent assembly drafted the constitution for the first time in 1791. It was the first written constitution in the history of France. The supreme power of the state was vested in the public
  3. The structure of the French Government remained monarchic but the rights of the king were curbed. The king was vested with suspensive veto. The king lost his power of legislation but he could stop the implementation of any law passed by the legislature
  1. Declaration of the Rights

This document ranks with the English Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States as pre eminent expression of the spirit of democracy. It contained following declarations –

  1. The assembly declared that Man is in invested with some natural rights which he acquires by birth such as the right of individual security
  2. Right to private property was declared as a fundamental right. Private property was declared inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except in case of public necessity
  3. Law is the expression of common will and originates from the combined efforts of people
  4. Every individual has the right to participate in running the administration and making laws
  5. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to forms prescribed by law
  6. The security of public rights is the duty of the state
  7. Sovereignty was invested in the nation instead of State of Parliament
  8. All people have the right to acquire government ranks according to their merits
  9. Every citizen was given the right to practice and propagate any religion within the prescribed limits of law
  10. Freedom lies in those activities which do not harm others
  11. The constitution of 1791 framed by the Constituent Assembly provided for separation of powers similar to that in the Constitution of the United States. The legislative authority was vested in one chamber (Legislative Assembly) elected indirectly by citizens who paid taxes. The constitution provided for a hereditary king, who had a suspensive veto. Otherwise, he had little authority
  12. Religious toleration was proclaimed. The clergy was brought under the state and they were asked to take oath of allegiance to the new constitution. The constitution reflected the ideas of Rousseau, Montesquieu and Voltaire
  13. The Constituent Assembly effected immense destruction. No other body of legislators ever demolished so much in such a brief period. The works of the constituent Assembly were foreshadowed by the mass of well-considered complaints in the cahiers. It was achieved not only by the decrees of the Assembly, but by the forceful expression of the popular and national will

 

Legislative Assembly

  1. After completing its work of drafting new constitution the Constituent Assembly declared itself dissolved and election were held to elect a new Legislative assembly on the basis of new constitution. The first session of the Legislative Assembly began on October 1, 1791
  2. With the formation of new government, people expected that it would initiate a new epoch and open the doors of happiness and prosperity by strengthening the monarchy in the new setup
  3. But the period of one year in the life of the Assembly was eventful and stormy and it could not complete its tenure of two years. It witnessed the decline of monarchy and the Revolution took a dangerous turn towards bloodshed

National Convention

  1. The National Convention was elected to draft a new constitution for France after the suspension of the king by the Legislative Assembly. The elected National Convention started its sessions on 21 September 1792
  2. The Convention consisted of 782 members, who had been elected on the basis of universal male franchise. There was a majority of experienced members in the Convention who belonged to the old Assembly
  3. The members of the Convention differed on ideological basis. Girondists were stern supporters of a democratic Republic. Brissot, Condorcet and Thomas Penn were prominent Girondist leaders. The members of the Girondist party used to sit on the left side in the convention hall
  4. The Jacobin leaders were extremists, principled but practical. As Jacobins occupied peak positions, they were called Mountainists. Robespierre, Danton, Mauran, Corneu, Camille were prominent Jacobins. The Jacobins used to sit on the right side in the convention hall
  5. The members who used to sit on the central benches did not have their own specific principles or policies and learned sometimes towards the leftists and sometimes towards the rightists. They were in great majority.

 

Political and Administrative Measures of National Convention

  1. The National Convention introduced various reforms in France to consolidate and strengthen the ideals of Revolution
  2. The Convention abandoned the draft constitutions of the Girondins and the Jacobins and enacted a new constitution. It began with a declaration of duties as well as of rights. The frames of the constitution ignored the practical value of executive leadership resting on legislative support. The administration of the country at large under this constitution was a compromise between the centralization of the old regime and the decentralization of the constitutional monarchy. The new constitution proclaimed France a Republican state
  3. The work of codification of the national laws of the country was taken in hand and much headway was made in that direction
  4. It was provided that there was to be no imprisonment for debt, and no Negro slavery in the French Colonies
  5. The prices of grain and other necessities of life were fixed. The Convention also fixed the rates of wages
  6. An achievement of the Convention was the establishment of the Normal School, the Polytechnic School, the Museum of the Louver, the National and the Institute de France. Some of these institutions were world renowned
  7. A new and uniform system of weights and measures called the metric system was introduced in the country

 

Social Measures of National Convention

  1. Women were given right to property. All children were to have equal share in the property of their father
  2. The convention launched experiments on the socialist lines. The property of the émigrés was confiscated. Persons of wealth, clergymen and nobles were all treated as suspects. The suspected persons were compelled to subscribe to a compulsory loan in proportion to their taxable wealth
  3. Large landed estates of the émigrés were broken up and offered for sale in small parts on easy installment terms to the ordinary people. Thus a large number of peasant-proprietors were created. No compensation was to be given to those who were deprived of their lands
  4. All distinctions of high and low born were eliminated. No one was to be addressed as Monsieur rather everyone was to be addressed as Citizen. The use of silk stockings and Knee breaches – a privilege of the aristocracy was forbidden and everyone was to put on long trousers
  5. The Convention also introduced a new republican calendar according to which the year was divided into twelve months named after the appropriate weather or crops. Each month was to be of three weeks and the weeks were of ten days each. Every tenth day was declared a holiday. The five or six days left over at the end of the year were to be observed as national holidays. The new calendar was to date from September 23, 1792 – being the date of the proclamation of the Republic

 

Religious Measures of National Convention

  1. The Convention exhibited unmitigated hostility towards the traditional form of Christianity and made efforts to de-Christianise France. Churches were transformed into temples of Reason
  2. Under the auspices of the Paris Commune the atheistic religion of Reason was inaugurated in the Cathedral of Notre Dame (Virgin Mary) at Paris in July 1794. The deistic cult (a cult which believes in the existence of God, but not in a revealed religion) of the Supreme Being was also introduced
  3. However, after the fall of Robespierre in July 1794, the Convention retraced its steps and took up the attitude that religion was a private affair and it was no business of the state either to establish or to maintain an official religion, with the result that religious toleration was given to all and many Church buildings were restored for Christian worship in 1795

The Directory (1795-1799)

  1. The National Convention drafted the new constitution on 26 October 1795. According to this new constitution the executive power was entrusted to a board of five directors called Directory.
  2. The internal and the external policies of Directory were complete failure. The rule of Directory was fraught with anarchism and severe upheavals. The Directory failed to satisfy the aspirations of French public. Its internal policy was weak and unpopular. The foreign policy of the executives turned injudicious. Because of aggressive activities, not only Italian achievements faded away but a new group emerged against France. In addition to Austria and England, Russia had forsaken its solitary policy and joined this group. This group drove France out of Rhine. The peril of foreign invasion gripped France. Under the burden of adverse and anarchic circumstances, the French had lost their patience.
  3. On 10th November 1799 Napoleon along with one of Director Seyes overthrew the rule of Directory in a “Coup d’etat” without any blood-shed. Thus the four year long reign of Directory which was fraught with corruption and immorality came to an inglorious end.

Consulate Rule (1799-1804)

  1. After the overthrow of rule of Directory the administrative authority was assigned to three counsels and Napoleon became the Chief Consul
  2. Napoleon strengthened the executive of which he was the head at the cost of the legislature. The semblance of legislature was kept as a sop to revolutionary tradition. The first Consul was the highest executive head controlling the army, police, civil servants and the provincial officials. Even the law courts were under his control. Liberty in the true sense of the term vanished in the Napoleonic state
  3. The state which Napoleon founded was an autocracy bases on plebiscite. Despotic power and centralization were two essential characteristics of the Napoleonic state. The corner stone of the administrative edifice was the First Consul who virtually controlled the legislature through his nominated legislative organs i.e. the Council of state and the Senate
  4. The Consulate was beset with many dire problems which needed immediate attention. Therefore, the Consulate, first of all, fixed five objectives of its policy. These were –
  5. To establish proper order in various sections of the government
  6. To restore peace in the country
  7. To settle respectable pacts with European countries
  8. To prepare new codes of law
  9. To draft a constitution. Napoleon made unremitting efforts to achieve these goals

 

 

Napoleon as an Emperor (1804-1814)

  1. After assuming the office of the First Consul, Napoleon started dreaming of establishing his own sovereignty. In 1802, The Senate elected him consul for life. Napoleon’s assumption of the office of lifelong consul was a rehearsal for ascending the throne as an Emperor. In 1804, the senate declared him a hereditary Emperor of France
  2. On 2nd December, 1804, Napoleon was duly coroneted as the Emperor of France. The Public accepted Napoleon’s absolute reign because it was fed up with the anarchy and chaos that followed the Revolution and was fully confident that only Napoleon could protect them from internal and external dangers

 

THE CONTINENTAL SYSTEM

  1. Continental System is the term commonly applied to economic warfare waged by Napoleonic France on England during 1805-1812. The origin of the Continental System lay in the contemporary political and economic conditions of Europe. England was a rival and an obstinate enemy of France
  2. The Continental System was not entirely a brain child of Napoleon Bonaparte. It had its roots in the eighteenth century economic doctrine of mercantilism which made a tariff war a normal thing among nations. Napoleon’s Continental System was a very drastic form of mercantilism waged on war footing.
  3. The Directory had foreshadowed the Continental System by closing French ports to British goods. But Napoleon reduced these sporadic boycotts into a system and made a blanket imposition of it over the Continent
  4. By the year 1806 Napoleon found that he had become master of continental Europe by humbling Austria, Prussia and Russia but his most obstinate enemy was England. England was still unmolested due to her insular security. England tried to organize series of European coalitions against France. Due to her insularity on land England was the mistress of seas. If Napoleon could boast of his epic victories of Marengo, Austerlitz and Jena, England could point to her laurels won at Nile, Trafalgar and Copenhagen
  5. After signing the Treat of Tilsit, the only remaining enemy of France was England and the supremacy over Europe could not be established without defeating England. It is a well known fact that England is surrounded by sea and possessed an invincible fleet. Therefore, it was not easy for the French fleet and troops to defeat England
  6. To overcome this challenge Napoleon devised Continental system. He was well aware that strength of England rested on the continental trade and commerce and she could be compelled to capitulate only if her trade and commerce were destroyed. With the aim of undoing the economic system of England, Napoleon implemented a scheme known as the Continental System. Napoleon compelled the European through which Napoleon intended to ruin the prosperity of England and compel her to sign a humiliating treaty
  7. On 21st November 1806 Napoleon issued his famous Berlin Decree. This decree stated that England had disregarded all ideas of justice and every high sentiment of civilization. Therefore British Isles was under blockade, all commerce with England and her colonies was prohibited. No British ship would be allowed to touch any continental port belonging to France and her Allies and also those belonging to neutral powers. All letters or packages addressed to England, all English goods on the Continent would be confiscated. Thus through Berlin Decree Napoleon barricaded the British Isles and banned European trade with England and all her colonies. All the ports of Europe were put under an embargo for British ships. They were ordered to seize the trespassing ships with cargo. After that, Napoleon issued Warsaw ordinance on 25 January 1807 and banned British trade on the sea coasts of Prussia and Hanover.
  8. In response to the above two steps of France, England issued ordinances called Orders in Council in January 1807 which enjoined that England and her allies will boycott trade with France and her allies. At first, the British Government had to face great difficulties in implementing the Orders in Council, neutral states like Denmark and U.S.A. asserted their right of free trade. England bombarded the Danish navy. She had to wage a war with U.S.A. in 1812 for the same reason. By the large, England could implement her blockage due to her unquestioned supremacy on sea which gradually began to tell upon Napoleon’s fortune. Holland Rose writes that Napoleon’s embargo was merely a threat, but England effectively stopped the imports of colonial goods to France in response to these threats.
  9. In reply to the British proclamation, Napoleon issued an order on 17 December 1807, from Milan according to which any ship of any country coming to the British ports, should be seized and its cargo confiscated. Napoleon again retaliated by issuing a series of decrees. By the Milan Decree in December 1807, it was declared that England was under complete blockade. By Fontainebleau Decree of 1807 public burning of captured British goods was ordered by Napoleon
  10. It was physically impossible for Napoleon to extend the Continental System over Europe. His blockage of British Isles was a paper blockage because he had no navy to enforce it. It was never possible for him to seal the whole European Continent to British goods or to prevent ships from touching British ports. The net result was that while English blockade became very effective, the French blockade was a fiasco
  11. Continental system entangled Napoleon into terrible battles. His policy proved detrimental to him as well as to Europe. The strong naval force of England barricaded European ports so strictly that the connection of Europe with its colonies got severed. Exports and imports in Europe came to a standstill. Owing to the continental system, the European businessmen had to face the ordeals of heavy slump in business and the people of Europe were thrown into misery. The security of essential commodities to common people became intolerable and smuggling increased
  12. The Continental System was a great blunder of Napoleon because this System involved Napoleon in a quarrel with the Pope and the Russian Czar also. It taxes his resources to the utmost and caused his exhaustion
  13. The Continental System, as a whole, caused immense hardship to the people of France and the French dependencies. The French middle class, who were the main beneficiaries of the Revolution and who were hitherto the most ardent supporters of Napoleonic regime were alienated. The prolonged economic depression which hit France due to Continental System taxed their loyalty to Napoleon. From this period they became indifferent to Napoleon’s fate. Even an abortive coup was hatched against Napoleon by Malet in 1812. It speaks of Napoleon’s growing unpopularity. In Germany and Holland the Continental System caused terrible distress to the people. It provoked national hatred against Napoleonic rule. The Continental System proved to be one of the important factors leading to Napoleon’s downfall.

 

THE REFORMS OF NAPOLEON

  1. Napoleon Bonaparte was by no means merely a military genius; he was a distinguished statesman as well. He found chaos and left order, inherited mutiny and created discipline for fifteen years. Before him France was in deep morass. The springs and levers that hold the society and the values that civilize it, were gone. Authority and reverence were laughed away and decency and traditions were held absurd. The survivals of the tyrannical past, the heritage of the reign of terror and Directory had left France in a state of prostration
  2. Napoleon was a Voltairean. He was not prepared to respect formal things unless they served some utility. He was quick to discern that cohesion was the secret of national strength and that it could only be achieved by reconciling old France with the New. Stability was his supreme motive behind reorganization. His task was to reconcile order with ideas of Revolution. something that obstructed his way was brushed aside
  3. Of the three basic ideas of the French Revolution—Liberty, equality and Fraternity, Napoleon adopted Equality and Fraternity and rejected Liberty. He declared “what the French people want is equality not liberty.” He wanted to compensate the people for their loss of liberty by his reforms. Most of the reforms were initiated under the Consulate and were perfected during the Empire.

 

Administrative Reforms

  1. After getting rid of wars, Napoleon paid attention to internal reforms. He believed that the administration of the nation should be well – organized in conformity with the ideals of Revolution
  2. In order to strengthen his position. Napoleon drafted a constitution which was the fourth constitution of the Revolution period. Under the provisions of the constitution, the senate invested three elected consuls with executive powers for a period of 10 years. All the powers of the state were handed over to the first consul Napoleon Bonaparte
  3. Napoleon divested the local institutions of their powers and held the reins of administration in his hand. He consolidated the central government and declared that “France needs equality rather than liberty. Napoleon took great pains in establishing a strong and well – organized rule in which people enjoyed security and passed their life in peace
  4. Napoleon retained the prime advantages of Revolution such as equality and the elimination of prerogatives. He made efforts to reorganize the administration by means of dedication, perseverance and honesty
  5. The administrative divisions of France made by the Constitution of 1791 were retained. But the extensive powers vested in the local elective bodies by the same constitution were now abolished. These powers were vested in the hands of local officers, prefects, sub prefects and mayors. They were appointed by the First Council and were responsible to him
  6. The principle of election was replaced by that of appointment. The local assemblies remained but they enjoyed nominal power. The police of the provinces were too controlled by the central government. The system of election of judges introduced in 1791 was abolished. Judges were appointed by the first Consul. Centralization of power that marked by the administrative as well as other reforms of Napoleon. They showed the guiding hand of victorious general rather than to a convinced revolutionary

 

Economic Reforms

  1. Napoleon was conscious of the value of financial reforms. He knew that bad management of finance had ruined the Bourbon monarchy and the directory. So he adopted very careful financial policy. He drove home to the people the truth that payment of taxes was a public duty. While he refrained from imposing any new tax on the people but the old taxes were carefully assessed and collected
  2. Rigid economy was introduced and corruption was uprooted. The duty of the collection of taxes was taken from the hands of the local assemblies and was vested in the hands of the central Government
  3. In 1800, Napoleon opened the Bank of France to establish govt. control over economy and the bank was invested with several financial rights. For the first time in France the bank developed the system of issuing currency. In addition to it, the system of granting loans to public was also introduced
  4. Farmers were given the ownership of the pieces of land which were seized from the Church and Feudal barons during the period of Revolution and distributed among them. When the war imposed on him extra financial burden the vanquished states were constrained by Napoleon to bear the expenses of the French army. This gave a great relief to the French public. It was only during the end of his reign he imposed some indirect taxes on the Frenchman to meet the extra burdens of war
  5. Napoleon took all necessary measures to rebuild the shattered industrial life of France by giving protection to native industry against foreign competition. The bank of France supplied loans to industrialists at a low rate of interest. He also constructed a network of roads for transport of goods and established stock exchange of France. This gave a great impetus to national industry and production
  6. He encouraged traders to make maximum use of new machines. Many exhibitions were organized in order to popularize the commodities and products manufactured by the French industries. Govt. encouraged those artisans who made goods of fine quality. In order to encourage indigenous products, the import of goods from England was restricted. From the subjugated countries, France imported raw materials at cheap rates and manufactured goods were exported to them at high rates to earn larger profits

 

Social reforms

The principal of social equality Napoleon secured equality of opportunity. Careers were thrown open to talent. Equality of right became basic principle of the social order under him. Promotion and admission in the army and civil service were based on merit not on birth. The Napoleonic law of inheritance also favoured equality

 

Educational reforms

  1. Napoleon was aware that state has a duty of fashioning the mind of the citizens by proper education and culture. Napoleon’s educational reforms were designed to regiment thought and prevent indiscipline. The spirit of centralization and authority permeated all his education schemes. On the foundation laid by Condorcet, a great reformer Napoleon reared his own system of education. Primary schools were maintained in every commune to teach a regimented course of French, Latin and elementary science subject to government control
  2. Napoleon redeemed education from the dominance of Church and put it under govt. control. He classified education into four categories: primary, secondary, technical and university. Primary and secondary schools were opened in every city. Prefects and vice-Prefects were assigned the task of supervising educational matter. Vocational schools were started to impart vocational education. Military schools were opened to impact military training
  3. In important towns Lycees or public schools based on a military pattern were established. Students in these public schools were required to read syllabus and prescribed text books for prescribed hours. They had to wear prescribed uniform. Students passing from the schools entered the University of Paris
  4. Paris University was restructured for higher education. Napoleon himself appointed prominent teachers and officials for Paris University. The university enforced uniformity in educational system. No one could open a school without the sanction of the university. The chief officials of the university were appointed by first Consul. Loyalty and devotion to head of the state and respect for the principles of Catholic Church were included in the curriculum of studies. Political and moral sciences were excluded from the syllabus because it was believed that it may lead to disorder.
  5. For the training of teachers, he opened normal schools. School teachers were recruited from the graduates who passed from the Normal schools established at Paris
  6. Napoleon offered scholarships to indigent and brilliant students. He established a separate institute for research work. Napoleon promoted literature art and science by starting research centres for different faculties. History was rewritten to glorify the state and religion. Only such history was included in the syllabus

Religious reforms

  1. If Napoleon’s educational reforms policed the mind, his religious reforms policed the soul. The civil constitution of the clergy passed in 1791 had divided the nation into faithful and heretic. The Church and priests were severely condemned during the Revolution. The Church’s property was seized and the Cathedrals were converted into logic—homes. All these steps made the majority of French Catholics dissatisfied. It had initiated a never ending reconciliation between the two for restoration of national unity. He was aware of the fact that the Catholic Church taught respect for authority. He said the people must have a religion.
  2. The Concordat 1801
  3. Napoleon was aware of the massive influence of Pope over the majority of people in the state. He was neutral in the matter of religion but he wanted to use religion as a tool for strengthening his political ends. Consequently, he settled a religious compromise with Pope in 1802. which was known as the Concordat
  4. The pope concurred to the confiscation of the church’s property and suppression of the monasteries by the state. The state was to nominate the Bishops and the Pope was to invest them. The priests were to be bishops with the consent of the government. The clergy were to receive their salary from the State
  5. The deported priests who had fled France were permitted to come back. Everyone was given religious freedom
  6. Catholicism became a recognized religion but it came under state supervision. By the Concordat the church lost its sprawling acres, tithe and the influence. Napoleonic bishop was an official niggardly paid by a jealous state. He had no civil power. It was enjoined upon the priests that they would take an oath of loyalty to the constitution
  7. It was a significant concord. Now the Church became a partner of the state instead of its antagonist. The French public became happy with Napoleon’s policy and his government won strong public support

 

The Judicial Reforms

  1. Napoleon’s most significant work of permanent nature was the compilation of civil laws. Prior to Revolution, France had many laws in force which had mutual contradictions and discrepancies. France was in a state of legal confusion due to conflicting laws without a single coherent system. One of most enduring achievements of Napoleon was the codification of the French law by the famous Code Napoleon
  2. The national convention started the work of codification and Napoleon took up the task in right earnest. With the help of a great body of legal experts working under his guidance Napoleon brought out the great code in 1804. It became the rock bed of French law. It contained three parts Civil Code, Criminal Code and Commercial Code. The simplicity and elegance of the code commended it not only to France but to the greater part of continental Europe
  3. Code Napoleon hammered out a synthesis between the liberal customary laws and natural laws propounded during the revolution and the Roman law of old France. On the one hand it preserved the valued fruits of the revolution like social equality, toleration, equality of inheritance, personal liberty etc. on the other hand it respected the old tradition of family discipline, private ownership of property envisaged in Roman law. Registered marriage and divorce were permitted by the code. Marriage was accepted as a holy and permanent bond and women were completely subordinated to their husbands. Arrangements were made that the jury should hear a case in open court. The principle of equality before law as propagated during the Revolution was accepted. The principle of private property was recognized. For ever farmers were redeemed from the apprehension of losing their land. Private property could be appropriated by the government only after the payment of suitable compensation.

Public works of Napoleon

  • Napoleon Bonaparte was a zealous benefactor of people. With the help of war prisoners, he built arteries of roads and highways in France. By 1811, he had built 299 broad military roads and two Alpine roads. The Alpine roads latter linked Paris with Italy across the Alps. Canals were dug, marshes were cleared and ports were enlarged, wide roads and gardens. The louver (museum) was completed and adorned with the spoils of his victory

Legion of honour

  • To climax his reforms Napoleon introduced an Order of Merit named the Legion of Honour. It was a personal distinction granted for service to the state to the meritorious people.