How would you evaluate Napoleon as an administrator who created a more rational and efficient system? Elucidate with suitable examples.


Answer by Student

Napoleon was a remarkable administrator who created a more rational and efficient system in the following ways:

  • He introduced the Civil Code of 1804 , also known as the Napoleonic Code , which simplified and unified the laws of France and abolished feudal privileges and serfdom. The code was based on the principles of the French Revolution, such as liberty, equality, fraternity, and secularism.

  • He reformed the administration by dividing France into departments and appointing prefects to oversee them. He also established a centralized bureaucracy and a uniform system of taxation . The departments were based on geographical boundaries rather than historical or feudal divisions.  The prefects were responsible for maintaining law and order, collecting taxes, supervising public works, and enforcing conscription. They were directly appointed by Napoleon and loyal to him.

  • He promoted the principles of meritocracy and equality before law by opening up careers in the army, civil service, and education to all citizens regardless of birth or wealth Napoleon believed that talent and ability should be rewarded rather than birth or wealth. He created a system of ranks, medals, honors, and pensions for his soldiers and officials.

  • He fostered the development of education, science, and culture by establishing the University of France , the Institute of France , and the National Library . He also patronized many artists, writers, and scientists. For example, The University of France was a centralized organization that controlled all levels of education in France. It set the curriculum, standards, examinations, degrees, and salaries for teachers and professors.

  • He improved the infrastructure and communication by building roads, bridges, canals, and ports. He also introduced the metric system of weights and measures and the decimal system of currency. The decimal system was stable, uniform, and easy to use. It replaced the old system that used livres, sous, and deniers.

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Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.