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Napoleon’s rich global legacy, from the Civil Code to creative arts – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-05-04 08:37:10 –

Napoleon Bonaparte died two centuries ago in St. Helena on May 5, 1821, and has had a tremendous amount of influence on the legal system around the world, from civil law to stimulating influence on writers and visual artists. I left a legacy.

rear Napoleon Remotely imprisoned and died British South Atlantic outpost St. Helena, worshiped in the early 19th century French The writer and diplomat François Rene de Chateaubrian predicted the enormous legacy of the former emperor. “When he was alive, he put his mark on the world. He died, so he owns it.”

Two centuries later, traces of Napoleon remain in various institutions, ideas and monuments. A very influential civil code system he established in 1804. Medal of Honor in France; the famous Baccalauréat test system. Lise, or High School; State Council to advise the French government. And a range of more mundane problems, such as the French garbage collection system.

The list of monuments in Paris is endless. The Arc de Triomphe Napoleon, commissioned in 1806, is the most impressive. Others include Rue de Rivoli, a magnificent road through central Paris, and the Durku Canal, a waterway east of the city’s working class.

France24 looks back on some of Napoleon’s lasting achievements.

Civil law “lives forever”

The spread of civil law throughout Europe was a major legacy of Napoleon’s profession. Bonaparte was particularly proud to promulgate this clear and accessible codified legal system. “My true glory is not winning 40 battles. [the final defeat at] Waterloo erases most of them, but nothing erases my civil law. It will live forever. “

Bonaparte imposed the code by conquering Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and now Belgium. Many of these areas already have civil code, but they were often abstract and sometimes archaic. Mix Roman law and feudal principles.

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French historian David Chanteran said, “Napoleon’s enforcement of civil law in various local languages ​​has given everyone access to the rules governing them. In the journal Le Souvenir Napoleonien Editor-in-chief.

But Napoleon’s Civil Code was not only spread by force. Bonaparte’s legacy was also to conquer the mind and mind. In the 19th century, Poland and Romania used civil law as the basis of their legal system to celebrate the ideals of Napoleon and the revolutionary French liberal Enlightenment.

“It was Napoleon’s influence in Poland, and even today his name is sung in their national anthem,” Chanteran pointed out.

“To date, traces of Napoleon’s Civil Code can even be found in so many countries, including European countries, Japan, South Korea, and Chile, so it’s even a universal code,” said Thierry Lenz. .. Historian and director of the Napoleon Foundation.

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“Beyond the Civil Code, the entire French model of the administrative state was exported during Napoleon’s life,” Lenz continued. “It was another way of imagining a nation, but at that time there was no administration or bureaucracy in Europe operating under feudalism.”

The promotion of Napoleon’s equality and social mobility has affected thousands of miles away. Simon Bolivar, a young Venezuelan who decided to free his country from the Spanish Empire, was impressed by Bonaparte and the Enlightenment he advocated.

Bolivar’s visits to Paris in 1802 and 1804 inspired this sense of inspiration. When Napoleon turned on his former allies in 1808 and began a victorious battle for independence in Latin America, he was urged to take advantage of Spain’s weaknesses.

In this sense, the ideas Napoleon disseminated made a far greater difference than any of the concrete achievements of his First Empire.

But Napoleon also influenced some of the bloodiest tyrants of the 20th century. “Mussolini, Hitler, Franco and Stalin all somehow claimed Napoleon’s mantle,” Chanteran observed.

Fidel Castro, a former Communist dictator in Cuba, was a big fan of Napoleon in particular. When he first visited France in 1995, he visited the tomb of Bonaparte in Invalides and created what Chatteran called Havana the “best Napoleonico museum” in the world.

Other 20th-century dictators preferred other leaders and generals, and Lenz pointed out: “Hitler was not a French fan and Bismarck continued to insist that he was better than Napoleon. Mussolini praised Emperor Augustus and others the most.”

“Poet” The most fruitful muse

Napoleon also left a great legacy in creative art. Architecture, painting, sculpture and decorative arts prospered as an incarnation of the grandeur of his First Empire, as represented by Pomp and Circumstance. In particular, Bonaparte “encouraged” Egyptian style in visual arts after the 1798-1801 campaign, Chateran said.

Bonaparte has become “the most prolific muse of poets,” writes the 19th-century French poet Pierre Antoine Lebrunn.

For generations, writers have been attracted to Bonaparte as romantic and arrogant heroes. Most notably, Leo Tolstoy’s war and peace revolved around the tragic invasion of Russia in 1812, while other Russian literary giants such as Pushkin, Lermontov and Dostoevsky were inspired by Napoleon-Crime and Punishment. And as shown in the latter portrayal of the crazy young anti-hero Raskolnikov in punishment, he considers himself a Napoleon figure.

Whether praised or cursed, Bonaparte was the main reference point for Italian, German and Polish writers from Sir Byron to Thomas Hardy, Anthony Burgess and in the same way.

A similar Napoleon-inspired corpus can be seen in cinemas, Chanteran said: “More than 1,000 films have been made around the world about Napoleon-made about the second coming Jesus. More than that. “

Napoleon’s life continues to be fascinating because it’s a story of “a self-made man with a tragic fate,” Chanteran said. But in addition to his soaring performance, it is also important to note the dark side of Bonaparte’s hegemony over France and Europe. He resumed slavery in 1802 and subordinated women to patriarchy under the Civil Code. “These were very unfortunate decisions,” Lenz said. “But at that time, slavery and female obedience were widespread, so Napoleon wasn’t really innovative on these issues.”

This article has been translated from the original French text.

First published on France24

Napoleon’s rich global legacy, from the Civil Code to creative arts Source link Napoleon’s rich global legacy, from the Civil Code to creative arts

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