Briefly describe the domestic policy of Napoleon.

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Napoleon is of course remembered for his military exploits, but he also devoted considerable energy to domestic reforms during his his reign as First Consul and later Emperor. In fact, many of these reforms were aimed at re-creating revolutionary France as a modern nation-state capable of supporting his imperial ambitions. For example, he established a centralized banking system that included a national bank modeled after that of England. The notes issued by this bank held their value, helping to stave off inflation and creating a source of credit that could be used to finance Napoleon's wars. He also created schools known as lycées that were open to Frenchmen regardless of social class, an attempt to train educated and competent civil servants. He maintained many of the legal reforms of the Revolution in the famous Code Napoleon, especially the permanent abolition of the three social orders that characterized Bourbon France. He also sought to foster French nationalism, which was a major factor in his Concordat with the Catholic Church, disestablished by the French Revolutionaries. Along those same lines, he rolled back many of the gains made by women during the radical phase of the Revolution. He also established price controls over grain and other essential items, attempting again to curb inflation. Some of Napoleon's domestic reforms stuck, others did not, but most were aimed at strengthening the French state to fulfill his ambitions.

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