How true is the view that Napoleon's domestic policy was a blend of despotism and the principles of the revolution?  

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would argue that this view is quite true.

It is indisputable that Napoleon's policies were in part despotic.  This was a man who shut down French newspapers if they disagreed with him and allowed the government to open people's mail to see if they were plotting.  In that sense, he was quite despotic.

On the other hand, Napoleon's policies were in some ways true to the ideals of the Revolution.  For example, Napoleon created a new bureaucracy to run France's government under his own leadership.  This bureaucracy was not made up of aristocrats but was, instead, made up mostly of people from the old "Third Estate."

Napoleon's policies were often in keeping with the ideals of the Revolution, but he was despotic in his approach to keeping power to himself.

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