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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of the fame of Napoleon Bonaparte does not come from what he did as the supreme ruler (and later Emperor) of France.  Mostly, he is famous because he was a great military leader.

As a military man, he was well-known for being very physically brave -- he was not afraid to go into situations where he himself might be killed.  However, most of his fame comes from his strategic and tactical skills -- his ability to fight battles well.

As ruler, he is mainly remembered for trying to make France more efficient.  He tried to improve education and he instituted the Napoleonic Code of laws.

You can read some responses to a question about what Napoleon's greatest achievement was by clicking the PBS link below.

krishna-agrawala | Student

There is substantial disagreement on assessment of character and capabilities of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). However there is no doubt about his capabilities as a military genus and an able administrator. Also there are no doubts about his personal courage and boldness. The differences occur mainly whether he was driven in his endeavours by desire for good of his countrymen and of humanity, which qualifies him as a benevolent leader of people, or he was driven a desire for personal power, which qualifies him as a ruthless dictator.

I am personally an admirer of Napoleon Bonaparte and consider him a kind and wise ruler. This forum is not the right place to counter all the negative propaganda that was spread by Britain and other countries about him. I only recommend that people who want to hear the other side of story to read biography of Napoleon by J.S.C. Abbot.

juliusnapoleoniiii | Student

I completely agree with krishna. Napoleon emancipated the Jewish people out of ghettos, freed the Haitian slaves, freed the peasants of Europe, and overall rescued the world from the ever degenerating ancien regime. As Shakespeare would say, this was a man.

and not, as many would add, a dictator.