In what ways did the career and policies of Napoleon fulfill, destroy, and /or move beyond the ideas of the French Revolution? 

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For Napoleon, the ideals of the French Revolution were simply a means to an end, and that end was his own personal power. The Corsican general had no hesitation in using revolutionary rhetoric to convince others that he was sincere in continuing with the traditions of 1789. In reality, however,...

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For Napoleon, the ideals of the French Revolution were simply a means to an end, and that end was his own personal power. The Corsican general had no hesitation in using revolutionary rhetoric to convince others that he was sincere in continuing with the traditions of 1789. In reality, however, Napoleon proceeded to establish a dictatorship which had all the trappings of ancien regime monarchy and under which "liberté, égalité, fraternité" were notable for their absence.

After Napoleon crowned himself—literally—in 1804, many felt that he had betrayed the principles of the Revolution, especially its republicanism. Once safely ensconced on the throne, Napoleon set about establishing his own court, creating numerous titles of nobility. Despite obvious parallels with the ancien regime, Napoleon's new aristocratic elite was based on service and loyalty to the new Emperor—not, as in former days, on noble blood and ancient lineage.

Throughout Napoleon's reign, he built upon a number of important political legacies bequeathed to him by the Revolution. One example would be the centralization of the French state. This allowed Napoleon to concentrate greater power in his own hands and diminish the possibility of some kind of regional revolt against his regime, such as had happened during the Revolution in the Vendée.

More importantly, Napoleon used the principle of exporting the Revolution as a means to acquire more territory and glory for France. In its early stages, the French Revolution was seen as a great liberating movement dedicated to freeing the oppressed masses of Europe from cruel, repressive tyrants. Yet, in due course, as the French revolutionary forces invaded neighboring countries, they quickly turned into repressive occupiers, depriving the indigenous populations of the very same universal rights for which they themselves had fought.

As Napoleon gobbled up more and more territory, he made no pretense that he was motivated by revolutionary principles. However, he still paid lip-service to these principles by removing monarchs and dissolving the Holy Roman Empire, which had stood for over 1,000 years. But this was less due to any desire for inherent republicanism on Napoleon's part than a desire to make sure that politically reliable people were in charge of lands conquered by his rampaging armies.

In general terms, it is possible to suggest that Napoleon combined certain elements of both the ancien regime and the French Revoltion to create a completely new synthesis, one that was neither wholly one thing or the other.

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Napoleon came to power by overthrowing the so-called "Directory," a revolutionary government beset by inflation and corruption and opposed by Frenchmen from the right and the left. Napoleon was a highly successful revolutionary general, and very popular in France. Some historians view his coup as the end of the Revolution, because it led to his dictatorship and ultimately to his reign as Emperor. But some also argue that through his actions, Napoleon fulfilled and even extended the French Revolution. This answer would explain both positions.

Napoleon's rise to power reversed whatever democratic trends were left as a legacy of the first five years of the French Revolution (though it should be noted that many of his actions were approved by a plebiscite of French voters.) He also abolished or restricted many liberal reforms, including freedom of the press, which had emerged during the Revolution, and he reestablished the Catholic Church, reversing what many revolutionaries considered their most important achievement. The Code Napoleon, instituted after his rise to power, also curtailed the rights of women, who had made significant gains during the Revolution. Most obviously, his assumption of the title Emperor marked a return to a monarchical form of government, if not the reactionary Bourbons that ruled before the Revolution.

At the same time, Napoleon personally believed in many of the reforms that the Revolution had established in French society. His Code Napoleon was an effort to reform the complex system of unequal laws that had survived the Revolution. He did not allow the legal privileges to the nobility that had characterized France under the old regime, and in fact he did much to allow Frenchmen to rise to positions of power and leadership through merit rather than birth (as he himself had done). Even though, as mentioned above, he allowed for the establishment of the Catholic Church, he also extended religious freedom to the nation's Protestants and Jews. Also, Napoleon's armies carried many of the Revolutionary ideas with them as they ranged across Europe, and if Napoleon did not establish republican government everywhere he went, the presence of French troops helped to destabilize the old order, especially in the German states. 

Maybe the simplest way to put it is this: Napoleon allowed and even extended the French Revolutionary achievements that allowed him to promote a powerful state, and eliminated those which, in his assessment, stood in the way of this process. 

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