History Answer Writing Practice - Week 8 - Question 1
90 Days History Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 22-Jan-2018
Instructions for Writing Answer1. Write your answers in the comment section.
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3. Model Answers will be uploaded to this page next day.
4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.
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22-Jan-2018 - Question 1
My true glory is not to have won 40 battles ... Waterloo will erase the memory of so many victories, ... But ... what will live forever, is my Civil Code . Discuss. ( 10 marks, 150 words )
Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of the battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815 after his defeat by a Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo. He was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena.
During the time of Napoleon, many different (and often contradictory) legal systems existed throughout France stemming from the feudal days. In fact, the French philosopher Voltaire stated that a man travelling across France changes laws as often as he changed horses. Napoleon saw this as a big problem and became determined to unify France under one single set of clearly written laws in a clear and logical format for which he brought out Code Napoleon in 1804.
The Napoleon Civil Code gave post-revolutionary France its first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights. The Code included rights such as the freedom of speech, public trials, freedom of worship, and freedom to select one s own occupation. The Code also forbade privileges based on birth and specified that government jobs go to only the most qualified. Though the Code also contained the elements of the Roman law of ancient France as it respected the old tradition of family discipline, private ownership of property envisaged in Roman law.
Napoleon often remembered for his military feats, held the creation of the Napoleonic Code as his greatest accomplishment. In fact, Napoleon remarked near the end of his death: "My real glory is not the 40 battles I won for my defeat at Waterloo will destroy the memory of those victories. . .. What nothing will destroy, what will live forever, is my Civil Code."
The influence of that Civil Code can be seen in the fact that most of the territories occupied by him, have adopted it, even after his defeat at Waterloo. This code in a way accelerated the process of ending the feudalism in Western and Central Europe and that laid the foundation for a modern nation-state. The Code was adopted throughout much of Europe and remained in force after Napoleon s defeat.
The Napoleonic Code has served as the model for more than twenty civil code countries (as opposed to common law countries) such as Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Latin America and others.
Today, the Napoleonic Code continues to influence the lives of ordinary people in nearly all parts of the world. Napoleon was right. His legacy did not turn out to be any particular military victory, but rather his vision to create a clear and logical single set of laws that fairly applied to everyone.