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THE NAPOLEONIC EMPIRE Broers, Europe under Napoleon, 1799-1815












Napoleon's success as a myth-maker was limited, but in the light of his very public career, the real surprise is that his self-advertisement made any impact at all; his chief tactic was to emphasise the military exploits he achieved through his power; Napoleon himself chose to emphasise personal genius rather than rational calculation as the source of his success; to fail to recognise the link between Napoleon and genius is a gross error It is difficult to know if intellectuals hate Napoleon because of what he did, or because he hated them in his own times, while still being more intelligent; the clearest manifestation of this is a refusal to grant him his place as the last and the greatest of the enlightened absolutists, to proclaim emphatically that he deliberately distorted the intellectual culture of the enlightenment; his unwillingness to respond to the climate of opinion around him in the final phase of his rule was seen as out of character at the time - R. Holtman, Napoleonic Propaganda, (New York, 1950) Napoleon regarded himself, as did those around him, as a man of enlightenment Napoleon, Broers contests, worked well with his bureaucrats because they shared a common ideology, a particular perception of the Enlightenment Lefebvre interpreted the inner strength of the Napoleonic regime in terms of class: his genius, for Lefebvre, hinged on his ability to discern the central place of the bourgeoisie in society, and to base his rule on it - Broers believes this too narrow and too sweeping an evaluation of Napoleon's sources of support, based on an inaccurate representation of early-nineteenth century European society Yet there are benefits to Lefebvre's Marxist approach; namely that it sees Napoleon not merely as a military dictator, but the harbinger of change, the catalyst of the capitalist order of the nineteenth-century Tulard's Napoleon; approach determined to set the man in the context of his time; subtitled 'myth of the saviour' - critical approach to the subject, but also Francocentric nature of Tulard's study; image of Napoleon as the founder of a potent myth in French political culture (that only a strong, autocratic hand could save the French from themselves) is a dynamic, incisive theme at the heart of Tulard's book, but illuminates only French aspects of that legacy Form of hagiography (writing of the lives of saints) which is misleading when it turns attention to Napoleon's nonmilitary achievements; error lies in the assumption that his advancement of the values of Enlightenment was constructive, useful, or popular - cf. V. Cronin, Napoleon (which falls into this deception) Nature and application of many Napoleonic reforms reveal the innate tyranny of the regime, as much as the military conquests; common people of Europe hated Napoleon because he espoused Enlightenment, just as they had detested the enlightened absolutists who came before him Major problem besetting those trying to set Napoleon in a European rather than a Francocentric context: even when it is confronted, popular resistance to Napoleon has been subsumed into another great myth -the rise of nationalism; resistance to French imperialism was strongest in exactly those states where a sense of national identity was irrevocably tied up with the ideologies and institutions of the old order - Britain, Spain and Portugal - just as it strengthened it within France itself; only in the exceptional cases of Poland and Ireland did nationalist aspirations assist the French Popular risings against Napoleonic rule were born of hatred of enlightened reform, not of a growing belief in yet another failed, hate-filled idea conceived by nineteenth-century intellectuals Goethe, on his meeting with Napoleon in 1808, was impressed by him intellectually, and by his literary tastes; those tastes were of a man of the radical Enlightenment who, like Voltaire, despised the masses but opposed the supposed obscurantism of the old order Napoleon's military conquests may indeed have been driven by a mixture of blind ambition and paranoia, but an intensely ideological civilian administration followed in their wake -the essence of Napoleonic rule When considering Napoleon within a specifically French context, one might easily accuse him of destroying the political liberties of the French Revolution, of turning the clock back to absolute monarchy and patriarchal social values, of being, in short, a blatant elitist Napoleon's empire, however, is more difficult to judge, and condemn; there was significant regional and cultural diversity in the Napoleonic empire; but it is not the same to attack the ruler who abolished feudalism in Naples and Spain, as to castigate the general who virtually abolished divorce and put women back in the house 'Regionalism' however can, in some instances, engender a relativism that seeks to avoid that which must be confronted: the elitist, arrogant and oppressive nature not just of Napoleonic rule, but of the Enlightenment itself In the wake of postmodernism, there is a growing will to question the value of the so-called "Enlightenment project" There has been an inclination among certain commentators to concentrate on his shortcomings and wrongheadedness of particular policies, rather than to look for a wider perspective; another retreat has been to pursue those aspects of the historiography which have little to do with the ideology of the regime; Paul Schroeder's work focusses on the diplomatic history of the period, giving the overriding picture of unthinking, military conquest (Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848); similarly excellent economic and social studies are correct in as far as they go in their specialism Napoleon's genius, often portrayed as less subtle than reality, had far less to do with military conquest or intuitive intrigue, than with the creation of a state shaped according to his own ideas; but he did not do this alone; for Goethe,

Napoleon was a genius, and if a dark genius, then because he incarnated a dark age; his genius lay in seeing were the power was, and drawing it to himself Political Inheritance: France and Europe, 1789-1799

Napoleon was heir to a state with foundations for state apparatus more centralised, unchallenged and potentially powerful than that possessed by any other major European state

Yet he led a country divided between the small, largely urban, determined section of the propertied classes and the vast, if unorganised mass of counter-revolutionary opposition -a "seething if ultimately impotent countryside, besieging an archipelago of pro-revolutionary urban islands

Bitter divisions within the ranks of revolutionaries themselves; 1792-94 purges at the centre of government

He also inherited a major European war, which was in its seventh year when he took power in 1799


Headings of Napoleonic job-application forms reflected rather than defined the divisions within France (both among the pro-revolutionaries themselves, and the more menacing division between counter-revolutionaries and revolutionaries) Department had become the central unit of administration; nothing above it except central government, and in theory it controlled its own sub-divisions - the districts, cantons and communes; significant shift in revolutionary government ideology during the 1790s; those in authority began to regard those they governed less as fellow citizens than as "the ruled" - "the administered", as they came to term them; such an outlook of political elitism was probably more prevalent in 1799, when Napoleon came to power, than the more egalitarian ideals of 1789 Freedom of trade and profession one of the few original principles of 1789 not reneged or watered down; broke down the corporatism of the ançien regime, in ways crucial for the emergence of the new state, but also led to confusion in the workplace - skilled craftsmen, whose guilds had previously regulated their work, were worst affected; formal qualifications were no longer required to exercise any profession - chaos was not easy to redress The universities and colleges were broken by the nationalisation of the Church property; those who received any professional training got it from private colleges, set up by barristers or surgeons trained before 1789 - cf. on the legal profession, M.J. Fitzsimmons, The Parisian Order of Barristers and the French Revolution, (Cambridge, MA, 1987); on the crafts and unskilled trades, cf. M.D. Sibalis, 'Corporatism after Corporations: Restoring the Guilds Under Napoleon I and the Restoration', French Historical Studies, 15 (1988), pp.718-730; also Woloch, The New Regime Only profession quickly reacquiring its traditional ethos was the army; conscripts, usually peasants; officers not long in reasserting more traditional patterns of discipline and hierarchy Revolution gave Napoleon the foundations of a strong, uniform state, and the guiding principle that this was how a well-run, rational state should be organised (with egalitarian ideology receding after 1794); he gladly accepted it; it had proved crucial in the war against the counter-revolution, and, above all, against the greater threat posed by the international war Army gradually grew as a presence in national life from 1792, and during the crisis of 1799, when the war appeared to have taken a definitive turn in the favour of the Allies, it came to dominate it

Personal Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte

Until he entered politics at the very top in 1799, Napoleon's career had conformed to those of his peers, who shared his level of ability in the military sphere; his youthfulness was hardly remarkable, as were his modest origins, when one considers the impact of the Revolution

Napoleon was one of many able army officers, trained in the provincial military academies of the ançien regime, who won swift promotion through a combination of holes left by defecting royalist officers, the expansion of the army after 1792, and good political connections (Augustin and Barras for Napoleon)

His military career before 1799 had been distinguished rather than glorious, and though his position as head of the army in Italy was important, Italy constituted something of a second front in the Revolutionary wars; of the other leading generals, Hoche and Moreau were generally considered better soldiers, and Bernadotte more politically astute

His conquest of Italy in 1796-7 had been revealed as fragile and over-ambitious in itself

Divisions within the Directory in 1799 led to plans for a coup within the government, aimed at strengthening the executive at the expense of the legislative assemblies; it was planned from within, and Napoleon recruited to its ranks

Directorial regime was an intriguing blend of success and failure; the law of two-thirds had ensured the continual dominance of the new regime by the Thermidorians; but elections of 1797 and 1798 weakened them; 1797 saw the election of many constitutional royalists, and 1798 saw the re-emergence of a large, coherent group of neo-Jacobin deputies

Most election results annulled by the government on both occasions, with support from the army, but these two coups removed most of those new deputies perceived as beyond the pale politically - yet not all of them were purged

Their numbers rose rapidly in each election until, by 1799, 52% of those elected had never held national office before

They were not firmly behind maintaining the 1795 regime, happier as technocrats rather than parliamentarians

Napoleon built his regime around those men, and it proved easy for him to do so, because they shared a common view of how government should work: factionalism replaced by technocracy (The government or control of society or industry by an elite of technical experts); debate by analysis and intrigue by strong leadership




After the Brumaire coup which brought Napoleon to the zenith of politics, technocrats usurped the politicians, and the majority of deputies in both chambers approved, as did almost all the embattled departmental officials Napoleon's regime needed the neo-Jacobins in order to survive and thrive (at least at the local level) His strength lay in that he was able to discern where the strengths of the Revolution lay, and then to use them to overpower or neutralise its weaknesses In assuming the leadership of France in 1799, on the cusp of civil war, he was not only riding a tiger, but riding it into battle with Europe

Ch.1: Conquest, 1799-1807

Allied European governments not concerned by the appearance of this new man on the scene; it was typical that regime change should be precipitated by military catastrophe, as had befallen the French armies at the hands of the Second Coalition in 1799

In 1799, however, France was by no means capable of dominating Europe; she was a strong, regional, Western European power - a force to be reckoned with, born from the fires of the Terror of 1793/4

Other European powers not decided on how best to deal with France, and what priority they should place on this

In 1799, the continuing struggle for power in the western European lands between France and the Habsburgs, and the fact that the Habsburgs contested this strongly, was why a faction of the Directory's policy-makers turned to Napoleon

By 1799, the Directory's weakness had been exposed, and yet credit ought to be given to those in the upper echelons of the Directorial regime; they turned to reform led by a stronger executive, and adapted in the face of relative failure















Inactivity and indecision of Austrian leadership in 1799/1800 allowed the initiative to pass to the French; whereas Napoleon could proceed with a coherent plan and subordinate political aims to military necessities, Habsburg policy was dictated by a poisonous concoction of both The greatest constraint on both sides though, was exhaustion from fighting seven years of war When Napoleon's approaches to London and Vienna for peace were rebuffed, he at least was in a position to decide to fight on, and, more importantly, how to do so During the campaigns of 1800-1801, Napoleon seized much of Italy, and by the terms of the armistice which brought a halt to the war in Italy - which Napoleon most dearly required -the Austrians left the French in virtual control of all of Italy outside the Veneto; Kray then surrendered most of Bavaria to the French, and soon the assault on the Danube front commenced, the French victorious, under Moreau Habsburg resistance all but collapsed on this note; Thugut resigned and the alliance with Britain was repudiated; on 9 Feb, 1801 France and the Habsburgs concluded the Peace of Luneville Period 1801-1805 saw the great powers at rest, taking the deep breath before the plunge With the great powers concerned with internal affairs, Napoleon set about exploiting the terms of Luneville to the full; he was allowed to annex Piedmont directly to France; Habsburgs and Britain also recognised several "sister republics" created by the French in the course of the 1790s Napoleon, at this stage, was cautious; while he regained much of what had been won under the Directory, it was not all In the immediate military and diplomatic context of 1801-05, the crucial point is that no other major state was able to reform itself to the degree achieved by Napoleon in France and its sister republics The Grande Armée could not have been assembled in the first place without the basic reform of the structure of French high command, which made Napoleon its sole supreme commander and ensured that there was only one army under one general staff - a step not taken by any other major power during the calm The French army thus developed a highly centralised, cohesive command structure unique among the armies of the period; until Napoleon's powers of leadership began to waver, this system formed the basis of a stunning series of victories Napoleon created new academies, a corps system for the army, and changes through continuous drill; the cavalry were transformed from something of an embarrassment into some of the best in Europe; artillery also reorganised and enhanced; troops became properly armed and fed ('an army marches on its stomach') Napoleon never allowed the Grand Armée to have chaplains; it was noted for its 'Jacobin' zeal, especially this impiety Major states of Europe viewed 1801-'05 as little more than an uneasy truce; renewed conflict between France and Britain in 1803 did little to remove this impression Napoleon was able during this period to tighten his grip on the Italian states, but not without significant, but impotent, oppositional protests from the governments of Tuscany, Naples and the Papal States; throughout the period 1803-'05, he flooded those states with troops against their wishes New political world emerging in western Germany in 1803, and Napoleon was its controlling influence; fostered redistribution of territory, thus beginning to convert these states into his allies and winning them away from the Habsburgs; by withdrawing from the Congress of Rastatt, Francis II had left the deciding influence to Napoleon Those states large enough and unsentimental enough to negotiate directly with France gained most from the Hauptschluss; tiny 'patchwork' of little states reduced with great ruthlessness, and their lands divided among the middling states - Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Hesse-Kassel, Hesse-Darmstädt, Nassau, and Prussia all made gains











Thus the Hauptschluss, in the short term, benefitted the princes, who hoped to conserve the Reich through collaboration with Napoleon, but the Hauptschluss more importantly took the first major step in the creation of a new, lasting territorial basis for the German states which Napoleon would reinforce in 1806 Russian and Austrian diplomats were understandably concerned by these developments But assumptions that the Grande Armée would stay concentrated in northern Europe and that if the French opened a second front, it would be in northern Italy were sadly misplaced - in the event, Napoleon struck at the heart of the Habsburg Empire, and struck hard Napoleon moved swiftly against the Habsburgs; victory at Ulm (though perhaps only through chance, as Napoleon had no idea where the Austrians were - his "conducting a Blitzkrieg into thin air" (cf. O. Connelly, Blundering to Glory: Napoleon's Grande Armée)); on November 15, Napoleon entered Vienna unopposed Subsequent victory at Austerlitz, where an over-confident Alexander I, who had over-estimated his own forces and under-estimated Napoleon's, had his Russian army shattered by the Grande Armée Yet the treaty of Pressburg, which ended the war with Austria, was marked for its constraints; Napoleon's Empire was the supreme power in western and central Europe, but he sought only to consolidate what he had already acquired The entry of Prussia into the war then allowed France to achieve the zenith of her power, through a short and conclusive victory in 1806; a triumph of the French over the mythically undefeatable Prussian army In 1807, the Russian campaign began against Napoleon; the Grande Armée reached the limits of its endurance The ensuing conflict was largely indecisive if bloody; in June 1807, Napoleon and Alexander concluded an armistice at Tilsit; in Russia, Napoleon had sensed a power beyond his range, but one his own Empire now counted as a near neighbour Tilsit embodied the ruthless reordering of the European mainland Napoleon had consolidated his grip on the newly conquered territories even as he advanced into new ones Prussia was effectively turned into a pawn of Napoleon; Alexander had abandoned central and western Europe to France In an attempt to defeat Britain, Napoleon turned to economic warfare, enlisting the support of Alexander to the blockade; this made him reliant on Alexander to close his ports to Britain and help him police the Baltic

Collapse: The Fall of the Empire, 1812-1814 From the Russian Campaign to the Battle of Nations: The Collapse of Central Europe The War with Russia

By 1810-11, Napoleon had reduced the terms of Tilsit to the enforcement of the blockade, for which he required Alexander's co-operation in closing the Baltic; when this wavered, and Anglo-Russian relations improved, his course was made clear - indeed, Alexander was even more ready to fight than Napoleon

He had some 200,000 experienced troops for service in the west, and with the French so deeply advanced in central Europe, any war the tsar might now choose to fight could be a defensive one; the lingering threat of Poland made any peaceful accommodation of the Napoleonic Empire extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for the tsar

Many of the troops lost in the Russian Campaign were Napoleon's finest; of 650,000 who began the invasion, anywhere between 80-100,000 returned; while the supporting armies of Prussia and Austria had managed to keep their forces intact, out of the worst disasters, the French army was decimated The End of the Empire in Italy

Kingdom of Naples did not go the way of the Illyrian provinces, even though the tide of banditry was rising against Murat through 1810-1813; when Murat joined the coalition, it was enough to change the course of the war in Italy, and revealed the fragility of Napoleonic rule in those parts of Italy where it was truly weak

In central Italy, the collapse of Napoleonic rule proceeded apace; heavy conscription quotas in the countryside led to the virtual collapse of law and order; Eugene's Kingdom of Italy had an army which survived until Napoleon's abdication; in Lombardy, the civil administration stood firm, and public order was maintained almost to the end; in Brescia, the prefect himself led the garrison against the Austrian troops in November 1813, and held the town until January 1814; but this loyalty was largely confined to the ranks of the administration and, until the final few weeks, the propertied classes; there was antagonism between pro- and anti-Napoleonic classes, but a desire also to avoid bloodshed

Demonstrations of the French administrator's abilities to have law and order prevail were seen in Genoa; Bentinck, the British commander, took Genoa from the French in the name of the old Republic, and while this proved very popular locally, winning the support of the nobles, merchants, and the popular classes, it also led to a collapse of the administration and public order as the French withdrew en masse The Fall of the Rhineland and the Low Countries, 1813-1814

Within Holland, the allies feared that after almost 20 years of French domination, there would be a considerable amount of support for a republic modelled on French lines; theirs was a serious overestimation of this political current, and, as with much of the crumbling Napoleonic Empire, the overwhelming popular feeling was one of dynastic loyalty
 By November 1813, "authority fell away from the French Empire in the Netherlands like dead flesh from a skeleton" - S. Schama, Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in Netherlands, 1780-1813





The Belgian and Rhenish departments lacked the strong dynastic and political traditions of the Netherlands, and had also been part of metropolitan France for a very long time Here there were no large-scale popular risings against the French, nor did the local elites organise their own government as the Dutch had; there were, nonetheless, signs of popular discontent with Napoleonic rule; in Belgium, the breach with the Papacy had created widespread anger, "especially when Napoleon attempted to dismiss the Bishop of Ghent in April 1813 for his refusal to support the Emperor's attempts to circumvent Papal authority over the appointment of clergy" Set beside this was the full integration of Belgian commerce and industry into the French economy and the solidarity of its administration right up to the arrival of the allied troops; on the whole, the deeply Catholic peasantry of Flanders - who were a major source of conscripts welcomed the allies - welcomed the allies in general Although the Belgian departments had no tradition of independence, they had a collective sense of unity based mainly on their integrated economy; the major rivers of the region were the arteries of its commercial lifeblood; the political classes were united in their determination to keep the region together by a shared will to preserve law and order There was a wave of riots against the retreating French and then against the rigors of allied occupation; urban guards sprang up all over Belgium in the winter and spring of 1814 to protect persons and property from popular disorder and to ensure continuity with the French administration "Domestic factors" were not uniform; as Turin, Cologne and Brussels stood firm for 'the cause', Bordeaux opened its gates to Wellington's army, its trade ravaged by the blockade; Toulouse welcomed the British too; some areas of the south and west of France appeared less firm in supporting the Napoleonic state than other areas of Europe; bitter denominational rivalries resurfaced throughout southern France, particularly in the Cevennes "In the final analysis - or the last ditch to be précis - there was an inner empire, a truly Napoleonic Europe, but it was not always synonymous with France

The Final Stages of the War, January-May 1814: The Fall of Northern France
 Campaigns fought by Napoleon in these months is regarded as a masterpiece by most military, even those generally critical of him - Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, pp.955-6, 1003-4 for the accepted view; even the usually critical Connelly praises this campaign; cf. Connelly, Blundering to Glory: Napoleon's Grande Armée, pp.195-198
 Although military historians tend to point to the inevitability of Napoleon's defeat, this was not the view from the Allied camps in the winter of 1814; "Napoleon's fall was political more than military"; those closest to the emperor - Fouché, Talleyrand, the marshals and the senate - knew it was impossible to make him accept reasonable terms Grab, Napoleon and the Transformation of Europe Chs.2-3: The Janus Face of Napoleon's Rule; France Reform and innovation combined with subordination and exploitation across Napoleonic Europe He initiated changes in his subject states in order to draft soldiers more efficiently and augment public revenues; under pressure from Napoleon, states like Bavaria and Württemberg introduced reforms designed to improve their capacity to raise military quotas owed to France, and raise the taxes necessary to pay for their armies The Emperor was convinced that introducing the French system everywhere was advantageous to the occupied nations, since, in his opinion, French laws and institutions were the best and more effective in Europe - cf. Woolf, Napoleon's Integration of Europe (London, 1991), pp.8-13 Woolf named this "cultural imperialism", which was seen also by Marshall Massena

In reality, however, the success of the implementation of Napoleon's reform programmes varied from state to state - cf. G. Ellis, "The Nature of Napoleonic Imperialism", ed. P. Dwyer, Napoleon and Europe (London, 2001), pp.104-6 Belgium, the Rhineland and northern Italy experienced the successful application of many Napoleonic changes; on the other hand, in southern Italy and the Duchy of Warsaw, the impact of the reforms was more limited, while in the Illyrian provinces, the Napoleonic transformation had remarkably little effect at all












At the European level, Napoleonic reforms essentially marked the transition from the ançien regime to the modern era; his reforms were the forerunners of change; they paved the way for the long process of European modernisation to follow In the context of early nineteenth-century Europe, 'modernisation' encompassed several aspects: centralised states with professional bureaucracies based on merit; uniform taxation; conscripted national armies; a state police force; the end of the privileged position of the nobility and its monopoly on power; secularisation through the reduction of Church power and its subjugation to the state; political and social advance of the bourgeoisie; legal equality; property rights; dissolution of the seigneurial system; the formation of national markets and the emergence of a proto-nationalism Despite the fact that the outcome of the Napoleonic reform policies in Europe fell short of the stated goals and the French model (G. Ellis, "The Nature of Napoleonic Imperialism", ed. P. Dwyer, Napoleon and Europe [London, 2001]), Napoleon succeeded in replacing a great deal of the traditional structure with new laws and institutions, thereby facilitating their passage into the modern era Governmental and territorial changes also a key part of Napoleonic Europe; the Emperor created new states and abolished old ones, altered borders annexed lands directly to France, and replaced old dynasties with his own rulers He was particularly important in redrawing the map of the German lands, where the conglomerate of tiny anachronistic principalities were wiped out and their territories consolidated and merged with middling states From more than 300 German states before Napoleon, there were afterwards just 39; the consolidation of Italy from ten states into three parts and this process in Germany made these lands far more easy for Napoleon to govern; this also marked an important stage in Italian and German unification, though to come long after Napoleon had died Most significant internal change was the construction of a centralised bureaucratic state characterised by uniform(ity) and rational administrative, financial, legal and military structures based on the French system John Davis' remarks about Italy were largely true of other states: "What had remained only aspiration in even the most powerful of the eighteenth-century monarchies was finally put into practice in the systematic reorganisation of the administrative, bureaucratic and financial institutions that was carried through in the brief period of French rule" - cf. J. Davis, Conflict and Control: Law and Order in Nineteenth-Century Italy (Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1988), 23 Based on the French model, states were sub-divided into departments run by prefects or their equivalents, who carried out government orders and provided ministers with vital information about their regions; such detailed reports gave rise to the development of statistical data so indispensable to the functioning of effective and organised government Rising authoritarianism; the practice of censorship and crushing of any opposition was extended from France into the satellites; central states became more involved in everyday life of the citizen; the Napoleonic regimes strengthened their repressive machinery further by increasing the police force and creating gendarmerie to combat lawlessness, brigandage, desertion, and other challenges to their power - cf. Broers, "Policing the Empire: Napoleon and the Pacification of Europe," Napoleon and Europe, ed. P. Dwyer (London, 2001), pp.153-168 Consolidation of centralised states required governments to undermine the privileged position of Church and nobility; this was very successful in relation to the Church; the Concordat became effective in many satellites; provided the basis for growing secularisation of European states Less successful in weakening the nobility, despite attacks on their positions and power; though forced to recognise the supremacy of the central state, they retained property rights and remained the predominant class, enabling them to resist government attempts to abolish their seigneurial privileges In the Duchy of Warsaw and Kingdom of Naples, the nobility continued to control and even increase its power vis-à-vis the peasantry well into the nineteenth-century, irrespective of Napoleonic rule Linked to this persecution of the nobility was the rise of the bourgeoisie to the upper echelons of government and administration; their sons were the major beneficiaries of the new secondary schools, which prepared them for public office; entrepreneurs benefitted from demands for food, clothing and arms to burgeoning armies; the propertied classes were the most ardent supporters of the Napoleonic regimes In general, administrative, governmental, bureaucratic, financial, military, judicial and ecclesiastical reforms were the most successful, with socioeconomic reforms less so, meeting strong resistance from local elites, and not being implemented with sufficient fervour anyway On occasion, Napoleon contradicted and undermined his own reforms too; in a number of states he compromised with the conservative elites, allowing them to preserve their positions of privilege in return for their co-operation, and recognition of his supreme position; in 1803, he allowed the Swiss elites to restore their power in return for recognition of his dominant position as "Mediator" and a pledge to provide him with Swiss troops; he allowed the Polish nobility to continue its control over the peasants, contradicting the new Constitution and Code Napoleon, as long as his supremacy was recognised and he received military contingents But fiscal pressures exerted by Napoleon forced many states into deficits and hampered their ability to carry out reform Broers identified three largely distinct 'categories' of Napoleon's Empire which are useful in assessing the impact of his reforms across Europe; he argued for an "inner empire", "outer empire" and "intermediate zones" - cf. Broers, "Napoleon, Charlemagne and Lotharingia: Acculturation and the Boundaries of the Napoleonic Empire", The Historical Journal, 44, 1 (2001), pp.135-154 The "inner empire" consisted of France, the Low Countries, western and south-western Germany and northern Italy - there, Napoleonic rule was most successful in transforming the existing structures and left a profound institutional legacy which remained after Napoleon's fall

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