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Word Count: 551
Historians have long debated the liberal vs conservative nature of Napoleons rule In the 18th century Liberals wanted to further the reaches of the French Revolution and give people more freedoms However conservatives wanted to go back feudal rule and return France to a monarchy Certainly Napoleon supported conservatism in France through the abolishing of foreign nationalism to prevent uprisings heavy censorship to keep radical ideas underground Furthermore Napoleon sought to create a new monarchy to maintain his absolute power over France forever Though Napoleon had some conservative tendencies he was nonetheless a true liberal as evidenced by giving legal title to peasants for seized lands de-establishing the church and creating Civil Code of 1804 which gave equality to all under the LawNapoleon gave legal title to peasants who had seized lands During the great fear peasants seized lands from nobles overthrew their power and ran over their farms and properties Though they took these lands the government never legally recognized the properties as theirs because the government had always rejected the third estate Napoleon in a liberalist move allowed these peasants who were part of the third estate get a legal status for these lands as their own property This won Napoleon more support and exemplifies his liberalism in an attempt to make the third estate more equal to the noblesThe church had always been powerful and worked with the government to gain more power The clergy the first estate was only 5 of the population but owned 10 of the wealth and land Napoleon decided that this was a great imbalance and was determined to take away power from the church In fact he went as far as to de-establish the Catholic Church in France He took away they first estates portion of France by confiscating their land In addition he made the clergy work for the government and took away all the tax exemptions that had been given to the church be
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