How was Napoleon's power constitutionally and politically consolidated?

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  • How was Napoleon's power constitutionally and politically consolidated?
    • Constitution of 1799 - the Consulate
      • gave him lots of authority
      • Napoleon was the head of state - not the figurehead like Sieyes had wanted - this gave him lasting power as he was popular
    • The Role of the First Consul
      • Napoleon had power reminiscent of the monarchy and his treatment of ministers - which ensured their loyalty to him - effectively resulted in unchallenged leadership
    • Electoral reforms
      • because he gave every adult male a vote he presented himself as a democratic leader which increased his popularity as a leader
        • it also meant that people didn't mind when he rigged the plebiscite
    • Plebiscite of 1800
      • by having the plebiscite he maintained the illusion of democracy for the people while slowly transitioning more power to himself
        • this symbolically shows his power and makes it odd for ordinary people to challenge him
    • Constitution of 1800 - the hereditary principle
      • set up long term social structures
      • advanced the Bonaparte family - not just Naopleon
      • this in a sense provided stability as it made long term plans for the ruling of France however, it went against what people had fought for during the revolution
    • Constitution of 1804 - Napoleon as Emperor
      • this was a step back to the Ancien Regime
      • meant Napoleon was not accountable to anyone as he appointed his own ministers
      • this gave Napoleon unparalleled power and made his position legal - he could no longer be challenged


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