Researcher ORCID Identifier


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Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jonathan Petropoulos

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This thesis explores Napoleon Bonaparte’s profound impact on Europe, examining the leadership, military strategies, and reforms that reshaped European governance and law. Retracing Napoleon’s rise to power from the chaos of the French Revolution to the height of the Empire, it highlights the political acumen and strategic genius that enabled him to seize power and dominate Europe. Napoleon's reign is illustrated both as a quest for power and as a transformative movement to modernize Europe through systematic reforms in administration, law, and education.

Central to Napoleon’s vision was the Napoleonic Code, which revolutionized legal systems around the world by emphasizing equality before the law, individual liberty, and civic duty. The Code eliminated feudal privilege, challenging archaic hierarchies and catalyzing the emergence of a new world order. The analysis of Napoleon’s administrative reforms demonstrates how he streamlined governance, enhanced fiscal systems, and fostered meritocracy, albeit under an autocratic regime.

Napoleon’s famous military campaigns are reviewed, demonstrating the strategic genius and tactical innovations that redefined European warfare. His dedicated pursuit of hegemony contradicted with his enlightened reforms, spurring decades of conflict across the continent. This thesis aims to reassess Napoleon’s role in shaping modern Europe and contextualize his policies within the broader narrative of European history, concluding with a thorough reflection on his complex legacy.