3. The First Consul, 1799–1804
- David A. Bell
Napoleon Bonaparte is mostly admired for his domestic achievements from 1799–1804. This Consulate period was one of authoritarian rule, but also of energetic state-building, during which Napoleon established institutions and principles by which the French still govern themselves today. ‘The First Consul, 1799–1804’ explains how during this time, Napoleon negotiated diplomatic agreements with many of his foreign enemies, including Austria and Great Britiain. His new regime also installed a new, streamlined law code, overhauled the education system, and created France’s first successful national bank and stabilized the currency. In 1804, Napoleon was crowned Emperor of the French. However, peace was not long-lasting and France was soon at war again.