Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



An in-depth analysis of primary source material indicates that the conspiracies hatched against Napoleon served as the impetus for his decision to change the government from the Consulate to the Empire. His ambitious personality drove him to achieve as much power and prestige for himself as possible, a point discussed by numerous historians, but the conspiratorial actions designed to strike him down provided the opportunity. He was a master of manipulating situations—and people—in order to achieve his ambitious goals. Knowing that his constituents worried over renewed political turmoil if something happened to him, Napoleon used their fears to strengthen his personal grasp on power. By accepting the position of First Consul for life, he made a promise to French citizens that he would protect and serve them for the duration of his life. By then taking the title of Emperor, he promised that his family would protect and serve the nation in perpetuity.



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Committee Chair

Martin, Benjamin F



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History Commons