Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821) was a French official and a commander of the French army after the French Revolution. He was appointed first consul by the French government. Soon after, a new constitution was passed, which gave Napoleon absolute power over France. In 1802, he was appointed consul for life. Two years later, he created the Code Napoléon, wherein were listed new laws, traditions and customs.

One major step taken by Napoleon after the disastrous French Revolution was to reunite the Catholic Church and France. In 1801 Pope Pius VII and Napoleon came to an agreement, closing the gap between them. Some of the terms were:

  • Catholicism would be acknowledged as the official religion of France
  • Bishops would be chosen by Napoleon and approved by the Pope
  • Priests would be selected by the bishops from government pre-approved lists

However, there were concessions made by the Pope. Two of these were that the priests would remain government employed (government would pay their salaries), and that the church lands that had been confiscated during the Revolution would not be returned to the pope.

In 1802, Napoleon Continue reading

Kourdakov’s Failed Assignment

In The Persecutor (also known as Forgive Me, Natasha), the autobiography of Sergei Kourdakov, we find that he had a ‘failed assignment.’

Kourdakov was born in 1951, but became an orphan shortly after. When he was six years old he was taken to an orphanage and as the years passed he became the leader of the orphanage’s youth Communist group.

After he graduated from high school, he decided to go into the navy. He soon proved to be capable, responsible as well as knowledgeable in Communism. Soon after entering the navy he was visited by the head of the Secret Police (KGB). He readily accepted the job that they offered him as an agent and he picked his team of twenty men. Continue reading

Peter the Great of Russia

Peter the Great of Russia (1672 – 1725) ruled as co-tsar with Ivan V. He then ruled as Tsar from 1689 to 1725. He is best known for his efforts to westernize Russia.

Peter the Great

Peter the Great

Peter’s westernization of Russia involved not only economic change, but drastic cultural change as well. Peter’s father had declared that all men should have long hair and a beard and should avoid western dress codes. However, after numerous travels, Peter decided that they should cut their hair and beards and should welcome western dress. Anyone who did not abide by Peter’s decree was taxed. Peter also wanted women to have a higher status and more influence. As a result, he gave them more opportunities in education.

After suffering a humiliating defeat, Peter decided to ‘modernize’ his giant, unorganized yet powerful army. He ordered new, modern Continue reading