Over time, various decrees and the "senatus-consulte" modified the constitution and progressively increased the power of the assemblies. He also appointed and dismissed governmental ministers and dissolved the Legislative Body. Napoleon became Emperor of the French on 18 May 1804. The constitution replaced the Constitution of the Year VIII and the Constitution of the Year X, establishing the First French Empire with Napoleon Bonaparte as its hereditary emperor. Assess Napoleon’s Constitution and whether it upheld the ideals of the French Revolution. Provisions Preamble. The First French Empire, officially the French Empire or the Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. By consolidating power, Bonaparte was able to transform the aristocratic constitution of Sieyès into a dictatorship. The constitution rejected the Ancien Régime and the post-revolutionary restoration monarchies with census suffrage. Citizenship and legal residence. While this near-unanimity is certainly doubtful, Napoleon was genuinely popular among many voters. In 1861, the Legislative Body began to publish its debates; in 1867 it gained the power to direct questions to the government; in 1869, it gained the power to initiate and amend legislation. He was commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and had the powers of clemency and amnesty, as well as the ability to enact and sign treaties. The First French Empire, also known as the Napoleonic Empire, French Empire, or simply France, was an empire that existed from 1802 to 1815, established under the Constitution of the Year XII. It vested all of the real power in the hands of the First Consul, leaving only a nominal role for the other two consuls. His power was confirmed by the new Constitution of the Year VIII, originally devised by Sieyès to give Napoleon a minor role, but rewritten by Napoleon and accepted by direct popular vote. The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. The First Consul, Tribunate, and Corps législatif each nominated one Senatorial candidate to the rest of the Senate, which chose one candidate from among the three. The constitution preserved the appearance of a republic but in reality established a dictatorship. The term notables, commonly used under the monarchy, referred to prominent and more affluent men — landholders, merchants, scholars, professionals, clergymen, and officials. In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte was confronted by Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès—one of five Directors constituting the executive branch of the French government—who sought his support for a coup d'état to overthrow the Constitution of the Year III. Napoleon I, also called Napoléon Bonaparte, was a French military general and statesman. He was crowned Emperor on 2 December 1804. Napoleon became the First Consul for ten years, appointing two consuls who had consultative voices only. The Corps législatif, or Legislative Body (the same name had been used for the lower house of the French legislature during the French Consulate and First French Empire from 1799–1814), comprised 260 deputies (representatives) elected for 6 years by direct universal suffrage, but gerrymandering of the election districts ("circonscriptions") and the system of "official candidates" favored partisans of the president/emperor. The constitution tailor-made the position of First Consul to give Napoleon most of the powers of a dictator. The document virtually replaced the previous Napoleonic Constitutions. The executive power was vested in three Consuls, but all actual power was held by the First Consul, Bonaparte.Napoleon vetoed Sieyès’ original idea of having a single Grand Elector as supreme executive and Head of State. The French Senate was composed of from 80 to 150 members appointed for life by the president. The new government was composed of three parliamentary assemblies: the Council of State (Conseil d’État),which drafted bills; the Tribunate, which debated bills but could not vote; and the Legislative Assembly (Corps législatif), which could not discuss the bills, but whose members voted on them after reviewing the Tribunate’s debate record. 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