What the peoples of Germany desire most impatiently is that talented commoners should have the same right to your esteem and to public employments as the nobles, that any trace of serfdom and of an intermediate hierarchy between the sovereign and the lowers class of people should be completely abolished. The benefits of the Napoleonic code, the publicity of judicial procedure, the creation of juries must be so many distinguishing marks of your monarchy

  • Could you provide a source? I don't believe you've copied it quite correctly. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 17:52
  • The statement describes Germans' desire for a 'meritocracy'--rewards and promotions based on merit rather than class distinctions.
    – user3847
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


He is saying that the lower, working class people of Germany desire freedom to gain as much, and to have the same respect as the noble or upper class.

  • 1
    I disagree with your use of the term working class. In Napoleon's time Europe did not exactly have a working class in the way we conceive it today. The Industrial Revolution had not happened. Pre-industrial society is characterised by an aristocracy and peasants. But the thing Europe did have was a rapidly growing urban middle class. These were the intended and ultimately the actual beneficiaries of the FR and Napoleon. But it would take nearly another half century to the Revolutions of 1848 for it to be realised.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 18:02

You would do better to ask this question on the history site, but I will address it briefly.

What you have here is some of the ideology of the French Revolution. Napoleon's campaigns in Europe were ostensibly to carry this to all peoples of Europe, most notably to the German states.

Many will argue Napoleon was simply an imperialist and scavenger. But it was the crescendo of Aux armes citoyens (take up your weapons, citizens), in the anthem La Marseillaise which accompanied the hooves of the French cavalry, at Jena, Austerlitz and elsewhere.

And he put the fear of God into the aristocracies of Europe, including in Britain.

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