Though his reign was brief, Napoleon’s impact on the world is enormous.
Because Napoleon controlled so much of Europe during his reign, his ideas spread quickly across the continent. Napoleon introduced the ideas of the French Revolution to the people of Europe, destroying feudalism (peasants bound to the land of nobles) once and for all. He also promoted religious freedom and established the Napoleonic Code (a single, uniform set of laws) in all the countries he conquered.
The ideas of the French Revolution spread beyond Europe as well through French colonies, which began revolts against European rule in the Americas, and fueled thee revolutionary movements of Miguel Hidalgo (Mexico), Toussaint L’Ouverture (Haiti), and Simon Bolivar (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia).
In order to counteract these revolutionary movements and restore balance to Europe, many kings and monarchs were re-established in their kingdoms through the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). The Austrian prince, Klemens von Metternich, was a key figure in helping to put down revolutions, working with other nations to provide military assistance to crush any uprising. It would still be decades before absolute monarchy was completely removed from Europe.