(Original post by Connor27)
I'd argue no, although he did help get rid of the frivolous and overly powerful king; he was a total hypocrite.
Napoleon had nothing to do with the overthrow of Louis XVI. He was just a rookie officer of the artillery when the corpulent knave was executed. No offence, but you don't appear to know a lot about Napoleon. Btw, Napoleon hated the rabble and was disgusted by the way the king was treated. Napoleon actually witnessed the chaotic scenes of 20th June 1792 when King Louis and Marie Antoinette were captured by a frenzied mob in the Tuileries Palace. He wrote the following to his brother Joseph:
"Between seven and eight thousand men armed with pikes, axes, swords, guns, spits, sharpened sticks...went to the king. The Tuileries gardens were closed and 15,000 National Guards were on guard there. They broke down the gates, entered the palace, pointed the cannon at the king's apartment, threw four doors to the round, and presented the king with two cockades, one white [the Bourbon colour] and the other tricolour. They made him choose. Choose, they said, whether you reign here or in Coblenz. The king presented himself. He put on a red bonnet. So did the queen and the royal prince. They gave the king a drink. They stayed in the palace for four hours...All this is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent. It is hard to predict what will happen to the empire in such stormy circumstances."
(Roberts, Andrew, Napoleon the Great,
Penguin Books, 2014 , p.39.)
So as you can see, Napoleon was far from an enthusiastic revolutionary. He had supported the King's overthrow, albeit reluctantly, but he was horrified at the King's weak response and at the behaviour of the uncontrollable revolutionary mobs. In fact this scene among others helped sow his hatred for the mob and his pathological fear of chaos and disorder. This is one of the reasons why he assumed dictatorial power, in order to prevent the tumults that had rocked France during the 1790s from destroying the country entirely. I do not believe him to be a "total hypocrite", but an independent-minded, albeit ambitious man.
(Original post by Connor27)
He just gave himself the same power a few years later and changed the title to "emperor"; before proceeding with an attempted conquest of Europe, the funds for which could've gone towards improving the lives of French people.
I see him as a proto-Stalin, I think ol' uncle Joe took note to a lot of what Napoleon did and copied his methodology.
When you say "a few year later", I think you are understating the length of time here by more than a bit. 11 years elapsed between the time of the abolition of the French ancien regime and the beginning of the Empire under Napoleon.
It is completely false to suggest that he attempted to conquer Europe. True, he wished to make France the most powerful nation on the Continent, but it is not at all true that he aimed at the conquest of every single nation in Europe. The vast majority of his wars were fought in self-defence against several coalitions made of of Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Russia etc. The War of the Third Coalition was begun against Napoleon when Britain formed a league with Austria and Russia against Napoleon. Napoleon crushed them at Austerlitz. The War of the Fourth Coalition was formed against him in 1806 composed of Prussia, Russia and the United Kingdom. He crushed them too. He made peace with Alexander I of Russia at Tilsit in 1807, but Alexander had no intention of sticking to the treaty and secretly plotted revenge, which forced Napoleon to invade Russia in 1812 when Alexander would not halt his preparations for war against Napoleon. The War of the Fifth Coalition was launched against Napoleon in 1809 by Austria and Great Britain and was yet again defeated by Napoleon. The War of the Sixth Coalition was launched against Napoleon after his defeat in Russia. The War of the Seventh Coalition was launched against him after he returned from exile in Elba to lead France once more. Every single one of these wars saw Napoleon being declared war on, not the other way round. He is by far one of the greatest, if not the greatest, generals in history, having won 53 out of all 60 battles in which he participated, due to his sheer military genius.
To call one of the greatest Europeans who ever lived a "proto-Stalin" strikes me as monstrously ignorant. The man restored stability to France after a long period of upheaval, overthrowing the corrupt and inefficient Directory in his coup of 1799 and becoming First Consul. He gave France a new constitution with a strong executive capable of keeping the country together and preventing factionalism. When he saw that the French pined for the old ways, he restored a form of monarchy by creating the Empire, preserving what was good about the Revolution and discarding what was bad, and reconciling it with more ancient forms of governance. He crushed brigands and criminals in the south-west of France. He established the Bank of France. He created the greatest army in Europe. He reformed the education system to make it one of the best in Europe, which it still is. How he is anything like Stalin in this regard is beyond me.