Summary

Medal Organization of Public Instruction, Issued by France, 1802
Artist: Bertrand Andrieu
Minted by Paris Mint

Obverse Description

Bare head on Bonaparte facing right, below in small letters, ANDRIEU

Reverse Description

Youth seated to left on plinth engaged in study with a box of scrolls at his feet; in front, a palm branch and above his head a star; in exergue, L'AN IV DE BONAPARTE / L INSTRUCTION PUB EST / ORGANISEE; on plinth, DENON/DIREXIT/ANDRIEU/FECIT

Edge Description

Plain

Significance

"The policy of Napoleon... extended not only to the souls, but also to the minds of his new subjects, and he adopted a comprehensive, but completely military system of education throughout his dominions, by the establishment of public schools, to which all parents were obliged to send their children, and where they were not only to be taught what the first Consul directed, but also to be brought up under such a system of regularity and subordination, as to make them soldiers in manner and in principle, almost from their earliest infancy. By these means he foresaw that he was certain of having a new race of soldiers; for being brought up with an evident reference to that profession, and means being likewise taken to check internal commerce and manufacture, which was the fact, notwithstanding all his boasted decrees, the young men had no employment, and the necessity of finding support being thus added to the natural love of action in young minds, it is not surprising that his ranks should always have been so rapidly filled, particularly when aided by the severe laws of Conscription." Laskey p. 55-56, published in 1818

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