Primary Source

Oath as Consul for Life (4 August 1802)


The oath that Bonaparte took on becoming consul for life gives a good idea of the image that he tried to project: protector of the gains of the Revolution and insurer of order. In retrospect, his claims about not wishing to make war ring hollow.

This source is a part of the The Napoleonic Experience teaching module.


“I swear to maintain the constitution, to respect liberty of conscience, to oppose a return to feudal institutions, never to make war except for the defense and glory of the Republic, and to employ the authority with which I shall be invested only for the good of the people, from whom and for whom I shall have received it."


Frank M. Anderson, ed., The Constitutions and Other Illustrative Documents of the History of France, 2nd ed., revised (New York: Russell and Russell, 1908), p. 331.

How to Cite This Source

"Oath as Consul for Life (4 August 1802)," in World History Commons, [accessed January 19, 2022]