The question asks what was Napoleons treatment of his European subjects. However first we need to learn what these subjects were and distinguish the differences between them.
The states of the Grand Empire fell into one of two categories - lands annexed directly to France, or satallite states under French control but allegedly enjoying a ‘modicum’ of independence. The extent of Napoleon’s influence varied, depending on the length of time a particular country remained under his authority.
Examples of annexed territories are; Nice, Savoy, Belguim and the Germanlands west of the Rhine. These were annexed early (pre 1800) and had were quickly incorporated into the French administrative system, however these states were mainly divided into divisions for recruitment purposes. By the time of the Brumaire fuedalism as in France had been abolished in these territories. Also land belonging to the nobility or church were either confiscated or sold. All the annexed states were ruled from Paris and were regarded as extensions of the ‘old France’. All new French policies were introduced like the civil code and the judicial process of civil and ccriminal courts.
A semi circle of nominally independent satellite states, were mainly run by Napoleons relatives, formed a ‘buffer zone’ around France. These states protected the boarders of the French empire from any attack. Some examples of satellite states are; Switzerland, Spain, Naples and Italy. These satellite states, allegedly independent, infact had little frredom of action. Their rulers were strictley supervised and tutored by Napoleon in the way they should go. The satellite states was very different. They were never allowed to forget that they existed only to serve the intrests of France. Napoleonwanted them to fullfill a number of other valuable functions in Napoleon’s imperial enterprise. They were first and foremost military vassal states and Napoleon’s relationship with themwas eventually wery like that of a ‘warrior-overlord’, extracting the advantage from them for the minimum return. These states raised about a third of the troops for the Grand Armee.
The distribution of crowns among Napoleons relatives served two purposes for him. One of the two was that they would remain loyal to him no matter what. Also, with such a large number of Bonaparte sovereigns available he could expect in due course to arrange useful marriage alliances with older royal houses and give his successors the dynastic respectability the family presently lacked.
The third group of countries that I have not previously mentioned were Napoleons allies. These allies (Russia, Prussia and Austria) were allied to France mainly because Bonaparte knew it would of been a great struggle to defeat them in battle. These allies were obviously not in French rule and were totally independent.
To conclude on what i’ve said and to answer the question I personaly belive that Napoleon was a ‘warrior-overlord’ because of his actions in the annexed and satellite territories. The warrior qualities come into play in the taking over of the countries. While the overloard comes in with the general running of the coutries. However we need to decide whether the warrior overlord image was a bad one or was it just a man who wanted the best for his country and the people within it?
Sources:Napoleon, France and Europe (Andrina Stiles) The World Wide Web