The debate over Napoleon's role in the French Revolution is an incredibly fierce one. On one side you have people who claim he was a tyrannical despot who destroyed civil liberties. These people argue that he crowned himself emperor, made a mockery of attempts at democracy and that he signed a concordat with the church - all of which went against revolutionary ideal. The other side of the debate that historians argue that he rescued the revolution from failure. These people cite the Napoleonic Code, the Legion of Honour, the abolishment of feudal laws and that he consolidated the revolution throughout France and then exported its ideals throughout the rest of Europe as signs he was its saviour. In truth, Napoleon's government was a "dictatorship of public opinion- in which he consolidated a revolution in a form that had the support of the majority of the French people. He created a modern state in which everyone was equal with an absolutist government running things.
In order to assess Napoleon's role in the French Revolution one must first assess what the spirit of the revolution itself was. The original National Assembly used the slogan: "Liberty, equality, eternity."" To many this embodied the spirit of the revolution and the members adopted a constitutional monarchy, wrote up the Rights of Man and the Citizen, and abolished feudal dues. The period in which the Constituent Assembly ran the country and guided the revolution are regarded by many as what the revolution was really about. By abolishing feudal dues, secularizing the government, and creating a constitution in which everyone was equal they were faithful to the aims of the revolution. The first few years following the revolution were also the most peaceful, giving credence to this viewpoint.
Supporters of the Jacobin radicalism say that Robespierre's radical view of a complete franchise was the true aim of the revolution.