After he became Emperor in 1804, Napoleon decided to transform Paris into a capital that could rival Ancient Rome. For this purpose, he started an ambitious building program that changed Paris and put the basis of the modern city it is today.
Napoleon built a large number of monuments dedicated to the military glory of France in Paris and other major cities of the country. The column in Place Vendome was built in his time and it emulated Trajan's Column in Rome. Moreover, Napoleon enhanced the infrastructure of French cities by building canals to bring fresh water and improved the roads to make transportation easier.