Explain the weaknesses of the Directory in the French Revolutionary period.
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One problem with the Directory was that the Constitution of 1795 that established it severely limited the voting franchise and some civil liberties, making it unpopular with many ordinary Frenchmen. It was a government more aimed at advancing middle-class interests, particularly protecting property, than allowing common people to enjoy the fruits of the Revolution. On the other hand, the Directory continued, indeed escalated, the war in Europe. This angered many conservatives and old royalists. Many of the members of the five-man Directory also had a reputation for corruption and political opportunism. In short, the Directory pleased neither the masses who wished to see the gains of the Revolution consolidated nor the elites who wanted a return to normalcy.
Source: John Buckler, Bennett Hill, John McKay, A History of Western Society, 7th ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003)712.
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