Napoleon Rises to Power in France (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Napoleon rises to power in France through the coup d’état of 18-19 Brumaire, effectively ending France’s revolutionary experiment and initiating nearly sixteen years of Napoleonic domination of Europe.
Summary of Event
The fall of the Jacobins from power in July of 1794 had led to government by the Directory in the following year. The five directors and the two legislative assemblies, the Council of Ancients and the Council of Five Hundred, attempted to steer a middle course and restore order during the final troublesome years of the eighteenth century. Threatened from both the Royalist right and the Jacobin left, the government manipulated elections, put down insurrections, purged its own members, and engaged in political infighting for more than four years. By 1799, France was weary of their ineffective leadership and ready for another change. As a body, the directors were increasingly perceived as weak and corrupt, and their dependence on the army to maintain their authority had grown steadily more essential.
The principal intriguer against the government was also a part of it. Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, generally known as “Abbé Sieyès” despite the fact that he had abandoned Holy Orders, was considered one of the intellectual founders of the French Revolution. During the first phase of the revolution, Sieyès had been a leading spokesman and pamphleteer for the Third Estate,...
(The entire section is 1423 words.)
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