Historian Crane Brinton's work Anatomy of Revolution outlines a broad interpretation of the phases of the French Revolution. According to Brinton, the French Revolution went through five stages with an ironic ending. I've included a general assessment of Brinton's work.
1. The Absolute Monarchy- the Old Regime of Louis XVI
2. The Moderate Control- of the Estates General and Assembly-The storming of the Bastille-the establishment of the Constitutional monarchy
3. The Radical Control- Robespierre and Danton-Reign of Terror
4. The Return of Moderate Control- the Directory- filled with corruption
5. The rise of Napoleon as a powerful leader-the French Consulate 1799-1804-First French Empire 1804-1815-Napoleonic Code of Laws
With all of the chaos and confusion in the French government between 1792 and 1804 Napoleon was able to concentrate his power in France. Interestingly, Napoleon's power (for a time) would prove to be quite similar to the powers the absolute monarchs of France...what the French were originally revolting against...ironic...