France 1792-1795
Domestic Policy
The Netherlands
the Patriots, 1787
France 1795-1799
the Economy

France :
The Directory, 1795-1799 : Domestic Policy

In Sept. 1795 a new constitution was passed, establishing a Directory consisting of 5 directors, a parliament of 2 chambers (Council of Elders respectively Council). The directorate represented the moderates. The goal for the moment, with terrorism and royalism having been brought under control, was to provide political stability. The leading men were LAZARE CARNOT, the organizer of the THERMIDORIAN COUP D'ETAT, and PAUL BARRAS
There were still groups willing to overturn the government by force, both royalists and radicals; the royalists rose in Paris on Oct. 5th 1795; the mob was dispersed by young NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. The populace suffered from INFLATION; the assignats kept losing value. Political enthusiasm, when it came to reforms, was waning.
The directorate's main problems were to manage the war, to suppress occasional riots. The period of groundbreaking reforms was over. On Sept. 4th 1797, PAUL BARRAS staged a coup d'etat, reducing the directorate to three, him being the dominant figure (Lazare Carnot was outmanoeuvred).

A problem for M. Barras was how to keep ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, a man adored by his troops, busy. First JOSEPHINE DE BEAUHARNAIS attracted his full attention; then Napoleon was placed in command of the Italian troops; when he returned victoriously, he was sent to Egypt. Nelson's victory over the French fleet at Aboukir left him and his army, while still undefeated, stranded; in 1799, against orders, Napoleon returned to France, leaving his army behind in Egypt. Once in Paris, he toppled the Directorate and established the CONSULATE.

The Count of Lille, brother of Louis XVI., in 1795 established residence in Verona (Venice) and proclaimed himself KING LOUIS XVIII.He had to leave the Republic of Venice the year after.

Timetable : France during the French Revolution and under Napoleon Bonaparte. An annotated Chronology of Civil and Military Events, by Richard Orsinger, 1997
France : Executive Directory, 1795-1799, from National Politics Web Guide
Dino de Paoli, Lazare Carnot's Grand Strategy for Political Victory, from American Almanac
Biographies of Jean Nicolas Paul Francois de Barras, from The Napoleonic Guide, from National Politics Web Guide
Biography of Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot, from Fondation Carnot
Wayne Hanley, The Genesis of Napoleonic Propaganda 1796-1799, diss. Columbia UP n.d.
DOCUMENTS List of Presidents of the Executive Directory, Nov. 1795 - Dec. 1799, from World Statesmen : France by Ben Cahoon, scroll down
REFERENCE William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution, 1989, 466 pp.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on December 5th 2009

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz