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the problems of the directory and napoleon s rise to power 1795 1804
THE PROBLEMS OF THE DIRECTORY AND NAPOLEON’S RISE TO POWER, 1795-1804

After the fall of Robespierre, the Convention sought to restore the rule of law and discredit radical democrats. The government encouraged sympathy for the victims of the Terror and emphasize the folly of entrusting power to poor, uneducated men.

In 1795 a new constitution revived the rule that poor men could not vote and gave executive power to a five-man Directory. The Directory failed to generate popular support, however, and France became polarized again between neo-Jacobins and royalists. Many looked to a brilliant general, a man on a white horse, to unite France, prevent civil war, and humble foreign enemies….

slide3

Anonymous, “Robespierre, guillotining the executioner after having guillotined all the French.”In April-June 1794 Robespierre conducted such broad purges that most Convention delegates came to fear they might be next.

slide4
Duplessi-Bertaux, “Robespierre Wounded,” in City Hall on the morning of July 28, 1794.The Convention had declared him an “outlaw”.
slide6

Some members of the Committee of Public Safety remained in power after Thermidor, such as Lazare Carnot (1753-1823),Minister of War in 1793/94, elected to the Directory in November 1795

slide8

Jean Duplessi-Bertaux, “The Death of Roland,” November 1793:This Girondin leader had escaped Paris to Normandy but fell on his sword when he heard that his wife had been executed.

slide9

“Repression at the Church of Saint-Roch,” Oct 6, 1795. Young General Bonaparte received the Italian command after this exercise in crowd control (see Markham, p. 17)

the battle of the bridge at arcola november 15 17 1796 one of napoleon s first great victories
“The Battle of the Bridge at Arcola, November 15-17, 1796.” One of Napoleon’s first great victories
slide14
In August 1798 a British fleet under Horatio Nelson destroyed the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile
a j gros bonaparte visits the victims of the plague in jaffa 11 march 1799 painted in 1804
A.-J. Gros, “Bonaparte Visits the Victims of the Plague in Jaffa, 11 March 1799” (painted in 1804)
jean baptiste thiebault bonaparte touching the lepers in jaffa 11 march 1799 engraving from 1804 05
Jean-Baptiste Thiebault, “Bonaparte Touching the Lepers” in Jaffa, 11 March 1799 (engraving from 1804/05)
the constitution in the year viii by violating me three times they have caused my death 1799
“The Constitution in the Year VIII: ‘By violating me three times, they have caused my death!!!’”(1799).
slide18

Jacques-Louis David,“Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass.”By 1799 many politicians were looking for a popular hero as the only hope to avoid civil war.

james gillray boney and talley 1803
James Gillray, “Boney and Talley” (1803)

Napoleon has just butchered Germany (i.e., dissolved the Holy Roman Empire) and destroyed Hanover. Holland has been slaughtered, and Spain “fleeced”, with Prussia “Put up to fatten.” Foreign Minister Talleyrand seeks to restrain the butcher from further attacks.