• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Weakness of the Directory was the main reasons for Napoleons rise to Power. How far do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


The Weakness of the Directory was the main reasons for Napoleon's rise to Power. How far do you agree? On 10th November 1799 the Coup of Brumaire brought about a leader who would bring France's power to the forefront of Europe, a nation feared by all others. The coup was the final of a series of coups between 1797 and 1799. This shows that the Directory was extremely weak which caused Napoleon to rise to power, however there were other reasons as well, such as Napoleon's political connections, his success in wars and his own personal strengths, and the opportunities he creates for himself. The revolution in France was by no means a quick process, taking over ten years before stability was finally regained and Napoleon came to power. During the ten years there were many different types of government all with different ideas, however not one of the governments really affected the peasants, thus the people of France became fed up. Fed up of paying taxes to sort out the massive financial chaos, fed up of paying for pointless wars and so people just didn't care enough to stop Napoleon rising to power, despite warnings about him from Benjamin Constant, who believed he was to self-centred, which through policies in the Napoleonic Code actually turn out to be true. The revolution also created a whole in the army due to many of the military generals who were loyal to the king, migrating from France as they feared the revolutionaries. ...read more.


His Robespierre tendencies led to him being appointed as artillery commander at the Siege of Toulon, and the success led to him being promoted to Brigadier General. Then the Thermidorian Reaction happened and Napoleon was no longer a general, but after that collapsed, Barras and the Convention called on his aid to put down rebels at the Tuileries Palace. Not only was this good as Napoleon was recognised by an executive Director, expanding his political contacts, but also got him the position of leading the army of Italy, where he really gets known by the political elite and France as a success. This was significant in Napoleon's rise to power as he proved himself a good general of the army, and therefore essential to Sieyes and Ducos' plans for revolution however a strong directory wouldn't have needed a revolution so the weakness of the Directory was the main reason for Napoleon's rise to power. Napoleon also had to rely on his political allies in order to rise to power. The two main plotters were Ducos and Siey�s, both in the Council of Five, the main body in the Directory, but who were upset with the situation in France. They needed someone who was popular amongst the army in order to gain support for a military coup, as well as a successful general in the eyes of the public, and as his disasters were in Egypt, no-one really knew about them, and Napoleon fitted this position, however he was third choice after two other generals had rejected the position. ...read more.


The poor finances were caused by the wars that the revolutionary governments had been fighting, and they continued through the directory until Napoleon ended them in 1802. People saw this as a waste of money and people, especially when the Jourdan Law introduced conscription which made people resent the government. The set up of the Directory also caused upset because to participate in politics it took money, just to vote cost roughly 150-200 days of taxes, restricting political participation to 30,000 people, causing more disinterest in politics. The Directory also failed to deal with the problem of opposition. The royalists still wanted a Bourbon restoration, and the Jacobins and Sans-Culottes were also causing problems. In the end Napoleon is able to rise to power because although he was associated with the Jacobins, he didn't cause upset among the other groups so he is able to rise to power without a large group against him. The weakness of the Directory was the main cause in Napoleon's rise to power as it upsets almost everyone; even those involved in the Directory like Sieyes and Ducos, and also created political apathy which means Napoleon's rise to power faced no opposition from the public. However Napoleon's popularity among the army was crucial in him being selected by the original conspirators, and the politicisation of the army, another problem caused by a weak directory, allowed him to be known by the political elite. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is a very strong response that has a consistent argument running through it and remains focused on the question throughout. It is always best to deal with the stated factor first but the author demonstrates excellent understanding of the reasons for Napoleon's rise. 5 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 06/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the successes and failures of Mussolini's domestic policy.

    5 star(s)

    Most teachers as well took the oath because they had to in order to keep their positions and not because they actually meant it, and this is why Mussolini's educational policies failed, because the Italian youths were not bothered about being committed to the state and being obedient and disciplined,

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Major Causes of French Revolution

    4 star(s)

    the debts could be paid quite quickly if the privileged class paid their share in tax. His theory was that people should pay tax according to how much land they owned. Obviously, this didn't go down well with people in the first and second estates.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How successful were the Five- Year Plans in transforming Russian industry in the years ...

    4 star(s)

    The managers did not really care as they were purely focussed on meeting government targets and so long as they were achieved they didn?t care much for their workers. Stalin and the communists had not realised that they should look after their workers as they were the key to improving industry.

  2. Did napoleon betray the Revolution?

    And even though all constitutional changes were put through a plebiscite, in practice they were rigged and unrepresentative. This shows that Napoleon bent the rules to suit his ideas. The usage of the senatus consultam (having consulted the Senate) in the constitution established in 1800 allowed Napoleon to ignore the elected law-making councils by issuing decrees.

  1. How far were the ideas of the "Philosophes" responsible for the outbreak of the ...

    Numerous assemblies were held to come to an agreement however the assembly of notables (high figures of society - bishops, nobility leaders etch) believed that the reforms would hit them the most and the Paris Parlement refused reform as they believed in 'no taxation without representation' where they could not

  2. The Bolshevik Consolidation of power 1917-21.

    The red army had control over the railways, which meant they could call in supplies from all over Russia. 3. The red army had strong leadership under Trotsky and Lenin. This meant they were united and organised with well thought-out plans of action, with Trotsky as war commissar and good use of propaganda against the White army by Lenin.

  1. To what extent was Napoleon nothing more than a dictator?

    Both of these organisations were created to ensure that Napoleon?s government did not adapt into a dictatorship. In 1804, two standing committees were established with the interest of preserving liberty and freedom of the press.

  2. How Successful was Napoleon III's Domestic Policy?

    significant in laying the foundations of the development of Modern France and therefore furthering the case that Napoleon III?s domestic policy was successful. In terms of Political survival it could be argued that the fact that Napoleon III remained in power for 18 years is a considerable achievement in itself,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work