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

Why did the French Revolution end in 1799?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the French Revolution end in 1799? In the last decade before the French Revolution came to an end France was constantly changing its policies, constitutions and leaders. The country was in an utter state of disorder after The Terror and was craving control and consistency within its government. In 1795 another constitution was written, making it the third since 1789. This constitution was founded by the Directory, a new government that was created to replace the outgoing convention after the period of Thermidor. Although the Directory government attempted to obtain order, it was very unsuccessful and did not satisfy the needs of the people of France. Its inefficiency and conservative nature made it weak and bound for failure from the beginning. It was a rising star named Napoleon Bonaparte that saved the Directory from its right and left wing attackers. Ironically it would later be this same man to dissolve and overthrow the Directory government to create his own empire of military dictatorship. When Napoleon created his consulate he said that "[he had] no desire to continue the see-saw politics that became the norm under the last regime"1. Due to the weakness of France and its government when Napoleon came from Egypt to Paris, he had little difficulty in taking power and came to the scene in France as a saviour to the nation. When Napoleon seized power in 1799 and became the First Consul there was a reactionary change back to the way things had been before the Revolution had started in 1789. ...read more.


The Directory multiplied its initiatives to organise a counteroffensive, but the elections were a success for the royalists all the same, people voted for a limited monarch. The regicides very alarmed lead to the Coup de Fructidor. They saved their skins by annulling the April election and preventing any royalists from gaining power. The Directory achieved this with assistance from the army and began to govern dictatorially. With the Directory in constant opposition by the left and right wing groups as well as the sans-culottes, and with the uprising in the Vendee, the Directory was at a loss and did not know what actions to take. They felt that they were becoming dangerously dependant upon the army and Napoleon and would be risking their safety to call upon him again.5 The Directory, to avoid being overthrown by Napoleon, placed him in command of the French army during the battles in Egypt. This led to the formation of the Second Coalition against France. In the spring of 1799 when the Austrians won victories in Bavaria and Lombardy, and Russia occupied all of northern Italy, the defeats accelerated the break-up of the Directory. In 1799 the Directory was very unpopular and a number of political leaders in Paris planned to overthrow the Directory government. Among these men were Talleryrand, Fouche and Sieyes. Sieyes, a leader of the Directory, invited Napoleon to be the leader of the new government and set up a system based on "confidence from below, power from above."6 They wanted a strong military figure like Napoleon who could restore the confidence of the people of France into the government. ...read more.


The orders had disappeared, and the separations that had been established among citizens had been abolished, although money became a new dividing restriction among the classes.13 When Napoleon seized power he found France in chaos. The Directory had been very unsuccessful in providing France with an adequate form of government and leadership. Under the constitution of 1795, the Directory tried to hold the Republic on a middle ground between equalitarian revolution and aristocratic-clerical-royalist reaction.14 With the constant attacks from the left and right wing groups the Directory was dependant upon Napoleon and the army putting itself in a vulnerable position to be overthrown. The Coup de Brumaire was achieved by Napoleon with ease and was a symbol of the Directory's failure to get to grips with the Revolution and that the French Revolution had come to an end. Napoleon, not wanting to be bogged down with democratic values, in which he would risk ending up like his predecessors, began his reign of an efficient military dictatorship. The Consulate, with Napoleon as first consul, was a reactionary change that gave an appearance of democracy. It preserved the main goals of the Constituent Assembly of 1789-1791 and was based on the power of the army. The principal reason that the French Revolution came to an end in 1799 was because of the rise of Napoleon. He was able overthrow the government and abolish the Revolution since France was paralysed by the Directory government and preceding governments, with their inability to provide France with a adequate leadership and support. Napoleon was the answer to France's the cry of help. He stabilized the country and enforced order France had long been without. ...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

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

    The Weakness of the Directory was the main reasons for Napoleons rise to Power. ...

    5 star(s)

    This meant that the Directory had to increase taxes, upsetting the people, and creating the apathy, which allows Napoleon to rise without a backlash from the public.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Major Causes of French Revolution

    4 star(s)

    Why was it allowed? Some radical ideas never did pass the censor, but views on such things, as religion and government were suprisingly allowed. 9 It is hard to access their influence after 1789, yet all the foundation documents of the Revolution- the Declaration of the Rights of Man and

  1. Did napoleon betray the Revolution?

    His dialogue published in 1793, Le Souper De Beaucaire, championed the Jacobins over the federalist Girondins. What Napoleon admired were the Jacobins' strong centralized government, their commitment to deal decisively with the problems facing the fledgling republic, and their attempt to forge a strong stable France while winning the war against its enemies.

  2. To what extent was Napoleon an enlightened despot?

    1800, the 75 French newspapers in existence were cut to just 13, and those remaining paper editors were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Napoleon. By 1810, all newspaper in France had to acquire licenses to print in Paris, and there also just one official paper, 'Le Moniteur'.

  1. To what extent had Napoleon betrayed the French Revolution in his domestic policy by ...

    However, this did take away more power from the people, including black people, as Slavery was reintroduced. Even though other countries had slaves and it was seen as normal, the concept of Slavery in itself is the greatest way of taking the rights of man away.

  2. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    The army on the march was, thus, well spread-out and extremely mobile, easily able to move into a loose net-like formation and trap enemy forces manoeuvring in a traditional compact group. They could then be rounded up, and forced to fight at a disadvantage.

  1. What impact did war have on the French Revolution 1789-1799?

    of Paris, a more planned economy and measures introduced in order to win the war.

  2. How successful was the National Assembly bringing equality and liberty to France during 1789-93?

    A total of 4.4million people fell into this category and most were members of the First Estate, Second Estate and the bourgeoisie as these were the wealthiest. Similarly, to the new system of the local governments, the Constituent Assembly wanted to reform the legal system.

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