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

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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. Many moved abroad and began plotting a counter-revolution, but many did not return until Napoleon was leader. Following King Louis XVI fall from power a meritocratic system was set up in France whereby the more able people got higher positions, and allowed Napoleon to rise up the army quickly to a high rank. This rank reached Brigadier General after Napoleon shot on rioters at Toulon and got him noticed among the political elite as well as the military.

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However the weakness of the directory was the main reason to Napoleon’s rise to power, because although the circumstances suited Napoleon and allowed him to rise in the army, a strong directory would have restricted how political he could have become, if they had not needed to use his armies to put down riots. Also a strong directory could have made people content with government instead of disinterest, and therefore wouldn’t have allowed Napoleon to create the final coup.

Napoleon’s strengths also were a factor in his rise to power, as he was popular amongst the army. He ...

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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.