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How Did the Failure of the Directory Lead to Napoleon's Rise to Power

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Submitted By hahara8
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To what extent was Napoleon’s rise to power aided by the failings of the Directory?!

! Introduction! !

Crook comments that Napoleon’s rise to power had “acquired an aura of inevitability”1, and such inevitability was aided by the fall of the French monarchy, the failings of the Directory, and more importantly, Napoleon’s personal ability and appeal to employ such opportunity. This essay will argue that his rise to power was indeed very much aided by the failings of the Directory, but it was Napoleon who recognized such failures and used these to his advantage that ensured his rise. It will begin with a short background of the origins and result of the French Revolution. It will then summarize the failings of the Directory and how Napoleon used such failings to rise to power. !

! The French Revolution! !

To evaluate the Directory’s impact on Napoleon’s rise to power it is essential to examine France in the late 18th century, a time of uprisings and turmoils. There was a general public discontent in the French monarch, Louis XVI, due to his inability to find a solution of the impoverished France. France was in such a state because it spent a large sum on warfare, namely the funding of the American War of Independence. This Pyrrhic victory almost bankrupted France. While the King taxed the poor, the royal family and the nobles still lived in luxurious lifestyles. After a series of events, the King was overthrown. !

! Napoleon Under the Directory! !

After the overthrown, the 1795 Constitution was passed by voting. It also established the Directoire, the Directory, with five directors, and one was to be replaced each year. The Parliament was formed of two bodies, the Council of Five Hundred and the Council of the Elders. The Directory regime lasted for four years, from 1795 to 1799. Louis XVI’s brother attempted to bring the monarchy system back to…...

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