The Weaknesses of the Directory Was the Main Reason for Napoleon's Rise to Power

Topics: French Directory, Military, France Pages: 5 (1676 words) Published: August 28, 2013
'The weaknesses of the directory was the main reason for Napoleon's rise to power.' Napoleon Bonaparte rose to the position of the most powerful man in France by the end of 1799. This occurred after the Coup of Brumaire during the 18/19th Brumaire of year 8, where Sieyès and Ducos, two directors, attempted to use Napoleon to overthrow the current government in order to create a new, better constitution. Napoleon, after making a speech to the council of ancients, then attempted to challenge the council of 500, the atmosphere was very hostile and soon Napoleon was attacked. Lucien, his brother, escorted Napoleon to the safety of his men, where Napoleon then called upon his men to defend him. A brigade of armed soldiers then stormed into the council of 500 and disbanded the group, therefore collapsing the current separation of powers meaning a new order had to be established. It was at this time Napoleon then outmanoeuvred Sieyès and quickly took the position of First Consul, Napoleon was now in control of France. The reasons which caused this all contributed significantly and often heavily linked to each other, the weaknesses of the directory therefore certainly was a crucial reason for this, however many other reasons were also crucial, the main reason however was Napoleon's military strengths and ambition ultimately it caused Napoleon to be chosen to take part in the Coup of Brumaire, where after all is where he finally gained the power he craved. Weaknesses of directory

Napoleon's military strengths and ambitions were certainly the most important factors in Napoleons rise to power. The reasoning behind this judgement is because it is his amazing military mind and leadership abilities which made Napoleon stand out above the many other aspiring military men. The siege of Toulon started out Napoleon on his path to greatness by showing what a amazing tactical mind, inspiring leadership skills and roaring courage he possessed making him a clear candidate for the Directory to utilise. Napoleon showed this at Toulon by forcing the British troops supporting the royalist uprising out of the vital port using his knowledge of artillery warfare and a courageous series of personally led charges. The promotion to colonel then led to Napoleon being used in the Vendemaire uprising where he used a 'whiff of grapeshot' to ensure the security of the directory, and then more importantly to his role as Commander of the Army of Italy when Napoleon really became a major figure known all around France by utilising his political intuition to create propaganda for himself in the form of newspapers, and when Napoleon earned the loyalty of the military men, some of whom in particular were later vital in the completion of the coup of Brumaire. In 1796 Napoleon led the French invasion of Italy where Napoleon consistently demonstrated a string of victories against the Italian states and Austria. Napoleon used brilliant speeches of the riches of Italy and his own bravery in the battlefield (such as at the battle of Lodi where he helped in the artillery division) to gain the support and loyalty of the previously undersupplied yet experienced men he commanded. The exploitation of the wealth of Italy did not only increase Napoleon's popularity with his men, who were needed for his later rise to power during the coup of Brumaire, but it also increased his standing with the revolutionary government. France's economy had not recovered during the entire period of the revolution, Napoleon's escapades in Italy however benefited the economy a great deal by providing a way to not only reduce the upkeep of its men(as they now lived off the land they invaded) but it also provided a extra source of income from the various gold/ silver/ precious jewellery and expensive artwork sent back to France by Napoleon. Overall the victories and monetary gifts demonstrated dedication to France, and showed Sieyès that Napoleon was loyal to France, and the experiences at...
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