Hist 215: February 9th
The way we’re telling the story is going to impact the event that will come
Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Alexis de Toqueville,
Albert Soboul, Francois Furet
July 1794: Thermidor and ”Thermidorian Reaction”
o Middle-class gains reinforce, Parisian Commune closed down
o End of fixed prices, continuing war
o Good for people with property/money, mostly bad for people who
had to buy their food on the market because with all the excesses, the
fixed prices went out the window.
1795 Constitution: indirect elections
o Full rights for every male
o All males with elect two assemblies, which will elect smaller councils
who will elect 5 directors.
1799 Brumaire 18 (November): Sieyes (one of the five directors), plots with
Napoleon to overthrow the Directory – Napoleon becomes First Consul.
***memorize bold things on Web CT
army over these revolutionary years becomes the engine of change and feels
that he has something to prove/give, all open, anyone can join. 2) army and
its continuing success proves the revolution as successful.
As Napoleon rises he becomes the actual leader – is it still a revolutionary
war or is it becoming an old fashioned dynastic war? After 1799, Napoleon’s
personal tool to gain more glory
Merriman – p 510-512, 480-494 – detailed biography of Napoleon + his
accomplishments as a military leader and statesman.
o Napoleon was a product of the revolution itself – but remember that
he was a nobleman who went to military school, so why was he a
o His lineage and background was not the right kind of noble (Corsican
roots and Italian noble stock).
o Not the only/first general who rose quickly through the ranks
o No one would question Napoleon’s military genious and in addition to
that he was good at picking his allies and protectors
o He was a Jacobin during that period, and was a protogee of
o 1793 Leader, 1796 commander of French army in Italy, 1802 declares
himself first consul for life, 1804 crowns himself emperor “of the
French”. To be “of the french” represents all that passed over the
revolution, very clear sign that he isn’t the second coming of an