The Conspiration des poignards (Daggers Conspiracy) or Complot de l'Opéra (Opera Plot) was an alleged assassination attempt against Napoleon Bonaparte. The members of the plot were not clearly established. Authorities at the time presented it as an assassination attempt on Napoleon at the exit of the Paris operahouse on 18 vendémiaire year IX (10 October 1800), which was prevented by the police force of Joseph Fouché. However, this version was questioned very early on.
Vendémiaire was the first month in the French Republican calendar. The month was named after the Occitan word vendemiaire.
Joseph Fouché, 1st Duc d'Otrante, 1st Comte Fouché was a French statesman and Minister of Police under First Consul Bonaparte, who later became Emperor Napoleon. He was particularly known for his ferocity with which he suppressed the Lyon insurrection during the Revolution in 1793 and for being minister of police under the Directory, the Consulate, and the Empire. In English texts, his title is often translated as Duke of Otranto.
In his Mémoires, Fouché affirmed that, towards mid-September 1800, a plot arose aiming at assassinating Napoleon at the operahouse. Someone named Harel, presented as one of the accomplices, worked in liaison with the war commissioner Lefebvre, to bring the revelations to Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Napoleon's secretary, indicating the plotters were Giuseppe Ceracchi, Joseph Diana, Joseph Antoine Aréna (brother of the Corsican deputy who had declared against Napoleon); the painter and patriotic fanatic François Topino-Lebrun, and Dominique Demerville, former clerk of the Committee of public safety, closely associated with Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac. Harel was charged with drawing up a trap for the plotters; four armed men, laid out for the assassination of Napoleon, on the evening of October 10, after a performance of Les Horaces . The day of the attack, the men stationed by the police force stopped Diana, Ceracchi and their two accomplices.All the others presumably retreated and were apprehended at their residences.
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne was a French diplomat, born in Sens.
Giuseppe Ceracchi was an Italian sculptor, active in a Neoclassic style in Italy, England and the nascent United States, who was a passionate republican during the American and French revolutions. He is remembered for his portrait busts of prominent British and American individuals.
François Jean-Baptiste Topino-Lebrun was a French painter and revolutionary. He worked in the Neo-Classical style and was said to be the favorite student of Jacques-Louis David.
For modern historiansthis was a manipulation by the police force, made possible by an agent provocateur, Harel, who had infiltrated the group. After Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise, the members of the "daggers conspiracy", presented as a Jacobin plot, were judged in front of the criminal court of The Seine. Four of them were condemned to death 19 nivôse year IX (January 9, 1801), at eleven o'clock in the evening, after three days of debates and carried out January 30 after rejection of the appeal.
A Jacobin was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary political movement that was the most famous political club during the French Revolution (1789–99). The club was so called because of the Dominican convent in Paris in the Rue Saint-Jacques where they originally met.
Seine was a department of France encompassing Paris and its immediate suburbs. Its capital was Paris and its official number was 75. The Seine department was abolished in 1968 and its territory divided among four new departments.
Nivôse was the fourth month in the French Republican Calendar. The month was named after the Latin word nivosus, which means snowy.
The members of the plot were:
A coup d'état, also known as a putsch, a golpe, or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.
Jacques-Louis David was a French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward classical austerity and severity and heightened feeling, harmonizing with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.
The Revolutionary Tribunal was a court instituted by the National Convention during the French Revolution for the trial of political offenders. It eventually became one of the most powerful engines of the Reign of Terror.
Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Français, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano, the third surviving son of Carlo Bonaparte and his wife Letizia Ramolino, was a French statesman, who served as the final President of the Council of Five Hundred at the end of the French Revolution.
The Consulate was the top level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate also refers to this period of French history.
The Coup of 18 Brumaire brought General Napoleon Bonaparte to power as First Consul of France and in the view of most historians ended the French Revolution. This bloodless coup d'état overthrew the Directory, replacing it with the French Consulate. This occurred on 9 November 1799, which was 18 Brumaire, Year VIII under the French Republican Calendar.
Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien was a relative of the Bourbon monarchs of France. More famous for his death than for his life, he was executed on charges of aiding Britain and plotting against France. Royalty across Europe were shocked and dismayed at his execution. Tsar Alexander I of Russia was especially alarmed, and decided to curb Napoleon's power.
Charles-François Lebrun, 1st duc de Plaisance, was a French statesman who served as Third Consul of the French Republic and was later created Arch-Treasurer and Prince of the Empire by Napoleon I.
Antoine Christophe Saliceti was a French politician and diplomat of the Revolution and First Empire.
Claude François de Malet was born in Dole to an aristocratic family. He was executed by firing squad, six days after staging a failed republican coup d'état as Napoleon I returned from the disastrous Russian campaign in 1812.
The Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, also known as the Machine infernale plot, was an assassination attempt on the life of the First Consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, in Paris on 24 December 1800. It followed the conspiration des poignards of 10 October 1800, and was one of many Royalist and Catholic plots.
Events from the year 1858 in France.
The Sénat conservateur was an advisory body established in France during the Consulate following the French Revolution. It was established in 1799 under the Constitution of the Year VIII following the Napoleon Bonaparte-led Coup of 18 Brumaire. It lasted until 1814 when Napoleon Bonaparte was overthrown and the Bourbon monarchy was restored. The Sénat was a key element in Napoleon's regime.
Prisons of the Reign of Terror indicates a process set up under the Reign of Terror, inaugurated after the lawsuit of the dantonists, then set up in a systematic manner, after the vote of the Law of 22 Prairial. There were several "crimes against humanity," given that the expression indicates neither rebellion nor mutiny, but a concerted plan of physical elimination of innocent prisoners without due process of the law.
Pierre-Michel Alix was a French engraver. He studied under Jacques-Philippe Le Bas and was best known for his portraits of notable figures during the French Revolution and First French Empire. Many of his works are now held in the Louvre's Cabinet des estampes and in France's Bibliothèque nationale.
The Thermidorians, known also a Thermidorian Convention, was a French political group active during the French Revolution between 1794 and 1799.
Napoleon abdicated on 22 June in favour of his son Napoleon II. On 24 June the Provisional Government proclaimed the fact to the French nation and the world.
The Pichegru Conspiracy, otherwise known as the Cadoudal Affair was a conspiracy involving royalists Jean-Charles Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal who wished to overthrow Napoleon Bonaparte's military regime. They were apprehended and sentenced to death, but not before the rumors of their plot reached Napoleon. Bonaparte believed Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien was in contact with the conspirators and his fear of the loss of his power prompted the execution of the innocent Duke. The affair provoked the old aristocracy to oppose the regime as well as strengthening the influence of the Minister of Police, Joseph Fouché.
Historian Philip Dwyer claims Napoleon faced between 20 and 30 assassination plots during his reign over France.