Council of Ancients

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Council of Anciens

Conseil des Anciens
French First Republic
Conseil des anciens sans txt.svg
Emblem of the Council of Anciens
Type
Type
History
Established2 November 1795
Disbanded10 November 1799
Preceded by National Convention (unicameral)
Succeeded by Imperial Senate
Seats250
Meeting place
Salle du Manège, rue de Rivoli, Paris
Bouquerot de Voligny (1755-1841) in his uniform as a member of the Council of Ancients (Musee de la Revolution francaise). Thomas Andre Marie Bouquerot de Voligny 1755-1841 depute de la Nievre au Conseil des Anciens p1400556.jpg
Bouquerot de Voligny (1755-1841) in his uniform as a member of the Council of Ancients (Musée de la Révolution française).
The Council of Ancients in session. Conseil des Anciens.jpg
The Council of Ancients in session.

The Council of Ancients or Council of Elders (French : Conseil des Anciens) was the upper house of French legislature under the Constitution of the Year III, during the period commonly known as the Directory (French: Directoire), from 22 August 1795 until 9 November 1799, roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, Germany's Bundesrat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate.

A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.

Contents

The Council of Ancients was the senior of the two halves of the republican legislative system. The Ancients were 250 members who could accept or reject laws put forward by the lower house of the Directory, the Council of Five Hundred (Conseil des Cinq-Cents). Each member had to be at least forty years of age, and a third of them would be replaced annually. They had no authority to draft laws, but any bills that they renounced could not be reintroduced for at least a year. [1]

Republicanism is a representative form of government organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

Council of Five Hundred lower house of the legislature of France during the period commonly known as the Directory (Directoire)

The Council of Five Hundred, or simply the Five Hundred, was the lower house of the legislature of France under the Constitution of the Year III. It existed during the period commonly known as the Directory (Directoire), from 26 October 1795 until 9 November 1799: roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

Besides functioning as a legislative body, the Ancients chose five Directors, who jointly held executive power, from the list of names put forward by the Council of Five Hundred. The Council of Ancients had their own distinctive official uniform, with robes, cape and hat, just as did the Council of Five Hundred and the Directors. [2] [3] Under the Thermidorean constitution, as Boissy d'Anglas put it, the Council of Five Hundred was to be the imagination of the Republic, and the Council of Ancients its reason. [4] [5]

French Directory Executive power of the French Constitution of 1795-1799

The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.

François Antoine de Boissy dAnglas French politician

François-Antoine, Count of the Empire (1756–1826) was a French writer, lawyer and politician during the Revolution and the Empire.

The name adopted for the body was based on the French translation/adaptation of the term Senate [6] .

Senate type of legislative body, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature

A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate, so-called as an assembly of the senior and therefore allegedly wiser and more experienced members of the society or ruling class. Thus, the literal meaning of the word "senate" is Assembly of Elders.

Presidents of the Council of Ancients

Pierre-Charles-Louis Baudin French politician

Pierre-Charles-Louis Baudin, born 18 December 1748 in Sedan, Ardennes and died 14 October 1799 in Paris, was a French revolutionary and politician. He is the father of the admiral and explorer Charles Baudin and brother-in-law of the chemist Jean Henri Hassenfratz. He was noted as a moderate; he opposed the execution of Louis XVI.

François Denis Tronchet French jurist

François Denis Tronchet was a French jurist.

Theodore Vernier, Count of Montorient, son of Jean Baptiste Vernier, lawyer, and Claudine Leclerc, was a lawyer and French politician during the Revolution, the Directory and Consulate.

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References

  1. Paul R. Hanson, Contesting the French Revolution, John Wiley & Sons 2009 p.131
  2. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6953456x accessed 30/4/2017
  3. https://chrhc.revues.org/4768#tocfrom3n5 accessed 30/4/2017
  4. https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01367516/document accessed 30/4/2017
  5. http://books.openedition.org/pur/19748?lang=fr accessed 30/4/2017
  6. senate (n.) c. 1200, "legal and administrative body of ancient Rome," from Old French senat or Latin senatus "highest council of the state in ancient Rome," literally "council of elders," from senex (genitive senis) "old man, old" (from PIE root *sen- "old"). Attested from late 14c. in reference to governing bodies of free cities in Europe; of national governing bodies from 1550s; specific sense of upper house of U.S. legislature is recorded from 1775. Online Etymology Dictionary accessed 1/11/2017

Sources