|Coup of 18 Fructidor|
|Part of the French Revolution|
Acting for the coup's leaders, General Pierre Augereau stormed the Tuileries Palace to arrest Charles Pichegru and others accused of plotting a counter-revolution.
|French Directory:|| Council of Ancients |
Council of Five Hundred
|Commanders and leaders|
|80,000||216 royalist deputies|
|Casualties and losses|
The Coup of 18 Fructidor, Year V, was a seizure of power by members of the French Directory on 4 September 1797 when their opponents, the Royalists, were gaining strength. Howard G. Brown, Professor of History at Binghamton University, stresses the turn toward dictatorship and the failure of liberal democracy under the Directory, blaming it on "chronic violence, ambivalent forms of justice, and repeated recourse to heavy-handed repression."
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.
Three Directors, Paul Barras, Jean-François Rewbell and Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux, staged the coup d'état with support from the military.Royalist candidates had gained the great majority of seats in the recent elections, where a third of the seats were at stake. They were poised to win the next round of elections and assume control of the Directory.
Jean-François Reubell or Rewbell was a French lawyer, diplomat, and politician of the Revolution.
Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux was a deputy to the National Convention during the French Revolution. He later served as a prominent leader of the French Directory.
Jean-Charles Pichegru, a figure widely assumed to be acting in sympathy to the monarchy and its restoration, was elected President of the Council of Five Hundred.After documentation of Pichegru's treasonous activities was supplied by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Directors accused the entire body of plotting against the Revolution and moved quickly to annul the elections and arrest the royalists.
Jean-Charles Pichegru was a distinguished French general of the Revolutionary Wars. Under his command, French troops overran Belgium and the Netherlands before fighting on the Rhine front. His royalist positions led to his loss of power and imprisonment in Cayenne, French Guiana during the Coup of 18 Fructidor in 1797. After escaping into exile in London and joining the staff of Alexander Korsakov, he returned to France and planned the Pichegru Conspiracy to remove Napoleon from power, which led to his arrest and death. Despite his defection, his surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
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.
To support the coup, General Lazare Hoche, then commander of the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse, arrived in the capital with his troops, while Bonaparte sent troops under Pierre Augereau. Deputies were arrested and 53 were exiled to Cayenne in French Guiana. Since death from tropical disease was likely, it was referred to as the "dry guillotine". The 42 opposition newspapers were closed. The chambers were purged, and elections were partly cancelled.
Louis Lazare Hoche was a French soldier who rose to be general of the Revolutionary army. He won a victory over Royalist forces in Brittany. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3. Richard Holmes says he was, "quick-thinking, stern, and ruthless...a general of real talent whose early death was a loss to France."
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Charles Pierre François Augereau, 1st Duc de Castiglione was a soldier and general and Marshal of France. After serving in the French Revolutionary Wars he earned rapid promotion while fighting against Spain and soon found himself a division commander under Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He fought in all of Bonaparte's battles of 1796 with great distinction. During the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor Napoleon entrusted him with important commands. His life ended under a cloud because of his poor timing in switching sides between Napoleon and King Louis XVIII of France. Napoleon wrote of Augereau that he "has plenty of character, courage, firmness, activity; is inured to war; is well liked by the soldiery; is fortunate in his operations."
Among those deported to Cayenne were Pichegru, François Barbé-Marbois, François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy and Amédée Willot. Lazare Carnot made good his escape. The two vacant places in the Directory were filled by Philippe Merlin de Douai and Nicolas-Louis François de Neufchâteau.
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Amédée Willot, Count of Gramprez, held several military commands during the French Revolutionary Wars but his association with Jean-Charles Pichegru led to his exile from France in 1797. He joined the French Royal Army as a volunteer in 1771 and was a captain by 1787. He was elected commander of a volunteer battalion in 1792 and served in the War of the Pyrenees. Shortly after being promoted commander of a light infantry regiment Willot was appointed general of brigade in June 1793. A few months later he was denounced as a Royalist and jailed. In the light of later events, this may have been an accurate assessment of Willot's sentiments. After release from prison in January 1795, he led troops in Spain during the summer campaign. He was promoted to general of division in July 1795.
The 80-gun ship of the line Foudroyant was briefly named Dix-huit fructidor in honour of the event.
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The Foudroyant ("Lightning") was a Tonnant class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.
Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras, commonly known as Paul Barras, was a French politician of the French Revolution, and the main executive leader of the Directory regime of 1795–1799.
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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.
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Jean-Pierre Ramel was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and the First French Empire. Following the defeat of Napoleon I, he was assassinated by royalists in Toulouse during the Second White Terror. His older brother, Jean-Pierre Ramel, born in 1761, had been a deputy of the French Parliament and had worked on the Constitution.
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