|Palais du Luxembourg|
|Constitution of the Year VIII|
The Sénat conservateur ("Conservative Senate") 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.[ citation needed ]
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 French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
The Constitution of the Year VIII was a national constitution of France, adopted on December 24, 1799, which established the form of government known as the Consulate. The coup of 18 Brumaire had effectively given all power to Napoleon Bonaparte, and in the eyes of some, ended the French Revolution.
With the Tribunat and the Corps législatif, the Senate formed one of the three legislative assemblies of the Consulate.
The Tribunat was one of the four assemblies set up in France by the Constitution of Year VIII. It was set up officially on 1 January 1800 at the same time as the Corps législatif. Its first president was the historian Pierre Daunou, whose independent spirit led to his dismissal from the post by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The Tribunat assumed some of the functions of the Council of Five Hundred, but its role consisted only of deliberating projected laws before their adoption by the Corps législatif, with the legislative initiative remaining with the Council of State.
The Corps législatif was a part of the French legislature during the French Revolution and beyond. It is also the generic French term used to refer to any legislative body.
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.
The constitutions of Year X (1802) and Year XII (18 May 1804; instituting the First French Empire under Napoleon) reinforced the importance of the Sénat conservateur.
The Constitution of the Year X was a national constitution of France adopted during the Year X (10) on 16 Thermidor of the French Revolutionary Calendar. It amended the Constitution of the Year VIII, revising the Consulate to augment Napoleon Bonaparte's authority by making him First Consul for Life.
The Constitution of the Year XII was a national constitution of France adopted during the Year XII of the French Revolutionary Calendar.
The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.
Set up under the direct influence of the regime's new master, First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, the Constitution of 22 frimaire year VIII (13 December 1799) was the first to recreate a senate. Napoleon was to make this "Sénat conservateur", charged with watching over the survival of the Constitution, a key element in his regime.
This first senate had to be made up of only 60 inamovible (immoveable, i.e. permanent) members, aged at least 40, to which had to be added two supplementary members every year for ten years, ending up with 20 supplementary members. There was no longer any question of elections (even indirect ones) to form this assembly. The Constitution provided for Sieyès and Roger Ducos, the outgoing second and third consuls, to become ex officio members of the Senate. In consultation with Cambacérès and Lebrun (the new second and third consuls directly designated by the Constitution), it also granted the outgoing consuls the privilege of choosing the majority of the Senate (i.e. 29 other senators). This majority then picked the rest of the members. The Senate thus recruited itself and subsequently replaced deceased members by choosing from among three candidates presented to it by the First Consul, the Tribunat and the Corps législatif.
Pierre Roger Ducos, better known as Roger Ducos, was a French political figure during the Revolution and First Empire, a member of the National Convention, and of the Directory.
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.
The Napoleonic senate set itself up at the Luxembourg Palace, based in a semicircle of seats added to the central part of the building by the Palace's architect Chalgrin – in the words of the Constitution, "The sittings [of the Senate] are not [to be] public". The first Sénat conservateur included former members of the revolutionary assemblies (François de Neufchâteau, Garat, Lanjuinais), as well as scholars (Monge, Lagrange, Lacépède, Berthollet), philosophers (Cabanis), and even the explorer Bougainville and the painter Vien, member of the Institut.
The Luxembourg Palace is located at 15 Rue de Vaugirard in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It was originally built (1615–1645) to the designs of the French architect Salomon de Brosse to be the royal residence of the regent Marie de' Medici, mother of Louis XIII of France. After the Revolution it was refashioned (1799–1805) by Jean Chalgrin into a legislative building and subsequently greatly enlarged and remodeled (1835–1856) by Alphonse de Gisors. Since 1958 it has been the seat of the Senate of the Fifth Republic.
Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin was a French architect, best known for his design for the Arc de Triomphe, Paris.
Nicolas-Louis François de Neufchâteau was a French statesman, poet, and agricultural scientist.
In year X (1802), a revision of the Constitution reinforced senators' positions. From then on the Senate would rule via acts having the force of law, known as "sénatus-consultes", in all matters unforeseen by the Constitution and which needed political action from the regime. The procedure was used, for example, for the 1802 amnesty for émigrés.
An émigré is a person who has emigrated, often with a connotation of political or social self-exile. The word is the past participle of the French émigrer, "to emigrate".
The number of senators rose to 120. First Consul Bonaparte directly controlled the Senate's activity and composition – he convened it, presided over it, reserved the right to present it with its candidates, personally designated three candidates from the list of citizens elected by the electoral colleges and could also name senators of his own initiative.
In January 1803 Napoleon created the system of sénatoreries, which ensured the senators' complete compliance and docility. From June 1804 onwards, these were granted to 36 senators and made these senators regional "super-préfets". They gave these senators the right, during their own lifetime, to have a residential palace (a château or a former episcopal palace) and to annual revenue from 20,000 to 25,000 francs – doubling ordinary senatorial pay. For example, Berthollet received the sénatorerie of Montpellier, occupied the bishop's palace at Narbonne and received an annual revenue of 22,690 francs.
The Constitution of the Year XII (1804) proclaimed the First French Empire and increased the Senate's dependency on Napoleon (now emperor). Napoleon's rewards to his senators became more and more frequent, as did the senators' shows of allegiance to him. On 1 January 1806, in homage to these "sages de l’Empire" (wise-men of the Empire), the emperor granted the senators 54 enemy flags. The "sénateur maréchal d’Empire" (marshal of France) Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon then enthusiastically proposed the construction of a triumphal arch to the glory of the emperor, a suggestion warmly backed by his colleagues, including senator Bernard Germain de Lacépède.
Napoléon summoned into the Senate the French princes, the Great Dignitaries and all his choicest friends, with no limit on numbers. He granted this to his brother Joseph, but also to Cambacérès, Chaptal, Fouché, Fontanes, Tronchet and generals such as Caulaincourt and Duroc.
Despite being laden with Napoleon's favours, the senators nonetheless proclaimed his fall on 3 April 1814 and summoned Louis XVIII to take the throne. Louis XVIII abolished the senate.
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, most commonly known as the abbé Sieyès, was a French Roman Catholic abbé, clergyman and political writer. He was one of the chief political theorists of the French Revolution, and also played a prominent role in the French Consulate and First French Empire.
Tricameralism is the practice of having three legislative or parliamentary chambers. It is contrasted with unicameralism and bicameralism, both of which are far more common.
This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution.
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.
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.
Jean-Nicolas Démeunier was a French author and politician.
The French Constitution of 1852 was enacted on 14 January 1852 by Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. Slightly modified later that year, on 25 December 1852 the constitution became the basis for the creation of the French Second Empire.
The sénatoreries were the great properties distributed by Napoléon Bonaparte to senators in an implicit exchange for their docility towards his regime, as it became less and less democratic, starting on 4 January 1803. They were created by the sénatus-consulte of the sénat conservateur of 14 nivôse year XI.
François Cacault was a French diplomat of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods.
A sénatus-consulte was a feature of French law during the French Consulate, First French Empire and Second French Empire.
Honoré Muraire, was a French statesman of the French Revolution. Under the Ancien Régime he held the title of seigneur of Favas; later under the French Empire he held a title of comte de l'Empire.
The Acte de déchéance de l'Empereur is a legislative decision taken by the Sénat conservateur on 2 April 1814, recognising the downfall of Napoléon I of France.
The First Cabinet of Napoleon I was appointed by the Emperor Napoleon I upon the establishment of the First French Empire on 18 May 1804, replacing the Cabinet of the Consulate. It was succeeded by the French Provisional Government of 1814 following the downfall of Napoleon and the abolition of the Empire.