The Consulate (French: Le Consulat) 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.
During this period, Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, established himself as the head of a more authoritarian, autocratic, and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself sole ruler. Due to the long-lasting institutions established during these years, Robert B. Holtman has called the Consulate "one of the most important periods of all French history." Napoleon brought authoritarian personal rule which has been viewed as military dictatorship.
|Executive government of the French First Republic|
|Established||10 November 1799|
|Disbanded||18 May 1804|
|Preceded by||French Directory|
|Succeeded by||First French Empire|
with Napoleon Bonaparte as emperor
French military disasters in 1798 and 1799 had shaken the Directory, and eventually shattered it in November 1799. Historians sometimes date the start of the political downfall of the Directory to the 18 June 1799 (Coup of 30 Prairial VII by the French Republican calendar), when the now only one month in office serving anti-Jacobin Director Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, with the help of the Directory's only surviving original member, the anti-Jacobin Paul Barras, successfully rid himself of the other three then-sitting directors. The March-April 1799 elections to the two councils had produced a new Neo-Jacobin majority in the two bodies, and being unhappy with the existing five man Directory, by 5 June 1799, these councils had found an irregularity in the election of the Director Jean Baptiste Treilhard, who thus retired in favor of Louis Jérôme Gohier, a Jacobin more 'in tune' with the feelings in the two councils. The very next day, 18 June 1799, the anti-Jacobins Philippe-Antoine Merlin (Merlin de Douai) and Louis-Marie de La Revellière-Lépeaux were also driven to resign, although one long time anti-Jacobin, popularly known for his cunning, survived the day's coup; they were replaced by the Jacobin Baron Jean-François-Auguste Moulin and by the non-Jacobin, or 'weak' Jacobin, Roger Ducos. The three new directors were generally seen by the anti-Jacobin elite of France as non-entities, a 'put-down' if ever there was one, but that same elite could take some comfort in knowing that the five man Directory was still in anti-Jacobin hands, but with a reduced majority.
A few more military disasters, royalist insurrections in the south, Chouan disturbances in a dozen departments of the western part of France (mainly in Brittany, Maine and eventually Normandy), Orléanist intrigues, and the end became certain. In order to soothe the populace and protect the frontier, more than the French Revolution's usual terrorist measures (such as the law of hostages) was necessary. The new Directory government, led by the anti-Jacobin Sieyès, decided that the necessary revision of the constitution would require "a head" (his own) and "a sword" (a general to back him). Jean Victor Moreau being unattainable as his sword, Sieyès favoured Barthélemy Catherine Joubert; but, when Joubert was killed at the Battle of Novi (15 August 1799), he turned to General Napoleon Bonaparte.
Although Guillaume Marie Anne Brune and André Masséna won the Battles of Bergen and of Zürich, and although the Allies of the Second Coalition lingered on the frontier as they had done after the Battle of Valmy, still the fortunes of the Directory were not restored. Success was reserved for Bonaparte, suddenly landing at Fréjus with the prestige of his victories in the East, and now, after Hoche's death (1797), appearing as sole master of the armies.
In the coup of 18 Brumaire Year VIII (9 November 1799), Napoleon seized French parliamentary and military power in a two-fold coup d'état, forcing the sitting directors of the government to resign. On the night of the 19 Brumaire (10 November 1799) a remnant of the Council of Ancients abolished the Constitution of the Year III, ordained the Consulate, and legalised the coup d'état in favour of Bonaparte with the Constitution of the Year VIII.
The initial 18 Brumaire coup seemed to be a victory for Sieyès, rather than for Bonaparte. Sieyès was a proponent of a new system of government for the Republic, and the coup initially seemed certain to bring his system into force. Bonaparte's cleverness lay in counterposing Pierre Claude François Daunou's plan to that of Sieyès, and in retaining only those portions of each which could serve his ambition.
The new government was composed of three parliamentary assemblies: the Council of State which drafted bills, the Tribunate which could not vote on the bills but instead debated them, and the Legislative Assembly, whose members could not discuss the bills but voted on them after reviewing the Tribunate's debate record. The Sénat conservateur was a governmental body equal to the three aforementioned legislative assemblies and verified the draft bills and directly advised the First Consul on the implications of such bills. Ultimate executive authority was vested in three consuls, who were elected for ten years. Popular suffrage was retained, though mutilated by the lists of notables (on which the members of the Assemblies were to be chosen by the Senate). The four aforementioned governmental organs were retained under the Constitution of the Year XII, which recognized Napoleon as the French sovereign Emperor, but their respective powers were greatly diminished.
Napoleon vetoed Sieyès' original idea of having a single Grand Elector as supreme executive and Head of State. Sieyès had intended to reserve this important position for himself, and by denying him the job Napoleon helped reinforce the authority of the consuls, an office which he would assume. Nor was Napoleon content simply to be part of an equal triumvirate. As the years would progress he would move to consolidate his own power as First Consul, and leave the two other consuls, Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès and Charles-François Lebrun, as well as the Assemblies, weak and subservient.
By consolidating power, Bonaparte was able to transform the aristocratic constitution of Sieyès into an unavowed dictatorship.
On 7 February 1800, a public referendum confirmed the new constitution. It vested all of the real power in the hands of the First Consul, leaving only a nominal role for the other two consuls. A full 99.9% of voters approved the motion, according to the released results.
While this near-unanimity is certainly open to question, Napoleon was genuinely popular among many voters, and after a period of strife, many in France were reassured by his dazzling but unsuccessful offers of peace to the victorious Second Coalition, his rapid disarmament of La Vendée, and his talk of stability of government, order, justice and moderation. He gave everyone a feeling that France was governed once more by a real statesman, and that a competent government was finally in charge.
Bonaparte had now to rid himself of Sieyès and of those republicans who had no desire to hand over the republic to one man, particularly of Moreau and Masséna, his military rivals. The victory of Marengo (14 June 1800) momentarily in the balance, but secured by Desaix and Kellermann, offered a further opportunity to his ambition by increasing his popularity. The royalist plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise on 24 December 1800 allowed him to make a clean sweep of the democratic republicans, who despite their innocence were deported to French Guiana. He annulled the Assemblies and made the Senate omnipotent in constitutional matters.
The Treaty of Lunéville, signed in February 1801 with Austria (which had been disarmed by Moreau’s victory at Hohenlinden), restored peace to Europe, gave nearly the whole of Italy to France, and permitted Bonaparte to eliminate from the Assemblies all the leaders of the opposition in the discussion of the Civil Code. The Concordat of 1801, drawn up not in the Church's interest but in that of his own policy, by giving satisfaction to the religious feeling of the country, allowed him to put down the constitutional democratic Church, to rally round him the consciences of the peasants, and above all to deprive the royalists of their best weapon. The Articles Organiques hid from the eyes of his companions-in-arms and councillors a reaction which, in fact if not in law, restored to a submissive Church, despoiled of her revenues, her position as the religion of the state.
The Peace of Amiens (25 March 1802) with the United Kingdom, of which France's allies, Spain and the Batavian Republic, paid all the costs, finally gave the peacemaker a pretext for endowing himself with a Consulate, not for ten years but for life, as a recompense from the nation. The Rubicon was crossed on that day: Bonaparte’s march to empire began with the Constitution of the Year X dated 16 Thermidor or 4 August 1802.
As Napoleon increased his power, he borrowed many techniques of the Ancien Régime in his new form of one-man government. Like the old monarchy, he re-introduced plenipotentiaries, an over-centralised, strictly utilitarian administrative and bureaucratic methods, and a policy of subservient pedantic scholasticism towards the nation's universities. He constructed or consolidated the funds necessary for national institutions, local governments, a judiciary system, organs of finance, banking, codes, traditions of conscientious well-disciplined labour force.
France enjoyed a high level of peace and order under Napoleon that helped to raise the standard of comfort. Prior to this, Paris had often suffered from hunger and thirst, and lacked fire and light, but under Napoleon, provisions became cheap and abundant, while trade prospered and wages ran high. The pomp and luxury of the nouveaux riches were displayed in the salons of the good Joséphine, the beautiful Madame Tallien, and the "divine" Juliette Récamier.
In strengthening the machinery of state, Napoleon created the elite order of the Légion d'honneur (The Legion of Honour), the Concordat, and restored indirect taxes, an act seen as a betrayal of the Revolution.
Napoleon was largely able to quell dissent within government by expelling his more vocal critics, such as Benjamin Constant and Madame de Staël. The expedition to San Domingo reduced the republican army to a nullity. Constant war helped demoralise and scatter the military's leaders, who were jealous of their "comrade" Bonaparte. The last major challenge to Napoleon's authority came from Moreau, who was compromised in a royalist plot; he too was sent into exile.
In contradistinction to the opposition of senators and republican generals, the majority of the French populace remained uncritical of Bonaparte's authority. No suggestion of the possibility of his death was tolerated. The Napoleonic age began here when he became officer of the French state and established the Consulate.
Because Napoleon's hold on political power was still tenuous, French Royalists devised a plot that involved kidnapping and assassinating him and inviting Louis Antoine Henri, the Duke of Enghien, to lead a coup d'état that would precede the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy with Louis XVIII on the throne. The British government of William Pitt the Younger had contributed to this Royalist conspiracy by financing one million pounds and providing naval transport (with the ship of Captain John Wesley Wright) to the conspirators Georges Cadoudal and General Charles Pichegru for their return to France from England. Pichegru met Jean Victor Marie Moreau, one of Napoleon's generals and a former protege of Pichegru, on 28 January 1804. The next day, a British secret agent named Courson was arrested and he, under torture, confessed that Pichegru, Moreau and Cadoudal were conspiring to overthrow the Consulate. The French government sought more details of this plot by arresting and torturing Louis Picot, Cadoudal's servant. Joachim Murat ordered the city gates of Paris to be closed from 7 pm to 6 am while Pichegru and Moreau were arrested during the next month.
These further arrests revealed that the Royalist conspiracy would eventually involve the active participation of the Duke of Enghien, who was a relatively young Bourbon prince and thus another possible heir to a restored Bourbon monarchy. The Duke, at that time, was living as a French émigré in the future Grand Duchy of Baden, but then still the 1803-1806 Electorate of Baden, but he also kept a rented house in Ettenheim, which was close to the French border. Perhaps at the urging of Talleyrand, Napoleon's foreign minister, and Fouché, Napoleon's minister of police who had warned that "the air is full of daggers", the First Consul came to the political conclusion that the Duke must be dealt with. Two hundred French soldiers surrounded the Duke's home in Baden and arrested him.
On the way back to France d'Enghien stated that "he had sworn implacable hatred against Bonaparte as well as against the French; he would take every occasion to make war on them."
After three plots to assassinate him and the further financing of a supposed insurrection in Strasbourg, Napoleon had enough. Based on d'Enghien's who were seized at his home in Germany and the material from the police, d'Enghien was charged as a conspirator in time of war and was subject to a military court. He was ordered to be tried by a court of seven colonels at Vincennes.
D'Enghien during his questioning at the court told them that he was being paid £4,200 per year by England "in order to combat not France but a government to which his birth had made him hostile." Further, he stated that "I asked England if I might serve in her armies, but she replied that that was impossible: I must wait on the Rhine, where I would have a part to play immediately, and I was in fact waiting."
D'Enghien was found guilty of being in violation of Article 2 of a law of 6 October 1791, to wit, "Any conspiracy and plot aimed at disturbing the State by civil war, and arming the citizens against one another, or against lawful authority, will be punished by death." He was executed in the ditch of the fortress of Vincennes.
The aftermath caused hardly a ripple in France, but abroad, it produced a storm of anger. Many of those who had favored or been neutral to Napoleon now turned against him. But Napoleon always assumed full responsibility for allowing the execution and continued to believe that, on balance, he had done the right thing.
The endless conspiracies against Bonaparte's life began to raise concerns that the Republic would collapse shortly following his death, followed by either the Bourbons restored, a military dictatorship, or the Jacobins with their guillotine. Fouché suggested that Napoleon create a hereditary title to cement his legacy and lessen the likelihood that the regime would change upon his death. Napoleon was at first reluctant to accept the title. However, he was ultimately persuaded to do so, provided that the power come from the people, not by divine right. On 18 May 1804, the Senate passed a bill introducing the French Empire, with Napoleon as Emperor. The coronation ceremony took place on 2 December 1804, where Napoleon crowned himself as Emperor of the French, establishing the Empire.
|The provisional Consuls (10 November – 12 December 1799)|
|Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès
|During the Consulate (12 December 1799 – 18 May 1804)|
The Ministers under the Consulate were:
|Foreign Affairs||11 November 1799||22 November 1799||Charles-Frédéric Reinhard|
|22 November 1799||18 May 1804||Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord|
|Justice||11 November 1799||25 December 1799||Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès|
|25 December 1799||14 September 1802||André Joseph Abrial|
|14 September 1802||18 May 1804||Claude Ambroise Régnier|
|War||11 November 1799||2 April 1800||Louis-Alexandre Berthier|
|2 April 1800||8 October 1800||Lazare Carnot|
|8 October 1800||18 May 1804||Louis-Alexandre Berthier|
|Finance||11 November 1799||18 May 1804||Martin-Michel-Charles Gaudin|
|Police||11 November 1799||18 May 1804||Joseph Fouché|
|Interior||12 November 1799||25 December 1799||Pierre-Simon Laplace|
|25 December 1799||21 January 1801||Lucien Bonaparte|
|21 January 1801||18 May 1804||Jean-Antoine Chaptal|
|Navy and Colonies||12 November 1799||22 November 1799||Marc Antoine Bourdon de Vatry|
|22 November 1799||3 October 1801||Pierre-Alexandre-Laurent Forfait|
|3 October 1801||18 May 1804||Denis Decrès|
|Secretary of State||25 December 1799||18 May 1804||Hugues-Bernard Maret, duc de Bassano|
|Treasury||27 September 1801||18 May 1804||François Barbé-Marbois|
|War Administration||12 March 1802||18 May 1804||Jean François Aimé Dejean|
A referendum ratifying the constitution of the French consulate was held in February 1800. 53.74% of voters abstained. The official results, as announced by Lucien Bonaparte, Minister of the Interior and brother of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, were 99.9% in favor of the new constitution. However, academics have claimed that Lucien massaged the votes in favour of the constitution, alleging that only 1,550,000 Frenchmen voted for the change.1995 French consulate bombing in Perth
On 17 June 1995, the French Consulate in West Perth, Western Australia was firebombed and destroyed.88 Kearny Street
88 Kearny Street is a class-A office high-rise on Kearny Street at the southeast intersection with Post Street in the Financial District of San Francisco, California. The 309 ft (94 m), 22-story tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and its construction was completed in 1986.
The French Consulate General is housed in the building: Suite 600Bombing of French consulate in West Berlin
The 1983 French consulate bombing was a terrorist bomb attack targeting the Maison de France consulate on the Kurfuerstendamm in West Berlin, West Germany on 25 August 1983. It killed one person and injured 23 other people. The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) claimed responsibility in a telephone call which included a bomb at a French base in Beirut the same day, and coming a month after the group's Orly Airport attack. The group commented "We will continue our struggle until the liberation of innocent Armenians from French jails." However the attack was actually orchestrated by Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, who had relations with the ASALA's leadership. Carlos claimed responsibility in a letter written to the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia.The bomb, containing 20 to 30 kg of explosives of nitropenta, was planted in a storage room on the building's fourth floor by Ahmed Mustafa El-Sibai, a Lebanese man and associate of Carlos. The blast tore the building's roof, destroyed the fourth floor and caused part of it to collapse, causing a total of 2.5 million marks in damage. The explosives were brought into East Berlin by Johannes Weinrich, another close aide to Carlos, and were kept by the Stasi secret police. East German lieutenant colonel Helmut Voigt passed the explosives from Stasi's arms store to Weinrich at the Syrian Embassy, which was Carlos's base in East Germany. Weinrich successfully transported the explosives from East to West Berlin via the Friedrichstraße before giving them to El-Sibai who planted it.The fatal victim was 26-year-old Michael Haritz, a peace activist who was handing out leaflets at the consulate protesting France's nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific, and died from asphyxiation.Carlos previously bombed several targets in France, such as the 1982 Capitole train bombing. He claimed the attacks in France and West Berlin were in revenge for French air strikes against a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine training camp in Lebanon.Charles-François Lebrun
Charles-François Lebrun, 1st duc de Plaisance (19 March 1739 – 16 June 1824), 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.Consulate-General of France in Saint Petersburg
The Consulate-General of France in Saint Petersburg is the diplomatic mission of France in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. It is located at 15 Moika River Embankment (Russian: Набережная реки Мойки, дом 15) in the Tsentralny District in Saint Petersburg.Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (3 May 1748 – 20 June 1836), most commonly known as the Abbé Sieyès (French: [sjejɛs]), 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.
His 1789 pamphlet What Is the Third Estate? became the manifesto of the Revolution, helping to transform the Estates-General into the National Assembly in June 1789. He was offered a position on the French Directory, but turned it down. After becoming a director in 1799, he was among the instigators of the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire (9 November), which brought Napoleon Bonaparte to power. He also coined the term "sociologie" in an unpublished manuscript, and made significant theoretical contributions to the nascent social sciences.Francisco Rizzo
General Francisco Rizzo y Ramírez (November 28, 1831 – February 20, 1910) was the acting Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines, from August 13 to September 1898, after the Battle of Manila. He relieved General Fermin Jáudenes as Acting Governor-General on August 13. Sources reported that Rizzo relocated the Spanish capital from Manila to Malolos, which was also Aguinaldo’s capital. An uneasy truce occurred between the remaining Spanish and Aguinaldo. The French Consulate in Manila considered General Rizzo “to be a good man, but lacks leadership qualities”. During General Rizzo’s reign, General Elwell Otis relieved General Wesley Merritt on August 29, as Commander, Department of the Pacific, and as the U.S. Military Governor of the Philippine Islands. In General Otis’ reports, he never mentioned Governor-General Rizzo, but apparently communicated almost exclusively with Spanish General Diego de los Rios, who then commanded the remnants of the Spanish Army in the Visayas and south Philippines. Rizzo was ultimately replaced by de los Rios as Governor-General in September 1898.French Consulate General, Atlanta
The Consulate General of France in Atlanta is the French diplomatic outpost to the South-eastern US states, serving the six states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The role of the consulate is to serve the interests of France and French people in the region. The Consulate is one of ten located in major cities across the United States.The consulate is located in Suite 500 of Buckhead Towers at Lenox Square in Buckhead. The consulate is a part of the "Maison de France" complex, which also includes the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, the French Trade Commission-Ubifrance, Atlanta-Accueil, Ecole du Samedi, etc.French Consulate General, Miami
The Consulate General of France in Miami is the French diplomatic outpost in Florida. Under the leadership of the Consul General, Clement Leclerc, it represents the interests of France and French People in the state, as well as providing a point of contact for French citizens and expatriates.It is located in on Brickell Avenue in the Miami Financial District.French Consulate General, San Francisco
The Consulate General of France in San Francisco is a consular representation of the French Republic in the United States. Its jurisdiction covers Northern California, North of Nevada, and the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Pacific Islands under American jurisdiction (Guam and American Samoa). The Consulate is currently located near the French quarter of San Francisco, on 88 Kearny Street.
Under the authority of the Minister of European and Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General of France is responsible for the protection and administrative affairs of French nationals settled or traveling within the American Northwest.
The Consulate provides many services to the French community and those who desire to travel to France.French Consulate of Cape Town
The Consulate of France in Cape Town is a consular representation of the French Republic in South Africa. The consular district includes the three Cape provinces, Prince Edward Islands and the British territory of Saint Helena (Saint Helena Island, Tristan Da Cunha Archipelago, Ascension Island).
Three honorary Consuls, in Port Elizabeth, East London and Saint Helena depend on the Consulate of Cape Town. People living in Lesotho or in one in the six other South African provinces depend on the French Consulate of Johannesburg.
The Consulate is currently located on 78 Queen Victoria Street.
Under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (France), the Consulate of France is responsible for the protection and administrative affairs of French nationals settled or traveling within South Africa.
The Consulate provides many services to the French community and those who desire to travel to France.French people in Hong Kong
The French Consulate estimates there are over 25,000 French citizens in Hong Kong. It is the largest French community in Asia.Gênes
Gênes [ʒɛn] was a department of the French Consulate and of the First French Empire in present-day Italy. It was named after the city of Genoa. It was formed in 1805, when the Ligurian Republic (formerly the Republic of Genoa) was annexed directly to France. Its capital was Genoa.
The department was disbanded after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. It was followed by a brief restoration of the Ligurian Republic, but at the Congress of Vienna the old territory of Genoa was awarded to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Its territory is now divided between the Italian provinces of Genoa, Piacenza, Alessandria and Pavia.
The trousers called jeans in English are named for the bleu de Gênes, a blue dye used for denim.Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès
Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, duc de Parme (18 October 1753 – 8 March 1824), was a French nobleman, lawyer and statesman during the French Revolution and the First Empire. He is best remembered as one of the authors of the Napoleonic Code, which still forms the basis of French civil law and French-inspired civil law in many countries.List of diplomatic missions of France
This is a list of diplomatic missions of France, excluding honorary consulates. France's permanent representation abroad began in the reign of Francis I, when in 1522 he sent a delegation to the Swiss. Despite its reduced presence following decolonization, France still has substantial influence throughout the world. France has one of the world's largest diplomatic networks and is a member of more multilateral organisations than any other country.Roger Ducos
Pierre Roger Ducos (25 July 1747 – 16 March 1816), 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.Senatus consultum
A senatus consultum (Latin – decree of the senate; plural senatus consulta) is a text emanating from the senate in Ancient Rome. It is used in the modern phrase senatus consultum ultimum.
Translated into French as sénatus-consulte, the term was also used during the French Consulate, First French Empire and Second French Empire.Vasanth Nagar
Vasanth Nagar is a upscale neighbourhood located in the heart of the city of Bangalore. A small neighbourhood in the affluent High Grounds residing many retired government bureaucrats, MLA's and Police officials. It is bounded by Bangalore Golf Club, Palace Grounds, Shivajinagar and Bangalore Cantonment. Surrounded by major roads, landmarks, offices and hotels, this area is commercially very active now.
Star luxury hotels Shangri-la, Le Méridien, The Lalit Ashok and ITC Windsor Manor are all in its vicinity. The Bangalore Palace , the Vidhan Soudha State Legislative Assembly, National Gallery of Modern Art, Cunningham Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium are the major attractions situated here. Other notable addresses in the locality include Balbrooie guest house, French Consulate, Congress state office, Billiards and Snooker Federation of India(BSFI), Karnataka State Billiards Association(KSBA), Karnataka Badminton Association(KBA), Vikram hospital and Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) HQ.
This neighbourhood is seeing a rise in luxury apartments due to its tony location and proximity to the Bangalore Central Business District and other prominent addresses.