Establishment of the Directory

  • Created by: lou9119
  • Created on: 30-09-17 13:20
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  • Establishment of the Directory
    • The Constitution
      • Produced by the Thermidorians in 1795, desgined to prevent a return to monarchy or dictatorship like that of the CPS and to control by the common people, the S-C.
      • NC was replaced with 2 council:
        • Council of 500
        • Council of Ancients
          • Annual elections for both changed 1/3 of members each year. All males over 21 who paid direct taxes could vote for electors. The electors (rich) voted for council.
            • Council of 500
      • CPS was replaced by the Directory of 5:
        • Chosen by the Ancients and a list drawn up by 500. They were if office for 5 years and chosen one at a time to retire.
      • Weaknesses
        • Yearly elections led to instability.
        • There was no mechanism to resolve disputes between the Directors and councils.
        • Led to stalemate and inaction.
    • Economic Problems
      • Directory tried to solve the problem of inflation by issuing a new paper currency, when this failed they had to be withdrawn and metal coins became the legal currency. But there was not enough in circulation so trade and commerce was hindered. Deflation was the result and the Directory became unpopular.
    • Financial Problems
      • The directory was more successful in solving the gov finances. In 1979 2/3s of the national debt was written off due to issuing bonds to gov creditors. These could be used to buy national property. However, these fell in value and became worthless. This was known as "bankruptcy of 2/3s" the debt was gone but at the cost of the Directory losing the support of gov creditors.
      • For gov income, the Directory relied in part on the profits of war - plunder taken from captured territories in Germany and Italy. This allowed them to function  but at the cost of greater reliance on the army and on aggressive war policy.
      • The lasting solution was provided by finance minister Ramel in 1798 when he reformed the tax system:
        • introduced 4 new direct taxes (windows and doors hit the rich hardest)
        • reintroduced an indirect tax (octrois tax on goods entering towns)
        • more efficient
        • The effect was good on government but alienated members of society.
    • Political problems and policies
      • France was divided by revenge and political differences. There were left neo-Jacobins and on the right were Royalists and the Directory needed to listen to both to survive.
      • VENDEMIAIRE UPRISING (October 95)
        • Royalist were split, some wanted a return to constituinal monarchy under the imprisoned Dauphin but he died in 1795 His uncle issued the Verona Declaration which promised to restore the anicent constituion.
          • The NC deputies passed the law of two-thirds which ensured that the new councils would be dominated by those committed to continuing the rev.
            • This caused the uprising where 25.000 demonstrators surrounded the NC but were dispersed by the army using cannon ("whiff of grapeshot") Over 300 died but little repression afterward apart from the NG being placed under the command of Napoleon.
              • VENDEMIAIRE UPRISING (October 95)
                • Royalist were split, some wanted a return to constituinal monarchy under the imprisoned Dauphin but he died in 1795 His uncle issued the Verona Declaration which promised to restore the anicent constituion.
                  • The NC deputies passed the law of two-thirds which ensured that the new councils would be dominated by those committed to continuing the rev.
                    • This caused the uprising where 25.000 demonstrators surrounded the NC but were dispersed by the army using cannon ("whiff of grapeshot") Over 300 died but little repression afterward apart from the NG being placed under the command of Napoleon.
        • CONSPIRACY OF EQUALS (March 96)
          • Babeuf planned a rev uprising using the police and army to set up dictatorship. This would created= a different society one like communism, he was betrayed and executed.
        • BROTIER PLOT (Jan 97)
          • Brotier, royalist agent, and fellow conspirators were arrested for planning to persuade the troops in Paris to overthrow the gov.
        • COUP OF FRUCTIDOR (Sept 97)
          • Royalists close to gaining coucnils and Directory. 2 were sympathetic whilst the remiaining called upon the army for support. Troops surrounded the council and many royalists were arrested including the directors and 27 deputies. 65 deported to Guiana. The elction results overturned from royalist to directors.
            • Emigres were given 2 weeks to leave and clergy were forced to swear an oath rejecting any support of the monarchy.
        • COUP OF FLOREAL (May 98)
          • neo-Jacobins do well in the elections but no where near able to control the councils, the Direcotrs made sure that the election of 127 deputies was annulled and chose replacements.
      • Strengths
        • Solved gov finances
        • Support of army
        • Destroyed S-C
      • Weaknesses
        • Constitution
          • Weaknesses
            • Yearly elections led to instability.
            • There was no mechanism to resolve disputes between the Directors and councils.
            • Led to stalemate and inaction.
        • Divisions in society
        • Reliance on war and army
        • Undemocratic actions (Floreal)

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