The failure of the Directory

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  • Failed to create stability
    • The failure of the Directory
      • Frequent direct action on the constitution, meant people had no respect for the Directory
        • Trying to maintain a non-Jacobin/Royalist majoirty in the councils, the directors interfered with the election results
        • Coups of Fructidor (1797) and Floreal (1798) they purged the councils
      • Increasing reliance on the army to settle political disputes
        • Started with the Thermidorians during the risings of Prairial and Vendemiaire and under the directory under the coup of Fructidor
          • Made an army takeover possible.
      • Safeseats for the directory (EG wealthy notables) alienated by its policies
        • In particular forced loans.
        • Refused to vote in annual elections or take up posts in local government: Directory had no defence
      • Enthusiasm for war had gone: people wanted peace
        • War became a necessity for the Directory
          • Needed money for the French treasury
          • Provide an opportunity to keep ambitious generals and unruly soldiers out of France
          • Renewal of war after 1797, produced a flurry of Jacobin activity
            • The failure of the Directory
              • Frequent direct action on the constitution, meant people had no respect for the Directory
                • Trying to maintain a non-Jacobin/Royalist majoirty in the councils, the directors interfered with the election results
                • Coups of Fructidor (1797) and Floreal (1798) they purged the councils
              • Increasing reliance on the army to settle political disputes
                • Started with the Thermidorians during the risings of Prairial and Vendemiaire and under the directory under the coup of Fructidor
                  • Made an army takeover possible.
              • Safeseats for the directory (EG wealthy notables) alienated by its policies
                • In particular forced loans.
                • Refused to vote in annual elections or take up posts in local government: Directory had no defence
              • Enthusiasm for war had gone: people wanted peace
                • War became a necessity for the Directory
                  • Needed money for the French treasury
                  • Provide an opportunity to keep ambitious generals and unruly soldiers out of France
                  • Renewal of war after 1797, produced a flurry of Jacobin activity
                    • Jacobins secured a forced loan and the Law of Hostages.
                    • Urban minority but they convinced many that the Directory shouldn't and wouldn't survive
            • Jacobins secured a forced loan and the Law of Hostages.
            • Urban minority but they convinced many that the Directory shouldn't and wouldn't survive
    • Constitution of Year III: annual elections and no provision for settling disputes between the executive and the legislature or changing the constitution in a reasonable way

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