Why Was Napoleon Successful in the Coup de Brumaire? (ESSAY PLAN)

  • Created by: Laura B
  • Created on: 03-06-15 13:03

Napoleon Himself

  • In 1798 Nap was given command to try attack Britain in Egypt - he was opportunistic even though defeat was evitable and he abdoned his army - Nap atill came back a popular hero (Egypt may be not that relevant in Nap'ssuccess and other campaigns may be more important?)
  • Italian Campaign benefitted Nap as it brought much control for France over Italy (perhaps this encouraged Sieyes to consider Nap as an option, supporting Nap was important in the success of Brumaire 
  • Catalyst in Brumaire - wouldn't have been as successful without Nap -strong leader and he was given control of artillery at the siege of Toulon
  • Arguably we can identify that Napoleon’s success may have been down to luck rather than Napoleon himself. Due to the crumbling political system, France was in need of a strong leader; thus if Napoleon hadn’t exist someone else would have filled this role
  • Distanced himself from the Jacobins and associated himself with influential friends – acted quickly to gain Barras trust - oppertunistic - clever 
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  • Was the one who realised the political system need to be reorganised due to threats from the Jacobin or Bourbon monarchy (without Sieyes it would have been unlikely Nap would have ever gained the oppertunity to et into power)
  • Sieyes was responsible for rewriting the constituion and created the coup to shut out extremist threats 
  • Sieyes was fully responsible for the success of Nap as he was the one that hired him (Nap was Sieyes 3rd choice for the role therefore suggesting Nap needed Sieyes)
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People of France and Public Opinion

  • Property owners didn't want to lose their money or freedom so voted for Nap (suggests that Nap wasn't entirely responsible for his own success for popularity but it was more economical factors which encouraged people to support Nap)
  • Believed public opnion was the prime cause for the coup's success - fear of Bourbon restoration would destroy acheivements of rev- this encouraged people to support Nap
  • Public support was important for the coup's success as without it would be unlikely the coup would have gone ahead - 
  • However Sieyes careful plans encouraged support from the Council of Elders - Sieyes more instramental in gaining support 
  • Nap gave out pamphlets which gained support - took an active role in gaining success for the coup 
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The Role of the Army

  • By 1799 the use of army in politics became a fact - Directory became reliable on the army - allowed Nap to become successful - Directory allowed Nap to gain power - luck
  • Soliders looked 
  • Coup would have been unsuccessful without the presences of an army Nap wa the commander of 8,000 troops - strong leader which helped them gain success 
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Lucien, the Ancients and the Five Hundred

  • No real opposition made was given about moving the council to Saint-Cloud - the allowed the coup to take place - if it hadn't been as accepting the coup may have not taken place 
  • Lucien was really significant - without his decisiveness Nap would have never gained power (Nap threatened the success of the Coup with his poor public speaking -Luciien was more influential in the success of the coup)
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