By Martyn Lyons

The Napoleonic interval can't be interpreted as a unmarried historic 'block'. Bonaparte had many alternative character: the Jacobin, the Republican, the reformer of the Consulate, the consolidator of the Empire and the 'liberal' of the Hundred Days. The emphasis the following may be on Napoleon because the inheritor and executor of the French Revolution, instead of on his function because the liquidator of progressive beliefs. Napoleon may be noticeable as a part of the Revolution, protecting its social profits, and consecrating the triumph of the bourgeoisie. The ebook will steer clear of the private and heroic interpretation of the interval. rather than seeing the period by way of a unmarried guy, the research will discover advancements in French society and the financial system, giving due weight to fresh study at the demographic and social background of the interval 1800-1815.

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The poor diet of many regions, dependent almost exclusively on the consumption of bread (often adulterated) and alcohol (always adulterated) gave the population little resistance to traditional scourges like typhus and dysentery. Nevertheless, the subsistence crises of this period (1816-17 apart) were less fatal than their predecessors. The evidence from the years of dearth in 1802-3 and again in 1812-13 suggests that food shortages did not necessarily lead to a demographic holocaust. s Epidemics of pleurisy and what contemporaries classified as "catarrhal fever" were still regular visitors, but their impact on mortality was diminishing.

He had discreetly left France after the September massacres in 1792 but returned from his travels in England and America in 1796. In the following year, he had become Foreign Minister and was valued by the Directory for his diplomatic skills. In the crisis of 1799, he made a timely resignation from the government. Cambaceres, like Sieyes, was a regicide, but unlike Sieyes, he had given his support to the thermidorean constitution. He was a lawyer from Montpellier, whose experience as a drafter of constitutions was to be useful to the conspirators.

War, religious schism and political conflict were not conducive to the peaceful development of the Republic's experiment in parliamentary democracy. The professional, administrative and commercial classes which had made the Revolution needed security for their new social position, and their land purchases. Yet these were still threatened by war, invasion, royalist revolts and a resurgence of neo:Jacobinism. Any new form of government would be judged on its ability to dispel these threats. The crisis of 1799 frightened the bourgeoisie further, and made revision an urgent necessity.

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