The French Revolution (Part II)

The French Revolution was a political and social movement that was born in France in 1789 and resulted in the decline of the absolutist regime and provided a democratic system of government. It propagated the ideals of freedom and brotherhood.

Stages of the French Revolution (continued)

Republican stage:

This stage is between September 21, 1799, and November 9, 1799. At this point, Napoleon Bonaparte gives the coup d’etat with the denomination of The 18 of Brumario and establishes the consulate of his part. It was properly a stage of transition from the republic to the empire and it lasted until 1804.

  • The convention (1792-1795): Once the Legislative Assembly was dissolved, the National Convention emerged. Some of the most important acts of this Convention were:
    – Decree abolishing the monarchy and proclaiming the republic.
    – Sanction of universal suffrage (right to vote for all).
    – Process and death sentence of Louis XVI. Its execution was in January 1793. The time of terror begins.
  • The time of terror: A revolutionary government was formed under the direction of Robespierre. He sent thousands of detainees and suspects to the gallows. The terror government was made up of 3 committees:
    – The one of public salvation.
    – The general security.
    – The revolutionary court.
  • The Directory (1795-1799): The National Convention approved the constitution of Year III, which established the Directory (moderate Republican government) that presented the following organization:
    – The executive branch: in charge of the board, composed of 5 members.
    – Legislative power: Formed by 2 councils that of the 500 and that of the elderly.

The board had to face foreign armies; It is there when he begins to present the figure of Napoleon. On November 9, 1788, the great Corsican seizes the government and establishes the consulate.

  • The consulate (1799-1804): By the coup d’etat of Brumaire 18, Napoleon annulled the Directory and established the consulate. This one had a republican appearance, but with a monarchical tendency. He established two powers:
    – The executive branch: Formed by 3 consuls. The main figure was the first consul (Napoleon) as the owner of the government.
    – Legislative power: It consisted of a council of state. 300 representatives and one senate.
  • Imperial Stage: Includes from May 18, 1804, until the year 1815. Napoleon was proclaimed emperor by the Senate with the name of Napoleon I. From now on, it was the desire of the Great Roe to establish the universal monarchy. An absolute personal government was inaugurated. He surrounded himself with a large court composed of family and generals, to whom he granted noble titles. He promoted cultural activity, industry, and commerce. It sounded like turning France into the First Nation of the World.
  • Military actions: Many great military victories gave him fame and enhancement. They were the following:
    – Battle of Trafalgar (1805)
    – Battle of Austerlitz (1805)
    – Battle of Jena (1806)
  • The Continental block: Napoleon decreed the Continental blockade, prohibiting European nations from all types of trade with England; Results were adverse. Invasion to Spain: It began in 1808 and lasted until 1813. The betrayal of Godoy and the ineptitude and cowardice of Carlos IV and Fernando VII facilitated the cover-up of Joseph I as king of Spain. The fight was heroic.
  • Russian campaign: It began in 1812 and concluded with the French withdrawal at the end of the same year. More than 400 thousand soldiers, under Napoleon, invaded Russia and managed to occupy Moscow. The harsh winter and the resistance and attack of the Cossacks determined the disastrous withdrawal of Napoleon to France.
    – Battle of Leipzig: A powerful army (of English, Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Swedes, etc.) faced Napoleon in Leipzig (1813), defeating him.
    – Battle of Waterloo: Napoleon was not defeated to continue as king of the small island of Elba. He remained in the government for 100 days (The one hundred days of Napoleon). The European powers declared him «outlawed as an enemy and disturber of world peace.» A powerful army faced Napoleon in Waterloo (Belgium) and defeated him in 1815. The great Corzo abdicated the crown. Napoleon was taken prisoner to the island of Santa Elena and died in 1821. The empire had come to an end.
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