It is a great truism that the demise of the Directory was self-inflicted. The Directory refers to the fourth revolutionary government that came into power with the mandate of directing the course of the French revolution
back to the founding principles
of liberty, equality and fraternity. On one hand, the collapse of the Directory can be argued to have been premised on an inefficient structure of government, corruption and a broken social contract between the Directory and French citizens while on the other hand, the rise of a young, charismatic and popular Napoleon
Bornaparte served as a blow to the Directory. The thrust of this essay is to interrogate the position that the fall of the Directory a product of the Directory itself. (Balanced)
An inefficient structure of government was significant in necessitating the demise of the Directory. This is because the Directory adopted a system of government which featured several tiers with an executive of five directors at the apex, senate of two-hundred and fifty, law
crafting body consisting five hundred individuals and a tribunate. These structures made decision making difficult as they were marred by differences and conflicts. Thus, the demise of the Directory was self-inflicted as it owed much to the adopted inefficient structures of government. (You can cite a case of inefficiency and further explain the inadequacy of the gvt structure)
Corruption was vital in necessitating the demise of the Directory. This is because the Directory failed to curb corruption as the Directory were at the forefront of corrupt activity. For example, Baraas who was one of the Directors would brine his retainment of power, which explains why he remained a Director throughout the reign of the Directory.(what effect did this have on the gvt and people. What did it mean to the constitutional provisions? Hummer on the impact of corruption to the economy) Therefore, the collapse of the Directory was self-inflicted as corruption worsened during the tenure of the Directory with the Directors spearheading it.
A broken social contract between the Directory and French citizens triggered the fall of the Directory. This is because the Directory rose to power on a plethora of promises which include but are not limited to; being transparent and truthful, solving the economic crisis, taming inflation, arresting unemployment and doing away with an unfair justice system. However, most if not all of these promises proved hallow as French citizens lived in a hyperinflatory and propaganda-buffeted France under the watch of the Directory. Hence, the dissipation of the popularity and collapse of the Directory was owing to a broken social fabric between the government and the French citizens.(give egs of what the directory failed to fulfill and it’s impact on France)
~A weak Directory which depended~ Over reliance on the army was critical in paving way for ~its own~ collapse of the Directory. ~This is because the Directory overly depended on the army.~ This not only elevated the position of the army but spelt it out clearly to every French citizen that the government was under the junta. This is evidenced by the Directory calling for Napoleon from the Egyptian campaign to suppress the internal risings emanating from French citizens’ discontent. Thus, the collapse of the Directory was self-inflicted as the Directory was weak and overly depended on the army.
*Nb* add some points eg the fact that directors pursued the interests of the middle class thereby undermining the position of the commoners
On the contrary, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte upstaged the Directory. This is because Napoleon Bonaparte a military genius and prowess, determined for success, charismatic and with good oratory skills was popular and harnessed the popularity to topple the Directory. According to D. Thompson, Napoleon was a man of few snatches of sleep. With all these qualities, he rode on the weaknesses of the Directory to power, promising a better alternative. Therefore, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte threatened the reign of the Directory.
– Napoleon’s involvement in the Italian and Egyptian campaigns should have been discussed with his qualities clearly outlined
To conclude, this paper has interrogated the view that the demise of the Directory was self-inflicted. On one hand, the Directory succumbed to; inefficient structures of government, corruption and a broken social contract between the Directory and French citizens while on the other hand, the rise of a young, charismatic and popular Napoleon Bornaparte served as a blow to the Directory. One can conclude that the assertion that the demise of the Directory was self-inflicted carries great soundness.