Coup of the 18th Fructidor V

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The coup of 18 fructidor occurred after the revolutionary calendar during the French Revolution on 4. September 1797 .

In the run-up to the 18th Fructidor, the Republicans on the Board of Directors came under increasing pressure as the anti-Republican forces in France gradually regrouped and achieved a great victory in the March 1797 elections.

As a result, the Republicans in the Directory - Paul de Barras , Jean François Reubell and Louis-Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux - planned a coup d'état , counting on the help of the Jacobins . Members of the Directory called on Napoléon Bonaparte , who had returned from the first Italian campaign , to bring reliable troops in from Italy. Napoleon complied with the Directory's request for assistance and sent General Charles Pierre François Augereau . The general was appointed commander of the 17th military division responsible for Paris.

The coup d'état was carried out on the 18th of Fructidor V: the previous election results were annulled in 49 departments, and 177 mostly royalist-minded MPs lost their seats as a result. Board member François Barthélemy was banished, Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot , who had also not supported the coup, was able to evade arrest in time. The two deposed directors were replaced by Philippe-Antoine Merlin and Nicolas-Louis François de Neufchâteau .

The shift to the right of the last elections was averted, but the constitution of the directorate had clearly been violated by this measure. As a result, a climate of terror reigned in Paris . Only the consequences of the denunciations were no longer the guillotine , for example under Robespierre , but the deportation to areas outside of Europe, where the deportees mostly had to do heavy physical work - the so-called “dry guillotine”; many were deported to areas annexed by France (such as New Caledonia in the Pacific).