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The Constitution
Constitution
of the Year VIII (French: Constitution
Constitution
de l'an VIII or French: Constitution
Constitution
du 22 frimaire an VIII) was a national constitution of France, adopted on December 24, 1799 (during the Year VIII of the French Revolutionary Calendar), which established the form of government known as the Consulate. The coup of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799) had effectively given all power to Napoleon Bonaparte, and in the eyes of some, ended the French Revolution. After the coup, Napoleon
Napoleon
and his allies legitimized his position by crafting the "short and obscure Constitution
Constitution
of the Year VIII" (as Malcolm Crook has called it[1]). The constitution tailor-made the position of First Consul
Consul
to give Napoleon
Napoleon
most of the powers of a dictator. It was the first constitution since the 1789 Revolution without a Declaration of Rights. The document vested executive power in three Consuls, but all actual power was held by the First Consul, Bonaparte. This differed from Robespierre's republic of c.1792 to 1795 (which was more radical), and from the oligarchic liberal republic of the Directory (1795-1799), but resembled the autocratic Roman Republic of Caesar Augustus, a conservative republic-in-name, which reminded the French of stability, order, and peace.[citation needed] To emphasize this, the authors of the constitutional document used classical Roman terms, such as "Consul", "Senator" and "Tribune". The Constitution
Constitution
of Year VIII established a legislature of three houses, which was composed of a Conservative Senate of 80 men over the age of 40, a Tribunate of 100 men and a Legislative Body (Corps législatif) of 300 men. The Constitution
Constitution
also used the term "notables". The word "notables" had been in common usage under the monarchy; every Frenchman understood it, and it was comforting.[citation needed] It referred to prominent, "distinguished" men — landholders, merchants, scholars, professionals, clergymen and officials. The people in each district chose a slate of "notables" by popular vote. The First Consul, the Tribunate, and the Corps Législatif each nominated one Senatorial candidate to the rest of the Senate, which chose one candidate from among the three. Once all of its members were picked, it would then appoint the Tribunate, the Corps Législatif, the judges of cassation, and the commissioners of accounts from the slate of notables.[citation needed] Napoleon
Napoleon
held a plebiscite on the Constitution
Constitution
on 7 February 1800. The vote was not binding, but it allowed Napoleon
Napoleon
to maintain a veneer of democracy. Lucien Bonaparte
Lucien Bonaparte
announced results of 3,011,007 in favor and 1,562 against the new dispensation. The true result was probably around 1.55 million for it, with several thousand against it.[citation needed] This Constitution
Constitution
was amended, firstly, by the Constitution
Constitution
of the Year X, which made Napoleon
Napoleon
First Consul
Consul
for Life. A more extensive alteration, the Constitution
Constitution
of the Year XII, established the Bonaparte dynasty with Napoleon
Napoleon
as a hereditary Emperor. The first, brief Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
of 1814 abolished the Napoleonic constitutional system, but the Emperor revived it and at once virtually replaced it with the so-called "Additional Act" of April 1815, promulgated on his return to power. The return of Louis XVIII in July 1815 (following the Hundred Days) saw the definitive abolition of Napoleon's constitutional arrangements. The Napoleonic constitutions were completely replaced by the Bourbon Charter of 1814. Sources[edit] Connelly, Owen (2000). The French Revolution
French Revolution
and Napoleonic Era. 3rd Edition. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt. pp. 201–203. References[edit]

^ Crook, Malcolm (1999). "The Myth Of The 18 Brumaire". H-France Napoleon
Napoleon
Forum. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 

External links[edit]

Constitution
Constitution
of the Year VIII

French Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Constitution
Constitution
du 13 décembre 1799e

v t e

French Revolution

Causes Timeline Ancien Régime Revolution Constitutional monarchy Republic Directory Consulate Glossary

Significant civil and political events by year

1788

Day of the Tiles
Day of the Tiles
(7 Jun 1788) Assembly of Vizille
Assembly of Vizille
(21 Jul 1788)

1789

What Is the Third Estate?
What Is the Third Estate?
(Jan 1789) Réveillon riots (28 Apr 1789) Convocation of the Estates-General (5 May 1789) National Assembly (17 Jun – 9 Jul 1790) Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(20 Jun 1789) National Constituent Assembly (9 Jul – 30 Sep 1791) Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
(14 Jul 1789) Great Fear (20 Jul – 5 Aug 1789) Abolition of Feudalism (4-11 Aug 1789) Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
(27 Aug 1789) Women's March on Versailles
Women's March on Versailles
(5 Oct 1789)

1790

Abolition of the Parlements (Feb–Jul 1790) Abolition of the Nobility (19 Jun 1790) Civil Constitution
Constitution
of the Clergy (12 Jul 1790)

1791

Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(20–21 Jun 1791) Champ de Mars Massacre
Champ de Mars Massacre
(17 Jul 1791) Declaration of Pillnitz (27 Aug 1791) The Constitution
Constitution
of 1791 (3 Sep 1791) Legislative Assembly (1 Oct 1791 – Sep 1792)

1792

France
France
declares war (20 Apr 1792) Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
(25 Jul 1792) Paris Commune becomes insurrectionary (Jun 1792) 10th of August (10 Aug 1792) September Massacres
September Massacres
(Sep 1792) National Convention
National Convention
(20 Sep 1792 – 26 Oct 1795) First republic declared (22 Sep 1792)

1793

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
(21 Jan 1793) Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
(9 Mar 1793 – 31 May 1795) Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
(27 Jun 1793 – 27 Jul 1794)

Committee of Public Safety Committee of General Security

Fall of the Girondists (2 Jun 1793) Assassination of Marat (13 Jul 1793) Levée en masse
Levée en masse
(23 Aug 1793) The Death of Marat
The Death of Marat
(painting) Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
(17 Sep 1793) Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is guillotined (16 Oct 1793) Anti-clerical laws (throughout the year)

1794

Danton and Desmoulins guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin Club (11 Nov 1794)

1795

Constitution
Constitution
of the Year III (22 Aug 1795) Conspiracy of the Equals
Conspiracy of the Equals
(Nov 1795) Directoire (1795–99)

Council of Five Hundred Council of Ancients

13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
5 Oct 1795

1797

Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
(4 Sep 1797) Second Congress of Rastatt
Second Congress of Rastatt
(Dec 1797)

1799

Coup of 30 Prairial VII (18 Jun 1799) Coup of 18 Brumaire
18 Brumaire
(9 Nov 1799) Constitution
Constitution
of the Year VIII (24 Dec 1799) Consulate

Revolutionary campaigns

1792

Verdun Thionville Valmy Royalist Revolts

Chouannerie Vendée Dauphiné

Lille Siege of Mainz Jemappes Namur (fr)

1793

First Coalition Siege of Toulon
Siege of Toulon
(18 Sep – 18 Dec 1793) War in the Vendée Battle of Neerwinden) Battle of Famars
Battle of Famars
(23 May 1793) Expédition de Sardaigne
Expédition de Sardaigne
(21 Dec 1792 - 25 May 1793) Battle of Kaiserslautern Siege of Mainz Battle of Wattignies Battle of Hondschoote Siege of Bellegarde Battle of Peyrestortes
Battle of Peyrestortes
(Pyrenees) First Battle of Wissembourg (13 Oct 1793) Battle of Truillas
Battle of Truillas
(Pyrenees) Second Battle of Wissembourg (26–27 Dec 1793)

1794

Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
(24 Apr 1794) Battle of Boulou
Battle of Boulou
(Pyrenees) (30 Apr – 1 May 1794) Battle of Tournay
Battle of Tournay
(22 May 1794) Battle of Fleurus (26 Jun 1794) Chouannerie Battle of Tourcoing
Battle of Tourcoing
(18 May 1794) Battle of Aldenhoven (2 Oct 1794)

1795

Peace of Basel

1796

Battle of Lonato
Battle of Lonato
(3–4 Aug 1796) Battle of Castiglione
Battle of Castiglione
(5 Aug 1796) Battle of Theiningen Battle of Neresheim
Battle of Neresheim
(11 Aug 1796) Battle of Amberg
Battle of Amberg
(24 Aug 1796) Battle of Würzburg
Battle of Würzburg
(3 Sep 1796) Battle of Rovereto
Battle of Rovereto
(4 Sep 1796) First Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(8 Sep 1796) Battle of Emmendingen
Battle of Emmendingen
(19 Oct 1796) Battle of Schliengen
Battle of Schliengen
(26 Oct 1796) Second Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(6 Nov 1796) Battle of Calliano (6–7 Nov 1796) Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
(15–17 Nov 1796) The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)

1797

Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797) Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
(14–15 Jan 1797) Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797) Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben
(17 Apr 1797) Battle of Neuwied (18 Apr 1797) Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
(17 Oct 1797)

1798

French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland
(28 January – 17 May 1798) French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) Irish Rebellion of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798) Quasi-War
Quasi-War
(1798–1800) Peasants' War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)

1799

Second Coalition (1798–1802) Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799) Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach
(20–21 Mar 1799) Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799) Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano
(5 Apr 1799) Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799) First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich
(4–7 Jun 1799) Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799) Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799) Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich
(25–26 Sep 1799)

1800

Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo
(14 Jun 1800) Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden
(3 Dec 1800) League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)

1801

Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville
(9 Feb 1801) Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
(18 Mar 1801) Algeciras Campaign
Algeciras Campaign
(8 Jul 1801)

1802

Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(25 Mar 1802)

Military leaders

French Army

Eustache Charles d'Aoust Pierre Augereau Alexandre de Beauharnais Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte Louis-Alexandre Berthier Jean-Baptiste Bessières Guillaume-Marie-Anne Brune Jean François Carteaux Jean Étienne Championnet Chapuis de Tourville Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine Louis-Nicolas Davout Louis Desaix Jacques François Dugommier Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Charles François Dumouriez Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino Louis-Charles de Flers Paul Grenier Emmanuel de Grouchy Jacques Maurice Hatry Lazare Hoche Jean-Baptiste Jourdan François Christophe de Kellermann Jean-Baptiste Kléber Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Jean Lannes Charles Leclerc Claude Lecourbe François Joseph Lefebvre Jacques MacDonald Jean-Antoine Marbot Jean Baptiste de Marbot François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey Jean Victor Marie Moreau Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise Joachim Murat Michel Ney Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr) Nicolas Oudinot Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon Jean-Charles Pichegru Józef Poniatowski Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier Joseph Souham Jean-de-Dieu Soult Louis-Gabriel Suchet Belgrand de Vaubois Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno

French Navy

Charles-Alexandre Linois

Opposition

Austria

József Alvinczi Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Count of Clerfayt (Walloon) Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
(Swiss) Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth Pál Kray (Hungarian) Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
(French) Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon) Karl Mack von Leiberich Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon) Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
(Hungarian) Karl Philipp Sebottendorf Dagobert von Wurmser

Britain

Sir Ralph Abercromby Admiral Sir James Saumarez Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Dutch Republic

William V, Prince of Orange

 Prussia

Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Russia

Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov

Spain

Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos

Other significant figures and factions

Society of 1789

Jean Sylvain Bailly Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Isaac René Guy le Chapelier Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Nicolas de Condorcet

Feuillants and monarchiens

Madame de Lamballe Madame du Barry Louis de Breteuil Loménie de Brienne Charles Alexandre de Calonne de Chateaubriand Jean Chouan Grace Elliott Arnaud de La Porte Jean-Sifrein Maury Jacques Necker François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas Antoine Barnave Lafayette Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth Charles Malo François Lameth André Chénier Jean-François Rewbell Camille Jordan Madame de Staël Boissy d'Anglas Jean-Charles Pichegru Pierre Paul Royer-Collard

Girondists

Jacques Pierre Brissot Roland de La Platière Madame Roland Father Henri Grégoire Étienne Clavière Marquis de Condorcet Charlotte Corday Marie Jean Hérault Jean Baptiste Treilhard Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Jean Debry Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil Olympe de Gouges Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux

The Plain

Abbé Sieyès de Cambacérès Charles François Lebrun Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Philippe Égalité Louis Philippe I Mirabeau Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin
de Thionville Jean Joseph Mounier Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours François de Neufchâteau

Montagnards

Maximilien Robespierre Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat Camille Desmoulins Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras Louis Philippe I Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Jacques-Louis David Marquis de Sade Jacques-Louis David Georges Couthon Roger Ducos Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois Jean-Henri Voulland Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier Jean-Pierre-André Amar Prieur de la Côte-d'Or Prieur de la Marne Gilbert Romme Jean Bon Saint-André Jean-Lambert Tallien Pierre Louis Prieur Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Antoine Christophe Saliceti

Hébertists and Enragés

Jacques Hébert Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Charles-Philippe Ronsin Antoine-François Momoro François-Nicolas Vincent François Chabot Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gobel François Hanriot Jacques Roux Stanislas-Marie Maillard Charles-Philippe Ronsin Jean-François Varlet Theophile Leclerc Claire Lacombe Pauline Léon Gracchus Babeuf Sylvain Maréchal

Others

Charles X Louis XVI Louis XVII Louis XVIII Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien Louis Henri, Prince of Condé Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé Marie Antoinette Napoléon Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte Joseph Bonaparte Joseph Fesch Joséphine de Beauharnais Joachim Murat Jean Sylvain Bailly Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Talleyrand Thérésa Tallien Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Catherine Théot List of people associated with the French Revolution

Influential thinkers

Les Lumières Beaumarchais Edmund Burke Anacharsis Cloots Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Pierre Claude François Daunou Diderot Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Antoine Lavoisier Montesquieu Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Abbé Sieyès Voltaire Mary Wollstonecraft

Cultural impact

La Marseillaise French Tricolour Liberté, égalité, fraternité Marianne Bastille Day Panthéon French Republican Calendar Cult of the Supreme Being Cult of Reason

Temple of Reason

Sans-culottes Metric system Phrygian cap Women in the French Revolution Symbolism in the French Revolution Historiography of the French Revolution Influence of the French Revolution

v t e

Constitutions of France

1791 1793 (Year I) 1795 (Year III) 1799 (Year VIII) 1802 (Year X) 1804 (Year XII) 1814 1815 1830 1848 1852 1875 1940 1945 1946 1958 ( Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
∙ Charter for the Environment)

Proposed: Girondin constitutional pr

.