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Current time:0:00Total duration:16:48

French Revolution (part 4) - The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte

Video transcript

we finished the last video with the reign of terror reign of terror which lasted essentially from April April of 1793 to July of 1794 wear robes pierre himself got the losing end of the guillotine so it looks like France was done with the low point of the revolution that is true especially from the point of view of the French people then we go into 1795 1795 France is doing well in its Wars with essentially the rest of Europe and peace is declared with Prussia and Spain peace with Prussia Russia and Spain so the only two major enemies left are Great Britain and Austria so slowly France is dealing with its enemies and this was essentially a victory for France so France victorious France victorious with this huge citizen army that it created and then this was in April of 1795 this is April and then in August of 1795 do that in a different color in August of 1795 the New Republic Constitution gets approved and it gets ratified through vote of the people so Constitution Constitution the new Constitution ratified which makes France officially a republic they don't need Kings anymore and it set up a governing structure where the executive was essentially this group of five directors so the executive is called the directory so you don't have one president you had five directors five directors and then the legislature and this was significant because this was the first bicameral legislature for France legislature it had two houses it has the Council of 500 analogous to the US House of Representatives and had 500 members in it 500 representatives let me write that down whose bicameral head two houses just like the US Congress so it's Council of 500 and then you had your Council of Elders Council of Elders which had 250 representatives and that if you want to view it from a US point of view that was analogous to the US Senate and the directory the directors the candidates were picked by the Council of or they were submitted by the Council of 500 to the Council of endor elders who then picked the five directors of five people who would essentially be the executive in France already things are looking looking really well but even though they had the military victories there was still a lot of unrest you still had Royalists out there you still had Great Britain causing trouble Great Britain was attacking the western regions of France there were Royalists throughout Paris and then in October of 1795 so we're now in October October of 1795 there was a Royalist uprising and Royalists are the people who wanted to bring back the crown or they were against the Revolutionary Government and to a large degree they were just upset about the fact that the royalty is gone they were also upset that they were excluded from the directory so it excluded the Royalists so before the directory could even form in any major sway you had a Royalist uprising in Paris Royalist uprising in Paris and they stormed the Tuileries this is the same place that you might remember earlier on a couple of videos ago where the king and queen were in house arrest and later they were assaulted by the Revolutionary Government that was this painting right here this was only three years ago this was in 1792 and this is when they actually took the king and queen a prisoner and then they executed louis xvi only a few months after that so now it was on the other way instead of the the royalty being in the Tuileries and being seized by the revolutionaries the Revolutionary Government was in the Tuileries and being seized by Royalists and actually the the the situation did not look good for the Revolutionary Government they were outnumbered it looked like the Royalists had better numbers better better numbers but lucky for the Revolutionary Government there was a young very ambitious very egotistical gender well not the general military captain at this point and who had observed the siege of the Tuileries when the when when louis xvi and marie antoinette were captain over the and back then he made mental note he said boy you know they would have been able to stop the siege if only they had good artillery remember he was an artillery captain that's where he first became famous in the siege in the siege of Toulon he was able to use artillery effectively to suppress a rebellion so he was actually observing this scene three years later and now in 1795 as the Revolutionary Government is in the jewelry and the Royalists are about to essentially take it over Napoleon using what he learned when he observed the first time he was able to place cannons and artillery in such a way and he shot what they call grapeshot and it's essentially like a shotgun coming out of a cannon and even though they were significantly outnumbered by the Royalists he was essentially able to mow them down with the cannons so even though you had more numbers you had all these cannons let me draw one you know you had a cannon and the actual ammunition would have these little pellets that's why it was called grapeshot it looked like a bundle of grapes and when you shot it out it would go in every direction so you could imagine it would just mow down whoever's in the way of the cannon and so essentially Napoleon was able to save the Revolutionary Government and allow the actual directory and around the actual directory to come to power so this once again Napoleon was in the right place at the right time and he was very competent at military tactics you know by all measure he was egotistical he was narcissistic but the dude knew what he was doing and so Napoleon Napoleon becomes even more famous this event October 5th in 1795 were is able to defend the Revolutionary Government this is known as 13 vendee me re or I know I'm saying it wrong but once again this was the month of October in the new French revolutionary calendar but it made Napoleon even more of a national hero Napoleon or even revolutionary hero national hero people are starting to realize that this guy he definitely knows what he's doing but you could imagine at the same time the directory really didn't like this dude hanging around too close to the seats of power he was obviously ambitious he was obviously competent and at some point he might be a threat himself to the directory so they gave him power but he made sure they made sure that he was far away from France so he's essentially put in charge of the campaign into Italy so Napoleon gets put in charge remember we're still fighting Austria and Great Britain so we're fighting Austrian Italy and Napoleon is made he's a commander in chief of the Italian forces and he's tremendously successful this was kind of the least important front of the war with raw Austria at this point but out of all of the generals of the different fronts Napoleon is the one that proves himself to be tremendously tremendously innovative and tactical and an all-out good general so this is Napoleon kicking butt in Italy Napoleon in Italy so once again he becomes even more famous even more well known eventually Australia eventually Austria eventually Austria admits that hey gee we're not going to beat the French anymore they're they're really you know taking care of us quite well and they make peace they make peace with the French in October of 1797 the Italian campaign occurred in 1796 so you know he defended the Revolutionary Government 1795 he kicks butt in 70 96 in Italy in 1797 the Austrian there's peace with Austria so you only have Great Britain left but this peace with Austria is actually going to be very temporary peace with Austria this is from the Treaty of Campo Formio write that down this is the Treaty of Campo for me oh and once again this was peace with Austria but France was the victor so this is another French victory and the only real enemy left was Great Britain but the main problem was is Great Britain had the dominant Navy in the world at the time so it the France and especially in Napoleon was it in a position to confront Great Britain on the water so and this is kind of a controversial decision in 1798 and remember the director really didn't want Napoleon hanging around France they're just like okay you're hugely popular you're a good general you're a great general you go do what you want whatever you think is proper so Napoleon gets it into his head to attack Egypt and people aren't a hundred percent sure what was the main strategic goal of attacking Egypt so in 1798 he leaves from two lon remember Toulon was the port that he helped suppress he leaves from Tula two lon he takes Malta along the way and then eventually he arrives in Egypt to essentially take over Egypt and people believe that his desire take over Egypt was essentially to at some point undermine the British in India he maybe make some Muslim allies in Egypt and then maybe befriend some of the Muslim insurgents if you willed who do who were against especially they were talking about Tipu Sultan who he wanted to meet up with and maybe help undermine the British in India but people aren't quite sure it might have been just Napoleon having some visions of grandeur and he wanted to go to Egypt because it each if twas a formerly you know great Empire so in 1798 Napoleon goes to Egypt these are paintings of him in Egypt and he once again he was able to kind of route the the the the forces the Mameluke forces who were in power at time at the time of Egypt this is the Battle of the pyramids once again Napoleon is hugely successful except for one problem he brings his 20,000 troops into Egypt obviously by ship they're sitting here there and you know they're kicking butt in Egypt but where they're still at war still at war with the British so the British do with their dominant Navy hurray they send Horatio Nelson in charge of a fleet and he comes here where the French Navy was parked and he just destroys them so Horatio Nelson destroys the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile and this is a depiction this is Horatio Nelson right here Horatio Nelson this is a depiction of the Battle of the Nile Battle of Nile which essentially strands Napoleon's 20,000 person army they're stuck in Egypt they're stuck in Egypt so not knowing what else to do they can't leave with with all of their forces Napoleon then goes into Damascus and Syria and then he causes all sorts of havoc and raping and pillaging and and whatnot but still that kind of begs the question of how are they going to get back and you could imagine for someone as ambitious and egotistical as Napoleon he didn't really care a lot about what happened to his troops and so when when an opportunity arose in 1799 he left he left his hole he left his entire army this gives you a lot of a view into Napoleon's character that he was willing to leave his entire army in Egypt and in Syria to essentially be left to die at the hands of the Ottomans and then he goes back he sneaks his way back to France so in 1799 Napoleon goes back to France this is in 1799 Napoleon goes back to France let me write this down 1799 Napoleon back in France and once he gets back there he sees that the directory is unbelievably popular unpopular the directory unpopular and the main reason is the reason that every government in France throughout these this whole series of videos has been unpopular people are still hungry France is still poor notice in everything I've talked about in all of these videos we still haven't addressed the issue that the France is essentially broke and that people are still going hungry so throughout all of the violence all of the Wars the directory is hugely unpopular and then a few of the directors - in particular actually three of the directors want to plot with Napoleon who is hugely popular and they essentially plan a coup in the way that they allow themselves to come to power is they resign and then they tell the legislature that's meeting at the Tuileries they tell the legislature hey there's a Jacobean revolt and you're in danger why don't you go to this estate west of Paris so that's Paris where they normally meet they tell them to go to an estate west of Paris so the legislature goes here to this estate and you will be protected by Napoleon legislature and they're protected by Napoleon and his army so they're protected by Napoleon now once they're there Napoleon goes in and starts making these speeches about you guys being essentially illegitimate and he looks like he really wants to take power and they just jostle him out of the room but once he gets jostle doubt of the room his brother points to the the the bruises on Napoleon he's he tells the the guards outside of outside of where the legislators meeting hey those guys in there they're becoming violent you have to go there go in there and take orders so the that convinces the military and they go in and they essentially dissolve the Council of 500 so essentially you've dissolved the legislature Napoleon is in charge of the military that dissolved the legislature and so so that allowed Napoleon and two of the plotting directors to take power they became the three councils three councils of France they formed the consulate or the new executive of France and very shortly they'll have their own Constitution but this really marks the point where Napoleon takes power of France because even though he took power with these other two dudes he eventually is able to scheme his way to be called first Council so Napoleon eventually is able to call himself First Consul at which point he is the authoritarian ruler of France so we've gone from over the course of the French Revolution from 1789 from 1789 where we had an absolute monarch in louis xvi now we go all the way to 1799 ten years later after all of this bloodshed bloodshed after multiple revolutions and counter-revolutions we end up with Napoleon essentially being in charge of France