There is an ancient proverb which translates into “May you live in interesting times.” While this proverb might sound benign, it is actually quite ominous; in fact, some have argued that this proverb is actually an unusual curse.
Certainly, the last years of the radical phase of the Revolution were interesting; I doubt, however, that many French citizens considered themselves lucky because they were alive to witness them. This violent and tumultuous phase was far from pleasant; in fact, the period was so chaotic that some historians have argued that the people turned to Napoleon because they were too exhausted by the Revolution to continue fighting for its ideals.
Your goal today is to explain how the years between 1793 and 1796 created the conditions necessary for Napoleon’s rise to power. Your response must include “exhaustion”, but it should include any other factors that made his rise possible. You will need to consult:
- the reign of terror (pg 190)
- the final thoughts of madam roland (pg 192-193)
- Robespierre’s demise (pg 193)
- After Thermidor (pg 194)