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Napoleon’s Rise to Power

Michael Rapport describes the last days of the old Revolutionary regime and the circumstances leading to the young general’s triumph at the coup of 18-19 Brumaire.

General Bonaparte during the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire in Saint-Cloud, painting by François Bouchot, 1840On October 9th, 1799, at Fréjus in south-eastern France, General Napoleon Bonaparte disembarked from the frigate which had carried him from Egypt, evaded British cruisers and brought him safely back to the French Republic. Bonaparte had been plucked from a disastrous campaign in the East – only a month later, he would be brought to power as First Consul over the ruins of the Directory, the regime which had ruled France for four years.

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