Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque, or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss-French political activist and writer on politics and religion. He was the author of a partly biographical psychological novel, henri-Benjamin Constant was born in Lausanne to descendants of Huguenot Protestants who had fled from Artois to Switzerland during the Huguenot Wars in the 16th century. His father, Jules Constant de Rebecque, served as a officer in the Dutch States Army, like his grandfather, his uncle. When Constants mother died soon after his birth, both his grandmothers took care of him, private tutors educated him in Brussels and in the Netherlands. At the Protestant University of Erlangen, he gained appointment to the court of Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and he had to leave after an affair with a girl, and moved to the University of Edinburgh. There he lived at the home of Andrew Duncan, the elder and became friends with James Mackintosh, when he left the city, he promised to pay back his gambling debts.
In 1787, he returned, traveling on horseback through England and Scotland, when he stayed at her home in Colombier Switzerland, they wrote an epistolary novel together. She acted as a mother to him until Constants appointment to the court of Charles William Ferdinand and he left the court when the War of the First Coalition began in 1792. In Brunswick, he had married Wilhelmina von Cramm, but he divorced her in 1793, in September 1794, he met and became interested in the famous and rich Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, brought up on the principles of Rousseau. They both admired Jean Lambert Tallien and Talleyrand and their intellectual collaboration between 1795 and 1811 made them one of the most celebrated intellectual couples of their time. After the Reign of Terror in France, Constant became a defender of bicameralism, in revolutionary France this strand of political thought resulted in the Constitution of the Year III, the Council of Five Hundred and the Council of Ancients. Constant became acquainted with Julie Talma, the wife of François-Joseph Talma, in 1800, the Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, an act of terror, failed.
In 1803, at a time when Britain and France were at peace, Jean Gabriel Peltier, while living in England, the lawyer James Mackintosh defended the French refugee against a libel suit instigated by Napoleon – First Consul of France. Mackintoshs speech was published in English and across Europe in a French translation by Madame de Staël. She was forced to leave Paris, de Staël, disappointed in French Rationalism, became interested in German Romanticism. Constant moved with her and their two children to Weimar, Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel welcomed them the day after their arrival. In Weimar they met Friedrich von Schiller, Johann Wolfgang Goethe at first hesitated, in Berlin, they met with August Wilhelm Schlegel, and his brother, Friedrich Schlegel. Constant parted from de Stael and in 1806 lived in Rouen and Meulan, in 1809, he secretly married Caroline von Hardenberg, a woman who had been divorced twice
Constitution of the Year VIII
The Constitution of the Year VIII was a national constitution of France, adopted December 24,1799, which established the form of government known as the Consulate. The coup of 18 Brumaire effectively gave all power to Napoleon Bonaparte, after the coup and his allies legitimized his position by creating the short and obscure Constitution of the Year VIII. The constitution tailor-made the position of First Consul to give Napoleon most of the powers of a dictator and it was the first constitution since the Revolution without a Declaration of Rights. The executive power was vested in three Consuls, but all power was held by the First Consul, Bonaparte. To emphasize this, Napoleon used classical Roman terms in the Constitution, such as Consul, the Constitution used the term notables. The term notables was a common usage under the monarchy, every Frenchman understood it and it referred to prominent, distinguished men — landholders, scholars, professionals and officials. The people in each district chose a slate of notables by popular vote, the First Consul and 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 appoint the Tribunate, the Corps Législatif, the judges of cassation. Napoleon held a plebiscite on the Constitution in December, the vote was not binding, but it allowed Napoleon to maintain a veneer of democracy. The vote was said to be 3,011,007 in favor, the true result was probably around 1.55 million for it, against several thousand against it. The Napoleonic constitutions were replaced by the Charter of 1814. The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
The concept of universal suffrage, known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all except a small number of adult citizens. As minors are excluded, the concept is frequently described as universal adult suffrage. Many countries make an exception for small numbers of adults that are considered incapable of voting. Other countries exclude people convicted of crimes or people in jail. In some countries, including the United States, it is very difficult, in any case, where universal suffrage exists, the right to vote is not restricted by race, belief, wealth, or social status. The term active suffrage is sometimes used for the right to vote, passive suffrage for the right to run for office, the equivalent term when talking about both genders would be universal full suffrage, or full universal suffrage. Greece recognized full male suffrage in 1830 and France and Switzerland have continuously done so since the 1848 Revolution, the German Empire implemented full male suffrage in 1871.
In 1893, the self-governing colony New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant active universal suffrage by giving women the right to vote and it did not grant universal full suffrage until 1919. In 1902 Australia become the first country to grant full suffrage for women, universal suffrage was not implemented, as aboriginals didnt get the right to vote until 1962. It elected the worlds first female members of parliament the following year, in most countries, universal suffrage followed about a generation after universal male suffrage. Notable exceptions in Europe were France, where women could not vote until 1944, Greece and it is worth noting that countries that took a long time to adopt womens suffrage had previously often been pioneers in granting universal male suffrage. In the first modern democracies, governments restricted the vote to those with property and wealth, in some jurisdictions, other restrictions existed, such as requiring voters to practice a given religion.
In all modern democracies, the number of people who could vote has increased progressively with time, in the 19th century in Europe, Great Britain and North America, there were movements advocating universal suffrage. The democratic movement of the late 19th century, unifying liberals and social democrats, particularly in northern Europe, used the slogan Equal, the concept of universal suffrage requires the right to vote to be granted to all its residents. All countries, however, do not allow certain categories of citizens to vote, saudi Arabia was the last major country that did not allow women to vote, but admitted women both to voting and candidacy in the 2015 municipal elections. France, under the 1793 Jacobin constitution, was the first major country to enact suffrage for all adult males, the Second French Republic did institute adult male suffrage after the revolution of 1848. In 1867, Germany enacted suffrage for all adult males, in the United States following the American Civil War, slaves were freed and granted rights of citizens, including suffrage for adult males.
Several European nations that had enacted universal suffrage had their legal process, or their status as an independent nation, interrupted during
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Council of Five Hundred
Besides functioning as a legislative body, the Council of Five Hundred proposed the list out of which the Ancients chose five Directors, who jointly held executive power. Voting rights were restricted to owning property bringing in income equal to 150 days of work. Each member elected had to be at least 30 years old, meet residency qualifications, to prevent them coming under the pressure of the sans-culottes and the Paris mob, the constitution allowed the Council of the Five Hundred to meet in closed session. A third of them would be replaced annually, in the elections of April 1797, there were a number of voting irregularities a very low turnout, resulting in a strong showing for Royalist tendencies. A number of the newly-elected deputies formed the Clichy Union in the Council, the elections of April 1798 were heavily manipulated. The Council of the Five Hundred passed a law on 8 May barring 106 recently-elected deputies from taking their seats, elections in 48 departments were annulled. In October 1799 Napoleons brother Lucien Bonaparte was appointed President of the Council of Five Hundred, soon afterwards, in the coup of 18 Brumaire, Napoleon led a group of grenadiers who drove the Council from its chambers and installed him as leader of France as its First Consul.
This ended the Council of Five Hundred, the Council of Ancients and the Directory
The Consulate was the government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire in 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire in 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate refers to period of French history. Due to the institutions established during these years, Robert B. Holtman has called the Consulate one of the most important periods of all French history, Napoleon brought authoritarian personal rule which has been viewed as military dictatorship. French military disasters in 1798 and 1799 had shaken the Directory, an irregularity emerged in the election of Jean Baptiste Treilhard, who retired in favor of Louis Jérôme Gohier. Within days, Philippe-Antoine Merlin and Louis-Marie de La Revellière were driven to resign, Baron Jean-François-Auguste Moulin, the three new directors were generally seen as non-entities. A few more military disasters, royalist insurrections in the south, Chouan disturbances in a dozen departments of the part of France, Orléanist intrigues. In order to soothe the populace and protect the frontier, more than the French Revolutions usual terrorist measures was necessary, the new Directory government, led by Sieyès, decided that the necessary revision of the constitution would require a head and a sword.
Jean Victor Moreau being unattainable as his sword, Sieyès favoured Barthélemy Catherine Joubert, success was reserved for Bonaparte, suddenly landing at Fréjus with the prestige of his victories in the East, and now, after Hoches death, appearing as sole master of the armies. In the coup of 18 Brumaire Year VIII, Napoleon seized French parliamentary and military power in a two-fold coup détat, the initial 18 Brumaire coup seemed to be a victory for Sieyès, rather than for Bonaparte. Sieyès was a proponent of a new system of government for the Republic, Bonapartes cleverness lay in counterposing Pierre Claude François Daunous plan to that of Sieyès, and in retaining only those portions of both which could serve his ambition. Ultimate executive authority was vested in three consuls, who were elected for ten years, popular suffrage was retained, though mutilated by the lists of notables. Napoleon vetoed Sieyès original idea of having a single Grand Elector as supreme executive, Sieyès had intended to reserve this important position for himself, and by denying him the job Napoleon helped reinforce the authority of the consuls, an office which he would assume.
Nor was Napoleon content simply to be part of an equal triumvirate, by consolidating power, Bonaparte was able to transform the aristocratic constitution of Sieyès into an unavowed dictatorship. On 7 February 1800, a referendum confirmed the new constitution. It vested all of the power in the hands of the First Consul. A full 99. 9% of voters approved the motion, according to the released results and he gave everyone a feeling that France was governed once more by a real statesman, and that a competent government was finally in charge. Bonaparte had now to rid himself of Sieyès and of those republicans who had no desire to hand over the republic to one man, particularly of Moreau and Masséna, his military rivals