V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 1. Overview > e. The Directory
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
e. The Directory
1795, Aug. 22
The Directory was established by the Constitution of Year III. Citizenship was extended to all males of at least 21 years of age who were on the civic lists of a canton and either paid direct taxes or had served in the army. All citizens could vote (no distinction between active and passive citizens). The constitution provided for a bicameral legislature (Council of Five Hundred and Council of the Ancients), with deputies each serving a three-year term, and a five-member executive branch (the Directory) chosen by the legislature. Freedom of the Press was confirmed by the constitution, but it could be restricted by the Directory for a year. Political clubs, collective petitioning, and popular societies were suppressed (Aug. 23).  1
The 1795 harvest was poor; it was preceded and followed by bad winters. Famine conditions existed in many parts of France. Nov. and Dec. saw strikes among Parisian workers, especially in the printing trades. The Directory followed a repressive policy toward workers.  2
1796, March 18
Assignats replaced with mandats territoriaux in an effort to stabilize the currency. The mandats depreciated almost immediately. The government withdrew them and returned to metallic currency in Feb. 1797, but only after decreeing a forced loan on the rich (poorly implemented).  3
THE WAR OF THE FIRST COALITION proceeded on two fronts.  4
French armies under Jourdan and Moreau separately invaded S. Germany, forcing Baden, Württemberg, and Bavaria to conclude truces (Aug.). Archduke Charles, leading Austrian forces, defeated Jourdan at Amberg (Aug.) and Würzburg (Sept. 3). In doing so, Charles successfully stopped the attempt to unite the two French armies on German soil and forced Moreau to retreat across the Rhine. The German campaigns were inconclusive.  5
BONAPARTE'S ITALIAN CAMPAIGN. Napoleon Bonaparte split the Austrian and Piedmontese armies—defeating the Austrians at Millesimo (April 13) and the Piedmontese at Mondovi (April 21). Victor Amadeus was compelled to conclude a separate peace with France. Napoleon then defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Lodi.  6
1796, May 10
Battle of Lodi. Napoleon entered Milan and conquered all of Lombardy as far as Mantua. Mantua surrendered after being besieged by the French, following Lodi.  7
1797, Feb. 2
Napoleon advanced toward Rome, but the pope concluded the Treaty of Tolentino with him (Feb. 19). Napoleon then crossed the Alps to meet Archduke Charles, but uprisings in Venetia and Tyrol forced him to open negotiations leading to the preliminary peace of Leoben.  8
April 18
Preliminary peace of Leoben: Austria took over Venetia, and France organized the Cisalpine Republic in northwestern Italy.  9
Sept. 4
The Fructidor Coup was established by emergency legislation forced through the councils with the support of the military. Paris occupied as the Triumvirs (directors Barras, La-Révellière-Lépeaux, and Reubell) instigated the Directorial Terror, pushing the Revolution left again. Deported members of the opposition included Carnot and Barthélemy.  10
The press freedoms were suspended according to the constitution. Right-wing newspapers were closed, and a stamp tax on the press was introduced (Sept. 30 and Oct. 4).  11
Sept. 30
Bankruptcy of the Two-Thirds repudiated two-thirds of the national debt.  12
Oct. 17
Treaty of Campo Formio between Austria and France concluded Austria's involvement in the War of the First Coalition. It allowed Austria to annex Venetian territories and secured French support for Austria's efforts to gain control of Salzburg and Bavarian territory around it. Austria ceded Belgium to France and secretly agreed to support French annexation of the left bank of the Rhine from Basel to Andernach.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.