The Directory


The Directory became France's executive power between 1795 and 1799.

There were five members, or directors, and each was elected by the Council of Ancients (les Anciens) and the Five Hundred (Cinq-Cents).

It was effective in its first years, but then corruption and self-service set in.

Internal bickering and in-fighting increasingly destabilised the country and, in 1799, two of its members - Paul Barras and Abbe Sieyes - plotted with Napoleon Bonaparte to overthrow their colleagues.

The Coup of Brumaire succeeded and the Directory was dissolved. It was replaced by the Consulate.


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