‘the Success of the Coup of Brumaire Was Mainly Because of Napoleon’s Personal Qualities.’ Do You Agree?

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‘The success of the Coup of Brumaire was mainly because of Napoleon’s personal qualities.’ Do you agree? The event of the Coup of Brumaire in 1799 brought around political change in France as desired by the aims of the French Revolution, but most importantly allowed Napoleon Bonaparte to establish power politically and join this with his military power he achieved following the successful Italian and Egyptian campaigns years earlier. Although Napoleon is known as one of France’s greatest leaders and to some extent even a dictator, the qualities of a leader were rarely seen during this event, meaning his personal qualities should not be seen as the main reason for the coup’s success when taking other factors into consideration. A pivotal factor in the success of the Coup of Brumaire was the state of public opinion within France. French political thinker Alex de Tocqueville is quoted as saying “The state of mind of the public was the prime reason for the success at Brumaire”. Prior to the Coup, trade and industry in France became slow and then stalled due to industry growth in other countries, which resulted in poverty and hunger for many workers and farmers who struggled to sell their produce. This therefore caused struggle for a large proportion of the French population that would lead to expected frustration and anger across France. This would provoke a desire for change from the public to improve the country’s economy and ultimately their standard of living, and with an ongoing Revolution based upon social, economic, and political change, public opinion would be more important than ever and be in favour of a coup d’etat due to the wave of momentum of change in France which would assist the coup of Brumaire due to lack of public resistance. As well as this, there was fear within France that a Bourbon restoration could be close, resulting in the achievements

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