After the dissolution of the National Convention, the reign of Directory was established in France. The rule of the Directory continued from 27th October 1795 to 19th November 1799.
Among the five directors Abbe Sieyes and Carnot were famous. The most significant question before the Directory was whether it should continue to wage war against the external enemies of France, such as Austria, England and Sardinia.
As England had a powerful naval force, which was difficult to subdue, first of all France paid its attention towards Austria and Sardinia and decided to wage war against them.
The responsibility of making attack on Austria from the Rhine flank was given to Moreanu and Jourdon and the charge of invading Austria through Italy was given to Napoleon Bonaparte, who showed great courage and earned fame in this operation.
Paying due tribute to Napoleon, a prominent scholar has remarked, “Had there been no Napoleon in France, the country would have gone to pieces and the achievements of the Revolution shattered.”
Hayes writes about the Directory and its functions: “The history of four years of the Directory was troubled, uncertain and ended in its violent overthrow.” Madelin also writes:
“The Directory was the most incompetent and the most corrupt government that was ever set up in France.”
The people of France were tired of lawlessness, disorder and bloodshed and were keenly looking forward to see the reins of the government in some powerful hands. Generally, it is noted that a long-drawn disorder gives birth to the rise of dictators.
Edm und Burke had prophesied the same for France. Julius Caesar emerged as a dictator in Rome after the disorder of about one hundred and fifty years and Cromwell established his sway in England after a long confusion and chaos.
The rise of dictatorship in Germany and Italy after the First World War was also the outcome of the same situation.
In the same way, the rise of Napoleon in France was the consequence of lawlessness, con fusion and chaos prevailing in the French society for a long time.