On his arrival in france Napoleon found that the members of the Directory were involved in mutual quarrels and neglecting the major is­sues of the day. The financial position of the country was fast deteriorating and there was an immnent danger of foreign invasion on French territory.

Actually England, Russia, Austria, Turkey and Naples organized a coali­tion against France when Napoleon was busy against Egypt and Syria, with a view to overthrow the revolutionary government at Paris and to restore France to her old boundaries.

Though the French forces were defeated by the coalition powers, the people of france nourished a hope that Napoleon on his return “would force the Austrians, Russians and English to an honourable peace…and give to the French the inestimable boon of a just, fair and regular government.”

Consequently Napoleon was warmly wel­comed by the French people on his return to France. Ultimately on 10 .November 1799 Napoleon with the help of Abbe Sieyes overthrew the Directory. He prevailed upon the two houses of the legislature to abolish Directory and create the office of the Consul. The Consul consisted of three members.


Napoleon himself became the first Consul, while Abbe Sieyes and Ducos were elected as other Consuls. Thus Napoleon became a virtual dictator of France. As Prof. Hayes has observed “within a span often and a half years from the assembling of the Estate General at Versailles, Parliamentary and popular government in France fell beneath the sword. The predictions of Marat and Robespierre were realized. A military dictator had appeared on the scene.”