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Constitution of the Year VIII

What exactly was the Constitution of the Year VIII and how did it secure power for Napoleon? How well did this constitution work? Why and how did Napoleon change it later? What was the ultimate source of Napoleon's power?

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The Constitution of the Year VIII was a national constitution of France, adopted December 24, 1799 (during the Year VIII of the French Revolutionary Calendar), which established the form of government known as the Consulate. The coup of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799) effectively gave all power to Napoleon Bonaparte, and in the eyes of some, ended the French Revolution.

After the coup, Napoleon and his allies legitimized his position by creating the "short and obscure Constitution of the Year VIII" (as Malcolm Crook has called it[1]). The constitution tailor-made the position of First Consul to give Napoleon most of the powers of a dictator. It was the first constitution since the Revolution without a Declaration of Rights.

The executive power was ...

Solution Summary

Description of what the Constitution of the Year VIII was and the impact on Napoleon.