Council of Ancients

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Council of Anciens
Conseil des Anciens
French First Republic
Coat of arms or logo
Emblem of the Council of Anciens
Type
Type
History
Established 2 November 1795
Disbanded 10 November 1799
Preceded by National Convention (unicameral)
Succeeded by Imperial Senate
Seats 250
Meeting place
Salle du Manège, rue de Rivoli, Paris
Bouquerot de Voligny (1755-1841) in his uniform as a member of the Council of Ancients
The Council of Ancients in session

The Council of Ancients or Council of Elders (French: Conseil des Anciens) was the upper house of French legislature under the Constitution of the Year III, during the period commonly known as the Directory (French: Directoire), from 22 August 1795 until 9 November 1799, roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

The Council of Ancients was the senior of the two halves of the republican legislative system. The Ancients were 250 members who could accept or reject laws put forward by the lower house of the Directory, the Council of Five Hundred (Conseil des Cinq-Cents). Each member had to be at least forty years of age, and a third of them would be replaced annually. They had no power to draft laws, but any laws that they rejected could not be reintroduced for at least a year.[1]

Besides functioning as a legislative body, the Ancients chose five Directors, who jointly held executive power, from the list of names put forward by the Council of Five Hundred. The Council of Ancients had their own distinctive official uniform, with robes, cape and hat, just as did the Council of Five Hundred and the Directors.[2][3] Under the Thermidorean constitution, as Boissy d'Anglas put it, the Council of Five Hundred was to be the imagination of the Republic, and the Council of Ancients its reason.[4][5]

Presidents of the Council of Ancients[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul R. Hanson, Contesting the French Revolution, John Wiley & Sons 2009 p.131
  2. ^ http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6953456x accessed 30/4/2017
  3. ^ https://chrhc.revues.org/4768#tocfrom3n5 accessed 30/4/2017
  4. ^ https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01367516/document accessed 30/4/2017
  5. ^ http://books.openedition.org/pur/19748?lang=fr accessed 30/4/2017

Sources[edit]