French Directory election, 1795

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The Council of Five Hundred in Saint-Cloud, near Paris

The French elections of 1795 were held from 12 to 4 November 1795 (20 Vendémiaire to 13 Brumaire Year IV) Constitution of the Year III. The elections elected the fifth member of French Directory, new collective government of France, and renewed 150 deputies (one-third) of the French Council of Five Hundred. The rest of the Corps législatif ("Legislative Body") remained unelected, as express by Constitution. There was a census suffrage, so only 30,000 citizens expressed their votes.[1]

The election, that assigned to the Thermidorians the directorial and parliamentary majority, was anyway an alarm signal for the Republic, like the monarchists obtained totally 161 seats inside the Legislative Body, as well a sympathizer Director: General Lazare Carnot, formerly Jacobin and revolutionary chief. The threat of a return to Monarchy, and possibly to the Ancien Régime, finally led to the republican Coup of 18 Fructidor in 1797, who expelled the monarchist opposition from the Legislative Body and banned the royalist circles.

Directory election[edit]

French legislative election, 1795
French First Republic
← 1792 12–21 October 1795 1797 →

150 seats to the Council of Five Hundred
350 from the National Convention

Council of Five Hundred, 1795.svg
Elected members of the Council of Five Hundred

Elected Director

Lazare Carnot
None (Conservative)

Name Tasks Party
Jean-François Rewbell Secretary (Foreign & Financial Affairs)   Thermidorian
Paul Barras Internal Affairs   Thermidorian
Lazare Carnot War Affairs   None (Conservative)
Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux Culture and Religion Affairs   Thermidorian
Étienne-François Letourneur Junior Affairs   Maraisard

Legislative election[edit]

Party Votes  % Renewed seats Prior seats Tot. Seats
  Thermidorians 12,600 42% 63 179 Increase 242
  Moderate royalists 10,800 36% 54 19 Increase 73
  Ultra-royalists 6,600 22% 33 55 Increase 88
  Maraisards 389 Decrease 200
  Montagnards 200 Decrease 64
  Unknowns 83 Steady 83
Total 30,000[2] 100% 150 600 750


  1. ^ Georges Lefebvre (1984). La France sous le Directoire : 1795-1799. Messidor/Éditions sociales. p. 965. 
  2. ^ Denis Woronoff (1972). La République bourgeoise de Thermidor à Brumaire, 1794-1799. Seuil. p. p. 246.