2004
Volume 123, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

The Consulate is the last of the many regimes of the First French Republic. During these four crucial years the de facto head of state, Napoleon Bonaparte, gradually accumulated so much power that in the end he seemed to occupy an almost royal position, foreshadowing his imperial dignity. Although Bonaparte tried to keep up a façade of revolutionary symbols and republican customs, it became more and more difficult to find excuses for the monarchical way in which his power was represented. Especially his magnificent entourage of palaces, service personnel, ceremonial pomp and the delicate rules of etiquette had all but by name the appearance of a genuine royal court. Many a staunch republican uttered his anger or annoyance at this apparent return to the detested practices of the ancien régime. But because Bonaparte acted with utmost prudence, patience and dissimulation there was never a general outcry or a serious attempt at obstruction. Thus, when in May 1804 the First Consul was proclaimed Emperor the foundations for his imperial court were already in place.

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2010-09-01
2022-01-26
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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