When Did the French Revolution End

Valorie Delp
Napoleon Bonaparte ended the French Revolution.

Answering the question, 'when did the French Revolution end?', is not entirely difficult. Unlike the beginning of the French Revolution, the end of the French Revolution has a very specific date, ending when Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup d'état and declared himself the ruler of France.

The Directory

During the years of the Revolution, France had been floundering politically. Several factions of Jacobins, nobility and others were all vying for the coveted position of controlling France. This led not only to the horrific crimes during the Reign of Terror but also to a general mistrust from the public of its government.

After the Reign of Terror was over in 1793, the French government restructured itself yet again and created the Constitution of 1795. The new National Assembly was substantially more conservative, and while the intents of the constitution were good, the Directory was highly corrupt.

When Did the French Revolution End

Essentially, Napoleon ended the French Revolution. Napoleon was successfully leading military campaigns, succeeding both abroad and squelching counter-revolutionary activities at home. While the people were hesitant to trust the Directory, they were more willing to get behind Bonaparte; he staged a coup and seized power on November 9, 1799.

Napoleonic Code

While Napoleon is often thought of as a tyrant, he did establish the Napoleonic Code, which became the standard by which all other laws would be established. It was the first civil code to establish that there should be:

  • Freedom of religion
  • No privileges based on birth
  • Government jobs for the most qualified

It strongly influenced many other civil codes throughout the world and for this, historians have referred to it as one of the most important codes in history. In addition to establishing a civil law, he also made many other reforms in France, including a sewer system, a tax code, and a centralized bank. All of these actions together essentially are the answer to the question 'when did the French Revolution end?'. Regardless of his methods, there's no doubt that Napoleon Bonaparte pulled France out of her pit at the French Revolution.

When Did the French Revolution End