REPUBLICANISM WITHOUT A REPUBLIC: POLITICAL CULTURE IN CONSULAR FRANCE, 1799-1804
This thesis examines Napoleon’s engagement with the ideology, language, and practices of the French Revolution to explain social and political developments that ultimately contradicted the period’s republican ideals. Revolutionary republicanism provided Napoleon with a compelling ideological basis upon which to construct the consular regime, one that could command popular support and mask his administration’s repressive tendencies. As I demonstrate, however, his continued usage of republican practices and concepts in many ways changed the meaning of revolutionary republicanism. In effect, the idioms and rituals of a laicized, republican past were recast to suit the needs of a Gallican, tutelary present. By exploring this dynamic, my work highlights both the significance of the revolutionary tradition within consular politics, and the fundamental malleability of its political ideals.