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(1799–1804) French government established after the Coup of 18–19 Brumaire. The Constitution of the Year VIII created an executive consisting of three consuls, but the First Consul, Napoleon, wielded all real power, while the other two, Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes and Pierre-Roger Ducos (1747–1816), were figureheads. The principles of representation and legislative supremacy were discarded. The executive branch was given the power to draft new laws, and the legislative branch became little more than a rubber stamp. Elections became an elaborate charade, with voters stripped of real power. Napoleon abolished the Consulate when he declared himself emperor.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Consulate, visit Britannica.com.
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