Sieyès, Emmanuel-Joseph


Sieyès, Emmanuel-Joseph

biographical name

(born May 3, 1748, Fréjus, France—died June 20, 1836, Paris) French political theorist. A Catholic priest, he rose to become chancellor of the diocese of Chartres in 1788. In sympathy with the reform movement before the French Revolution, he won great popularity with his pamphlet What Is the Third Estate? (1789) and was elected to represent the Third Estate in the Estates-General. He led the movement to establish the National Assembly, then served in the National Convention until the radical Jacobins seized control (1793). During the Directory, he served on the Council of Five Hundred (1795–99) and on the Directory itself (1799). He helped organize the military Coup of 18–19 Brumaire, which overthrew the Directory and brought Napoleon to power. After the monarchy's restoration (1815), he lived in exile in Belgium until 1830.

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