Barras, Paul

Jean-Nicolas-Paul-François Barras

b. 30 Jun 1755, Fox-Amphoux, Var
d. 29 Jan 1829, Chaillot, Seine

Title: Président du Directoire exécutif de la République française (President of the Executive Directory of the French Republic)
Term: 1 Nov 1796 - 30 Jan 1797
Chronology: 1 Nov 1796, installed as President, meeting of the Executive Directory, Palais du Luxembourg, Paris [1]
30 Jan 1797, expiration of term, successor installed [2]
Term: 27 Nov 1797 - 25 Feb 1798
Chronology: 27 Nov 1797, installed as President, meeting of the Executive Directory, Palais du Luxembourg, Paris [3]
25 Feb 1798, expiration of term, successor installed [4]
Term: 25 Feb 1799 - 26 May 1799
Chronology: 25 Feb 1799, installed as President at a meeting of the Executive Directory [4]
26 May 1799, expiration of term, successor installed [4]
Names/titles: Vicomte de Barras-Clumanc (viscount of Barras-Clumanc) [from birth]
Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention) (4 Feb 1795 - 19 Feb 1795) [see details]; Membre du Directoire exécutif de la République française (Member of the Executive Directory of the French Republic) (2 Nov 1795 - 10 Nov 1799) [see details]
Biography:
Descended from a noble family of Provence; joined the regiment of Languedoc (1771); in the rank of sub-lieutenant he was transferred to the regiment of Pondicherry (1776); landed at Pondicherry in 1777; after the seizure of Pondicherry by the British troops (1778), he followed his regiment to Madras; returned to France (1780) and was promoted to lieutenant (1780); took part in colonial expeditions (1781-1783); retired from the army (1783); joined the Jacobin Club; took part in the storming of the Bastille; elected as a substitute deputy of the département of Var to the Convention nationale (National Convention) (1792-1795), took place of Edmond-Louis-Alexis Dubois-Crancé, who opted for the Ardennes, and took his seat in the Convention; voted for the king's death in the trial of Louis XVI; sent to the Hautes-Alpes and Basses-Alpes as representative of the Convention (9 Mar 1793 - 30 Apr 1793) for recruitment of the soldiers; appointed the Convention's representative with the Army of Italy (30 Apr 1793 - 23 Jan 1794), distinguished himself in capturing Toulon (1793); named commander-in-chief of the forces defending the Convention against the national guard; played an outstanding role in overthrowing the dictatorship of the Robespierrists (27 Jul 1794); served on the Comité de sûreté générale (Committee of General Security) (5 Nov 1794 - 5 Mar 1795, 1 Sep 1795 - 4 Nov 1795) and as President of the National Convention (4 Feb 1795 - 19 Feb 1795); appointed commander of the Army of the Interior (4 Oct 1795); together with General Napoléon Bonaparte defended the regime against an attempted royalist insurrection (5 Oct 1795); elected to the Corps législatif (1795); elected (1 Nov 1795) one of the original members of the Directoire exécutif (Executive Directory); three times served as President of the Directory (1 Nov 1796 - 30 Jan 1797, 27 Nov 1797 - 25 Feb 1798, 25 Feb 1799 - 26 May 1799); emerged as one of its leaders and became notorious for excessive corruption and luxurious living; engineered the coup of 18 Fructidor (4 Sep 1797), which made him the most important figure in the republican government; elected to the Conseil des Cinq-Cents (Council of Five Hundred) (12 Apr 1798) and to the Conseil des Anciens (Council of Ancients) (12 Apr 1799); resigned as a Directory member on the eve of the 18 Brumaire coup (9 Nov 1799); was exiled to Brussels (1801-1805); after the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, was permitted to live in peace at his estate at Chaillot. Biography source: [5]


[1] Recueil des Actes du Directoire exécutif (Procès-verbaux, arrêtés, instructions, lettres et actes divers)", published by Antonin Debidour in "Collection de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France publiés par les soins du ministre de l'Instruction publique (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1910-1917)., vol. 4, p. 174.
[2] Recueil des Actes du Directoire exécutif, op. cit., vol. 4, p. 754.
[3] Les procès-verbaux du Directoire exécutif, an V - an VIII. Inventaire des registres des delibérations et des minutes des arrêtés, lettres et actes du Directoire faisant suite au Recueil des actes du Directoire exécutif d'Antonin Debidour, ed. by Pierre-Dominique Cheynet (Paris: Centre historique des Archives nationales, 2000-)., vol. 3, p. 164.
[4] Archives nationales, AF III 1-51J.
[5] Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889,
Last updated on: 07 Sep 2012 09:42:04