Biography of Carnot, Lazare - Archontology
Carnot, Lazare

Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot

b. 13 May 1753, Nolay, Côte-d'Or, France
d. 2 Aug 1823, Magdeburg, Royal Prussian States

Title: Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention)
Term: 5 May 1794 - 20 May 1794
Chronology: 5 May 1794, elected, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [1]
6 May 1794, assumed the chair, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [2]
20 May 1794, expiration of term; successor elected and proclaimed ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [3]
Names/titles: Comte Carnot, comte de l'Empire (count Carnot, count of the Empire) [from 20 Mar 1815]
Président du Directoire exécutif de la République française (President of the Executive Directory of the French Republic) (30 Apr 1796 - 29 Jul 1796, 26 May 1797 - 24 Aug 1797) [see details]; membre du Directoire exécutif de la République française (member of the Executive Directory of the French Republic) (4 Nov 1795 - 5 Sep 1797) [see details]
Son of a Nolay notary, who had 18 children; entered the Collège d'Autun (1765), where he was educated together with Joseph and Lucien, brothers of the future emperor Napoléon I; studied at the small seminary at Autun; attended the artillery and engineering preparatory school in Paris (1769-1771); graduated from the Mézières school of engineering with the rank of lieutenant (1773); served with the troops deployed at Le Havre, Béthune, and Arras; promoted to captain (1784); elected (27 Aug 1791) to the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) (1791-1792) as a representative of the département of Pas-de-Calais; served as a member of the committees for diplomacy and public education; elected (6 Sep 1792) deputy of Pas-de-Calais to the Convention nationale (National Convention) (1792-1795); voted for the death sentence in the trial of King Louis XVI; member of the committees of war, diplomacy and general defense; sent as representative of the Convention to the départements of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (9 Mar 1793 - 30 Apr 1793) to expedite the conscription of 300,000 men; representative of the Convention (30 Mar 1793 - 11 Aug 1793) to the Army of the North to investigate the actions of General Dumouriez; a key member of the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Safety) (14 Aug 1793 - 6 Oct 1794, 5 Nov 1794 - 5 Mar 1795); focused on the conduct of military operations; sent on mission to the Armies of the North and Ardennes (23 Sep 1793 - Oct 1793); elected President of the National Convention (5 May 1794 - 20 May 1794); opposed the social policies of Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Saint-Just, but abstained from playing any role in the coup of 9 Thermidor, Year II (27 Jul 1794); escaped proscription as a Montagnard (23 May 1795), when he was named "organisateur de la victoire" (Organizer of Victory) by a deputy, protesting against his accusation; elected (15 Oct 1795) to the Corps législatif by 14 départements, decided to represent Sarthe; nominated to the Conseil des Anciens (Council of Ancients); elected (4 Nov 1795) member of the Directoire exécutif (Executive Directory) to replace Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, who declined his nomination; two times served as President of the Directory (30 Apr 1796 - 29 Jul 1796, 26 May 1797 - 24 Aug 1797); as a Directory member, assumed conservative position; escaped arrest in the coup d'état of 18 Fructidor, Year V (4 Sep 1797); condemned to exile and expelled from the Directory (5 Sep 1797); fled to Switzerland and returned to France after the coup of 18 Brumaire, Year VIII (9 Nov 1799); briefly served as minister of war (2 Apr 1800 - 8 Oct 1800); appointed member of the Tribunat (27 Mar 1802 - 19 Aug 1807); fought the authoritarian development of the consular regime; voted against creation of the Légion d'honneur, against bestowing on Napoléon the consulate for life, and against the establishment of the Empire; as governor of Antwerp (25 Jan 1814 - 3 May 1814) resisted the forces of the Allied Powers; during the Cent Jours (Hundred Days), served as minister of the interior (20 Mar 1815 - 23 Jun 1815); named a peer of France (2 Jun 1815); elected (22 Jun 1815) member of the Commission de Gouvernement (Governmental Commission) (served 23 Jun 1815 - 7 Jul 1815); banished as regicide (1815); lived at Warsaw and later left for Magdeburg, where died seven years later.
Biographical sources: Dictionnaire des Conventionnels, 110-114; Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889, 1:583-586.

Candidate Votes (5 May 1794)
Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot almost unanimously
Source of electoral results: Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 90:86.

[1] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 90:86; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 37:25.
[2] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 90:89-106.
[3] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 90:495; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 38:12.
  Image: engraving by E. Thomas.