Consulate, 1799–1804, in French history, form of government established after the coup of 18 Brumaire (Nov. 9–10, 1799), which ended the Directory. Three consuls were appointed to rule France—Napoleon Bonaparte (see Napoleon I), Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, and Roger Ducos. Sieyès and Ducos were soon replaced by Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès and C. F. Lebrun, and the Consulate became little more than a scheme for autocratic government by Bonaparte, who was made first consul for life in 1802 and emperor in 1804.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.