Council of Five Hundred

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Council of Five Hundred
Conseil des Cinq-Cents
French First Republic
Coat of arms or logo
General Bonaparte surrounded by members of the Council of Five Hundred during the 18 Brumaire coup d'état.
Established 2 November 1795
Disbanded 10 November 1799
Preceded by National Convention (unicameral)
Succeeded by Corps législatif
Seats 500
Meeting place
Salle du Manège, rue de Rivoli, Paris

The Council of Five Hundred (Conseil des Cinq-Cents), or simply the Five Hundred was the lower house of the legislature of France during the period commonly known (from the name of the executive branch during this time) as the Directory (Directoire), from 22 August 1795 until 9 November 1799, roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

Lucien Bonaparte, the Last President of the Council

Besides functioning as a legislative body, the Council of Five Hundred proposed the list out of which the Ancients chose five Directors, who jointly held executive power.

Each member had to be at least 21 and meet residency qualifications and pay taxes. A third of them would be replaced annually.[1]

Napoleon Bonaparte led a group of grenadiers who drove the Council from its chambers and installed himself as leader of France as its First Consul in the coup of 18 Brumaire.


  1. Neely, Sylvia. A concise history of the French Revolution. Rowman and Littlefield. p. 226.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>