While Bonaparte was defeating the most powerful external enemy, the internal directorate had to fight on two fronts: against socialist ambitions (Babeuf) not very vigorous in truth, because by now the popular masses were tired and happy to have reached the three eights: bread, meat and wine for eight sous; against the monarchical reaction, more dangerous because it wanted to use the legal means of elections to stealthily regain power. In fact, in the germinal elections the royalists managed to have a certain majority and in the draw for the renewal of the fifth director they had one of their candidates elected, Barthélemy, then conquered Carnot (who really did not believe to become a monarchical instrument, but was deluded to be able to create a solid government on the basis of an agreement between directors and councils), and even went so far as to ask for the ministry to be renewed and for the appointment of treasury commissioners to pass from the directorate to the councils as well. The other three directors promptly counterattacked and had the army on their side, who considered the realists to be an anti-national work. In fact, England in the conferences of Lille and Austria in those of Mombello stalled in the hope of a change of government. Therefore Hoche sent his general to command the Directory Guard; Bonaparte sent Augerau with 20,000 men and thus the Fructidoro coup took place (17-18 Fructidoro, 3-4 September 1797). Carnot fled, Barthélemy was arrested and deported, the councils were purged with the expulsion of 198 members, of which 33 were sentenced to deportation. It was decided that one could no longer be an elector without first having sworn hatred of the monarchy and anarchy, and emigrants and refractors were excluded from political rights. The press was also purged and the deportation of 70 journalists was decreed.
Lost all hope of an internal change in France, Austria signed the Peace of Campo Formio (v. Campoformido: Campoformio Treaty) and England interrupted the conferences in Lille. To beat England to death then Bonaparte conceived an expedition to Egypt, which would shake the East and pave the way for the Indies. The directory agreed, even to get him out of the way, and Bonaparte sailed towards Alexandria.
By occupying Malta and invading Egypt, a high Turkish domination, France not only antagonized Turkey, but also Russia, which saw the rise of a new formidable competitor in its aims on the Ottoman Empire, while the imprudent Bernadotte, ambassador French in Vienna, he surrounded himself with Poles and excited their national aspirations. Bonaparte undid the Mamelukes at the Pyramids, but was blocked in Egypt following Nelson’s victory at Abukir (10 August 1798).
According to neovideogames, the Egyptian expedition and the economic struggle against England, the impetus given to the aspirations of the new social classes in all the neighboring countries, accentuated the demands of an Italian policy in the directory. To have a secure footing in Italy it was necessary to possess Piedmont, and the House of Savoy was overthrown; in order to always enter it easily and neutralize the strategic importance of the Trentino wedge, it was necessary to dominate Switzerland, and a Helvetic republic was created in it, which was immediately imposed the construction of the Simplon and Spluga roads towards Italy (which were made, however, the one a little, the other much later). Then followed, to close the peninsula to England and to get closer to Egypt, the proclamation of the republic in Rome and Naples. All ‘ England only had to take the Savoy in Sardinia and the Bourbons in Sicily under his protection. The French dominance in Italy affected the prestige of Austria, which owned Venice; Austria then interrupted the conferences at the Rastatt Congress and joined Russia, England, Turkey against France.
This time the victory was not favorable to French arms: Jourdan was beaten at Stokack (21 March 1799); Massena soon had to go on the defensive in Switzerland; Schérer first, then Moreau in Cassano (April 27), then Macdonald alla Trebbia (June 17-19), then Joubert in Novi (August 15) were defeated by the Austro-Russians, led by Suvaroff; Holland was invaded by the Anglo-Russians. All this while the problem of a solid government was always unsolved in Paris: the directorate had won fruitlessly, but had not been able to take advantage of the victory, thus strengthening the executive power as not to make the usual conflicts of jurisdiction frequent. Having lost his most energetic member in Reubell in the renewal of the fifth director on May 16, 1799, replaced by Abbot Sieyès, eager for a reform of the state, the directorate fell to the mercy of the councils, which declared null the election of one of its members, Treilhard, replacing him with Gohier, and also eliminated the other two directors of the fashion forte Larevellière and Merlin de Douai, replacing them with Roger Ducos and Moulins (30 pratile, June 18, 1799). Keeping the directorate in check by the councils, France was devoid of a true government, which was invoked by all, and the messiah should have been a general, covered with the laurel of victories: one thought of Moreau, who did not have the soul, we thought of Joubert, who died in Novi. But he came from Egypt and Bonaparte triumphed, who on 18-19 Brumaire, in agreement with the main generals and politicians and with the two directors Sieyès and Roger-Ducos, made himself master of the government and with the two accomplices directors took the title of consul provisional.