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Carnot, Lazare Nicolas Marguerite

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1753–1832), French revolutionary, and military organizer. The son of a lawyer, Carnot trained at the Mézières military engineering academy and held the rank of captain at the outbreak of the french revolution of 1789. Elected to the Legislative Assembly, he became prominent as a member of the committee of public safety with special responsibility for military affairs in 1793–4. He organized the levee en masse (mass conscription) and the amalgame (union of old royal and new revolutionary regiments), and was seen as the architect of the Republic's military successes. This saved him when the jacobins were purged after the downfall of robespierre in 1794. He subsequently held high office under the directory , but by then his political sympathies had begun to change. He fled after the coup of Fructidor (1797) which purged the government of conservative and royalist sympathizers, and returned briefly to serve Bonaparte (soon to be napoleon i ) as war minister in 1800–1. Carnot was recalled in 1814, and during the final phase of Napoleonic rule he skilfully organized the defense of Antwerp. He was exiled by louis xviii for having voted to execute louis xvi , and died at Magdeburg. (See also french revolutionary wars ; napoleonic wars ; warfare ) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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