Pierre Roger Ducos - Encyclopedia

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PIERRE ROGER DUCOS (1754-1816), French politician and director, was born at Dax. He was an advocate when elected deputy to the Convention by the department of the Landes. He sat in the "Plain," i.e. in the party which had no opinion of its own, which always leaned to the stronger side. He voted for the death of Louis XVI., without appeal or delay, but played no noticeable part in the Convention. He was a member of the Council of the Five Hundred, over which he presided on the 18th of Fructidor in the year V. (see French Revolution). At the end of his term he became a judge of the peace, but after the parliamentary coup d'etat of the 3 oth of Prairial of the year VIII. he was named a member of the executive Directory, thanks to the influence of Barras, who counted on using him as a passive instrument. Ducos accepted the coup d'etat of Bonaparte on the 18th of Brumaire, and was one of the three provisional consuls. He became vice-president of the senate. The Empire heaped favours upon him, but in 1814 he abandoned Napoleon, and voted for his deposition. He sought to gain the favour of the government of the Restoration, but in 1816 was exiled in virtue of the law against the regicides. He died in March 1816 at Ulm, from a carriage accident. In spite of his absolute lack of talent, he attained the highest of positions - an exceptional fact in the history of the French Revolution.

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