He invaded Egypt next and though trapped when the English destroyed his fleet, he escaped to France in October 1799 at a critical moment in the political affairs of the Republic. Leading members of the government secretly sought a constitutional overhaul and they needed a general to make their plot work. Napoleon appeared at just the right moment, but his arrogance and bluster nearly lost the day. He forced his way into a meeting of the deputies, who threatened to outlaw him as a would-be dictator. He and his brother Lucien, rallying some troops waiting outside, broke up the session by armed force. Napoleon was then named First Consul. The plotters in the legislature expected to control the young general (he was not old enough to hold office under the Constitution of 1795), but they soon found themselves outmaneuvered.


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