Milan and Piedmont were comparatively well governed; but repugnance to Austrian rule in the former case, and the contagion of French Jacobinical opinions in the latter, brought those populations into increasing hostility to the rulers.
The constitution was modelled on that of the French directory, and, lest there should be a majority of clerical or Jacobinical deputies, the French Republic through its general, Bonaparte, nominated and appointed the first deputies and administrators of the new government.
It purports to be a conversation at the little town of Beaucaire between a soldier (obviously the writer himself) and three men, citizens of Marseilles, Nimes and Montpellier, who oppose the Jacobinical government and hope for victory over its forces.
All those who wished for peace and orderly government came by degrees to oppose the Directors; and, seeing that the latter clung to Jacobinical catchwords and methods, public opinion tended to become "moderate" or even royalist.
Carnot, the ablest administrator, but not the strongest man, soon joined Barthelemy in opposing their Jacobinical colleagues - Barras, Rewbell and Larevelliere - Lepeaux.
The three Jacobinical Directors thereupon intrigued to bring to Paris General Lazarre Hoche and his army destined for the invasion of Ireland for the purpose of coercing their opponents; but these, perceiving the danger, ordered Hoche to Paris, rebuked him for bringing his army nearer to the capital than was allowed by law, and dismissed him in disgrace.
Many of the furious Terrorists now became quiet and active councillors or administrators, the First Consul adopting the plan of multiplying "places," of overwhelming all officials with work, and of busying the watch-dogs of the Jacobinical party by "throwing them bones to gnaw."
In this connexion we may note that the disturbances, mainly royalist but sometimes Jacobinical, in several districts of France enabled Bonaparte to propose the establishment in the troubled districts of special tribunals for the trial of all offences tending to disturb the general peace.
In 1797 Wilberforce noted in his diary that Tierney's conduct was "truly Jacobinical"; and in May 1798 Pitt accused him of want of patriotism.
The coup d'etat of Fructidor (September 1797) had perpetuated the Directory and led to the exclusion of the two "moderate" members, Carnot and Barthelemy; but Talleyrand saw that power belonged really to the general who had brought about the coup d'etat in favour of the Jacobinical Directors headed by Barras.
In the south of France he worked hard for the Jacobinical cause, and figured as "Brutus" in the Jacobin club of the small town of St Maximin (then renamed Marathon).