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|Kingdom of France|
Mirabeau's defiance in front of the marquis de Dreux-Brézé on 23 June 1789
|Established||17 June 1789|
|Disbanded||9 July 1789|
|Preceded by||Estates-General of 1789|
|Succeeded by||National Constituent Assembly|
During the French Revolution, the National Assembly (French : Assemblée nationale), which existed from 4 June 1789 to 9 July 1789, was a revolutionary assembly formed by the representatives of the Third Estate of the Estates-General; thereafter (until replaced by the Legislative Assembly on 30 Sept 1791) it was known as the National Constituent Assembly (French : Assemblée nationale constituante), though popularly the shorter form persisted.
The Estates-General had been called on 4 May 1789 to deal with France's financial crisis, but promptly fell to squabbling over its own structure. Its members had been elected to represent the estates of the realm: the 1st Estate (the clergy), the 2nd Estate (the nobility) and the 3rd Estate (which, in theory, represented all of the commoners and, in practice, represented the bourgeoisie). The Third Estate had been granted "double representation"—that is, twice as many delegates as each of the other communistic estates—but at the opening session on the 5th of May 1789 they were informed that all voting would be "by power" not "by head", so their double representation was to be meaningless in terms of power. They refused this and proceeded to meet separately.
Shuttle diplomacy among the estates continued without success until 27 May on 28 May the representatives of the 3rd Estate began to meet on their own, [ citation needed ]calling themselves the Communes ("Commons") and proceeding with their "verification of powers" independently of the other bodies; from 13 June to 17 June they were gradually joined by some of the nobles and the majority of the clergy and other people such as the peasants. On 17 June this group began to call itself the National Assembly.
This newly created assembly immediately attached itself onto the capitalists—the sources of the credit needed to fund the national debt—and to the common people. They consolidated the public debt and declared all existing taxes to have been illegally imposed, but voted in these same taxes provisionally, only as long as the Assembly continued to sit. This restored the confidence of the capitalists and gave them a strong interest in keeping the Assembly in session. As for the common people, the Assembly established a committee of subsistence to deal with food shortages.
Jacques Necker, finance minister of Louis XVI, had earlier proposed that the king hold a Séance Royale (Royal Session) in an attempt to reconcile the divided Estates. The king agreed; but none of the three orders were formally notified of the decision to hold a Royal Session. All debates were to be put on hold until the séance royale took place.
Events soon overtook Necker's complex scheme of giving in to the Communes on some points while holding firm on others. No longer interested in Necker's advice, Louis XVI, under the influence of the courtiers of his privy council, resolved to go in state to the Assembly, annul its decrees, command the separation of the orders, and dictate the reforms to be effected by the restored Estates-General. On 19 June he ordered the Salle des États, the hall where the National Assembly met, closed, and remained at Marly for several days while he prepared his address.
Two days later, deprived of use of the tennis court as well, the National Assembly met in the Church of Saint Louis, where the majority of the representatives of the clergy joined them: efforts to restore the old order had served only to accelerate events. When, on 23 June in accord with his plan, the king finally addressed the representatives of all three estates, he encountered a stony silence. He concluded by ordering all to disperse. The nobles and clergy obeyed; the deputies of the common people remained seated in a silence finally broken by Mirabeau, whose short speech culminated, "A military force surrounds the assembly! Where are the enemies of the nation? Is Catiline at our gates? I demand, investing yourselves with your dignity, with your legislative power, you inclose yourselves within the religion of your oath. It does not permit you to separate till you have formed a constitution." The deputies stood firm.
Necker, conspicuous by his absence from the royal party on that day, found himself in disgrace with Louis, but back in the good graces of the National Assembly. Those of the clergy who had joined the Assembly at the church of Saint Louis remained in the Assembly; forty-seven members of the nobility, including the Duke of Orléans, soon joined them; by 27 June the royal party had overtly given in, although the likelihood of a military counter-coup remained in the air. The French military began to arrive in large numbers around Paris and Versailles.
In the séance royale of 23 June the King granted a Charte octroyée, a constitution granted of the royal favour, which affirmed, subject to the traditional limitations, the right of separate deliberation for the three orders, which constitutionally formed three chambers. This move failed; soon that part of the deputies of the nobles who still stood apart joined the National Assembly at the request of the king. The Estates-General had ceased to exist, having become the National Assembly (and after 9 July 1789, the National Constituent Assembly), though these bodies consisted of the same deputies elected by the separate orders.
Messages of support poured into the Assembly from Paris and other French cities. On 9 July 1789, the Assembly, reconstituting itself as the National Constituent Assembly, addressed the king in polite but firm terms, requesting the removal of the troops (which now included foreign regiments, who showed far greater obedience to the king than did his French troops), but Louis declared that he alone could judge the need for troops, and assured them that the troops had deployed strictly as a precautionary measure. Louis "offered" to move the assembly to Noyon or Soissons: that is to say, to place it between two armies and deprive it of the support of the Parisian people. Public outrage over this troop presence precipitated the Storming of the Bastille, beginning the Revolution.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
Jacques Necker was a banker of Genevan origin who became a finance minister for Louis XVI and a French statesman. Necker played a key role in French history before and during the first period of the French Revolution.
On 20 June 1789, the members of the French Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, vowing "not to separate and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established". It was a pivotal event in the French Revolution. The Estates-General had been called to address the country's fiscal and agricultural crisis, but they had become bogged down in issues of representation immediately after convening in May 1789, particularly whether they would vote by order or by head.
Jean-François Reubell or Rewbell was a French lawyer, diplomat, and politician of the Revolution.
The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.
The following is a timeline of the French Revolution.
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, most commonly known as the abbé Sieyès, was a French Roman Catholic abbé, clergyman and political writer. He was one of the chief political theorists of the French Revolution, and also played a prominent role in the French Consulate and First French Empire.
In France under the Old Regime, the Estates General or States-General was a legislative and consultative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king. It had no true power in its own right—unlike the English parliament it was not required to approve royal taxation or legislation—instead it functioned as an advisory body to the king, primarily by presenting petitions from the various estates and consulting on fiscal policy. The Estates General met intermittently until 1614 and only once afterwards, in 1789, but was not definitively dissolved until after the French Revolution.
Jean Joseph Mounier was a French politician and judge.
The estates of the realm, or three estates, were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom from the medieval period to early modern Europe. Different systems for dividing society members into estates developed and evolved over time.
This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution.
The causes of the French Revolution can be attributed to several intertwining factors:
One of the central events of the French Revolution was to abolish feudalism, and the old rules, taxes and privileges left over from the age of feudalism. The National Constituent Assembly, acting on the night of 4 August 1789, announced, "The National Assembly abolishes the feudal system entirely." It abolished both the seigneurial rights of the Second Estate and the tithes gathered by the First Estate. The old judicial system, founded on the 13 regional parlements, was suspended in November 1789, and finally abolished in 1790.
The French Revolution was a period in the history of France covering the years 1789 to 1799, in which republicans overthrew the Bourbon monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church perforce underwent radical restructuring. This article covers a period of time slightly longer than a year, from 14 July 1790, the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, to the establishment of the Legislative Assembly on 1 October 1791.
The Estates General of 1789 was a general assembly representing the French estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners, the last of Estates General of Kingdom of France. Summoned by King Louis XVI, it was brought to an end when the Third Estate formed into a National Assembly, inviting the other two to join, against the wishes of the King. This signaled the outbreak of the French Revolution.
The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.
The Fête de la Fédération was a massive holiday festival held throughout France in 1790 in honour of the French Revolution. It is the precursor of the Bastille Day which is celebrated every year in France on 14 July, celebrating the Revolution itself, as well as National Unity.
Edmond Louis Alexis Dubois-Crancé was a French soldier and politician.
The assembly of the French clergy was in its origins a representative meeting of the Catholic clergy of France, held every five years, for the purpose of apportioning the financial burdens laid upon the clergy of the French Catholic Church by the kings of France. Meeting from 1560 to 1789, the Assemblies ensured to the clergy an autonomous financial administration, by which they defended themselves against taxation.
Emmanuel Marie Michel Philippe Fréteau de Saint-Just was a French nobleman and an elected representative of the Second Estate during the French Revolution. He was a politically liberal deputy to the Estates-General of 1789 and worked for the cause of constitutional monarchy. In 1789, Fréteau de Saint-Just served two terms as President of the National Constituent Assembly.
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