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Encyclopedia > Estates General of 1789
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The Estates-General (or States-General) of 1789 (French: Les États-Généraux de 1789) was the first meeting since 1614 of the French Estates-General, a general assembly consisting of representatives from all but the poorest segment of the French citizenry. The independence which it displayed from the crown paved the way for the French Revolution. The History of France has been divided into a series of separate historical articles navigable through the list to the right. ... Map of Gaul circa 58 BC Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... Gaul in the Roman Empire Roman Gaul consisted of an area of provincial rule in what would become modern day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and western Germany. ... For other uses, see Franks (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Early Modern France is the portion of French history that falls in the early modern period from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century (or from the French Renaissance to the eve of the French Revolution). ... The history of France in Modern Times I (1792-1920) extends from the fall of the Ancien Régime and the proclamation of the First French Republic on 1792 September 21 to the demission of the French wartime Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau on 1920 January 18. ... i heart kate young The French Revolution was a period of major political and social change in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to... During the French Revolution, the National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale) was a transitional body between the Estates-General and the National Constituent Assembly that existed from June 17 to July 9 of 1789. ... Combatants French government Parisian militia (predecessor of Frances National Guard) Commanders Bernard-René de Launay† Prince de Lambesc Camille Desmoulins Strength 114 soldiers, 30 artillery pieces 600 - 1,000 insurgents Casualties 1 (6 or possibly 8 killed after surrender) 98 The Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789... The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on July 9, 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. ... The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on July 9, 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. ... 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. ... 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. ... During the French Revolution, the Legislative Assembly was the legislature of France from October 1, 1791 to September 1792. ... 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 is about a legislative body and constitutional convention during the French Revolution. ... Image:Phrygian cap. ... Executive Directory (in French Directoire exécutif), commonly known as the Directory (or Directoire) held executive power in France from November 2, 1795 until November 10, 1799: following the Convention and preceding the Consulate. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This is a glossary of the French Revolution. ... Timeline of the French Revolution. ... Combatants Great Britain Austria Prussia Spain Russian Empire Sardinia France The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, beginning in 1792 and lasting until the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states. ... This is a partial list of people associated with the French Revolution, including supporters and opponents. ... The historiography of the French Revolution stretches back two hundred years to the event itself. ... The First French Empire, commonly known as the French Empire or the Napoleonic Empire, covers the period of the domination of France and much of continental Europe by Napoleon I of France. ... Following the ouster of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814, the Allies restored the Bourbon Dynasty to the French throne. ... The July Monarchy was established in France with the reign of Louis Philippe of France. ... The French Second Republic (often simply Second Republic) was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis Napoleon which initiatied the Second Empire. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... The French Third Republic, (in French, La Troisième République, sometimes written as La IIIe République) (1870/75-10 July 1940) was the governing body of France between the Second French Empire and the Vichy Regime. ... The History of France from 1914 to the present, includes the later years of the Third French Republic (1871-1941), the Vichy Regime (1940-1944), the years after Libération (1944-1946), the French Fourth Republic (1946-1958) and the French Fifth Republic (since 1958) and also includes World War... In France under the Ancien Régime, the States-General or Estates-General (French: États généraux), was a legislative assembly (see The States) of the different classes (or estates) of French subjects. ... i heart kate young The French Revolution was a period of major political and social change in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to...

Contents

Background

Among the direct causes of the French Revolution was a massive financial crisis caused by France's enormous debt, the government's lavish spending, and an archaic system of taxation which brought little money to the national coffers by placing the greatest tax burden upon the Third Estate (in theory, all of the commoners; in practice, the bourgeoisie), while virtually ignoring the First Estate (the clergy) and the Second Estate (the nobility). Successive attempts at reforming the system had proven fruitless in the face of opposition from the First and Second Estates. The causes of the French Revolution, the uprising that brought the regime of King Louis XVI to an end, were manifold. ... For other uses, see Debt (disambiguation). ... In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Third Estate (tiers état) indicated the generality of people which were not part of the clergy (the First Estate) nor of the nobility (the Second Estate). ... Bourgeoisie (RP [], GA []) refers to a group of people whose social and political opinions are determined primarily by concern for property values and personal appearance of wealth. ... In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term First Estate (Fr. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Second Estate (Fr. ... // Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...


On February 22, 1787, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, the minister of finances, convened an Assembly of Notables to deal with the financial situation. On July 13, the assembly demanded that Louis XVI call the Estates-General, and on December 18, the king promised to do so within five years. By this time, Calonne had been succeeded as finance minister by his chief critic, Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne; In turn, Brienne was succeeded by Jacques Necker, a former finance minister who was sympathetic to the Third Estate. With Necker once again in charge of the nation's finances, the King, on August 8, 1788, agreed to convene the Estates-General in May of 1789. February 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1787 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Charles Alexandre de Calonne, portrait by Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. ... The Assembly of Notables was an assembly convened on 1787-02-22 by Charles Alexandre de Calonne, the minister of finance of France. ... July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 171 days remaining. ... Louis XVI of France Louis XVI (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then King of the French from 1791 to 1792. ... In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year. ... Etienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne Etienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne (October 9, 1727 - 16 February 1794) was a French churchman and politician. ... Jacques Necker Jacques Necker (September 30, 1732 – April 9, 1804) was a French statesman of Swiss origin and finance minister of Louis XVI. // Necker was born in Geneva, Switzerland. ... August 8 is the 220th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (221st in leap years), with 145 days remaining. ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Preparation

The prospect of an Estates-General highlighted the conflict of interest between the Second and Third Estates. The First Estate and the Second Estate together represented only two percent of France's national population. The Third Estate, theoretically representing the other 98% of the French population, in practice represented an increasing proportion of the country's wealth. But the other two Estates, which historically had often voted with each other, could still outvote it. Many of this rising class nonetheless saw the calling of the Estates-General as a chance to gain power. In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term First Estate (Fr. ... In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Second Estate (Fr. ... In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Third Estate (tiers état) indicated the generality of people which were not part of the clergy (the First Estate) nor of the nobility (the Second Estate). ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ...


According to the model of 1614, the Estates-General would consist of equal numbers of representatives from each Estate. The Third Estate demanded double representation, which they already had in the provincial assemblies. This became a topic for pamphleteers, the most notable pamphlet "What is the Third Estate?" coming from the pen of Abbé Sieyès. Necker, hoping to avoid conflict, convened a second assembly of notables on November 6, 1788, but, to his chagrin, they rejected the notion of double representation. By calling the assembly, Necker had merely underlined the nobles' opposition to the inevitable policy. It has been suggested that Emmanuel J. Sièyes be merged into this article or section. ... Jacques Necker Jacques Necker (September 30, 1732 - April 9, 1804) was a French statesman and finance minister of Louis XVI. Early life Necker was born in Geneva, Switzerland. ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 55 days remaining. ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Jacques Necker Jacques Necker (September 30, 1732 - April 9, 1804) was a French statesman and finance minister of Louis XVI. Early life Necker was born in Geneva, Switzerland. ...


The royal decree of December 27, 1788 announced that the Estates-General would amount to at least a thousand deputies, and granted double representation of the Third Estate. Furthermore, mere priests (curés) could serve as deputies for the First Estate, and Protestants could serve in the Third Estate. December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Roman Catholic priests in clerical clothing. ... Protestantism is one of three main groups within Christianity, whose beliefs are centered on Jesus. ...


According to historian François Mignet, after reasonably honest elections, "The deputation of the nobility was comprised of two hundred and forty-two gentlemen, and twenty-eight members of the parliament; that of the clergy, of forty-eight archbishops or bishops, thirty-five abbés or deans, and two hundred and eight curés; and that of the communes, of two ecclesiastics, twelve noblemen, eighteen magistrates of towns, two hundred county members, two hundred and twelve barristers, sixteen physicians, and two hundred and sixteen merchants and agriculturists." Other sources give slightly different numbers; one French-language source gives the breakdown for the First Estate of "270 representatives of the nobility (90 of them liberals), for the Second Estate: 206 curés and 85 higher clergy, for the Third Estate 578 representatives including 200 lawyers, 3 priests, and 11 nobles.[1] François Auguste Alexis Mignet (May 8, 1796 - March 24, 1884) was a French historian. ...


The Estates-General convenes

When the Estates-General convened in Versailles on May 5, 1789 amidst general festivities, many in the Third Estate viewed the double representation as a revolution already peacefully accomplished. However, with the etiquette of 1614 strictly enforced, the clergy and nobility in their full regalia, and the physical locations of the deputies from the three estates dictated by the protocol of an earlier era, an immediate impression emerged that less had, in fact, been achieved. Versailles (pronounced , in French), formerly the de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. ... May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ... 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


When Louis XVI and Charles Louis François Paul de Barentin, the Keeper of the Seals, addressed the deputies on May 6, the Third Estate discovered that royal decree granting double representation was something of a sham. Though the Third Estate had more representatives than the other two Estates combined, voting was to occur "by orders": the 578 representatives of the Third Estate, after deliberating, would have their collective vote weighted exactly as heavily as that of each of the other Estates. The apparent intent of the King and of Barentin was for everyone to get directly to the matter of taxes. The larger representation of the Third Estate would remain merely a symbol, while giving them no extra power. Necker had more sympathy for the Third Estate, but on this occasion he spoke only about the fiscal situation, leaving it to Barentin to speak on how the Estates-General was to operate. May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (127th in leap years). ...


Trying to avoid the issue of representation and focus solely on taxes, the king and his ministers had gravely misjudged the situation. The Third Estate wanted the Estates to meet as one body and vote per deputy ("voting by poll" rather than "by orders"). The other two estates, while having their own grievances against royal absolutism, believed—correctly, as history was to prove—that they stood to lose more power to the Third Estate than they stood to gain from the King. Necker sympathized with the Third Estate in this matter, but the astute financier lacked equal astuteness as a politician. He decided to let the impasse play out to the point of stalemate before he would enter the fray. As a result, by the time the King yielded to the demand of the Third Estate, it seemed to all as a concession wrung from the monarchy, rather than a magnanimous gift that would have convinced the populace of the king's good will.


Proceedings and dissolution

The Estates-General reached an impasse immediately. The first item on the agenda involved the verification of powers. Mirabeau (member of the freemasonry lodge of the Nine Sisters), noble himself but elected to represent the Third Estate, tried but failed to keep all three orders in a single room for this discussion. Instead of discussing taxes of the King, the three Estates began to discuss separately not taxes but the organization of the legislature. Shuttle diplomacy continued without success until May 27, when the nobles voted to stand firm for separate verification. The following day, Abbé Sieyès (a member of the clergy, but, like Mirabeau, elected to represent the Third Estate) moved that the representatives of the Third Estate, who now called themselves the Communes ("communities"), proceed with verification and invite the other two Estates to take part, but not to wait for them. Portrait of Mirabeau Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau, (often referred to simply as Mirabeau) (March 9, 1749 - April 2, 1791) was a French writer, popular orator and statesman. ... May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes, 1817, by Jacques-Louis David Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (May 3, 1748 – June 20, 1836) was a French abbé and statesman, one of the chief theorists of the revolutionary and Napoleonic era. ...


On June 13, 1789 the Third Estate had arrived at a resolution to examine and settle in common the powers of the three orders, and invited to this common work those of the clergy and nobles. Some of the nobles and the majority of the clergy joined the Third Estate, which on June 17 arrived at the celebrated decision by which it affirmed the principle of the national sovereignty residing in the mass of the nation. June 13 is the 164th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (165th in leap years), with 201 days remaining. ... June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e. ... One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. ...


On June 17, with the failure of efforts to reconcile the three Estates, the Communes completed their own process of verification, thereby becoming the only Estate whose powers had been appropriately legalized. The Communes almost immediately voted a measure far more radical: they declared themselves redefined as the National Assembly, an assembly not of the Estates but of the People. They invited the other orders to join them, but made it clear that they intended to conduct the nation's affairs with or without them. June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... During the French Revolution, the National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale) was a transitional body between the Estates-General and the National Constituent Assembly that existed from June 17 to July 9 of 1789. ...


The King tried to resist. Under the influence of the courtiers of his privy council, he 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 June 20, he ordered the Salle des États, the hall where the National Assembly met, closed. The Assembly simply moved their deliberations to the King's tennis court, where they proceeded to swear the Tennis Court Oath, under which they agreed not to separate until they had given France a constitution. Two days later, deprived of use of the tennis court as well, the 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. A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ... June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... Sketch by Jacques-Louis David of the Tennis Court Oath. ...


In the séance royale of June 23, 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 July 9, 1789, the National Constituent Assembly), though these bodies consisted of the same deputies elected by the separate orders. June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ... July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 175 days remaining. ... 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on July 9, 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. ...


References

  1. ^ Quid 2006 - Table générale - Quid.fr. Retrieved on 2006-03-10.

 
 

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