General states of 1789
The General states of 1789 are the last of the Ancien Mode French.
At the beginning of 1788, everyone wishes the behavior of the general states, but for objectives, generally, incompatible between them:
the Aristocratie wishes to finish with the Absolute monarchy imposed by Louis XIV and incarnated by Louis XVI, and to thus take again its capacities of formerly of it.
- the top Clergé, which benefits overall from the system, wishes (in majority) the maintenance of the statu-quo . With the general states the nobility is represented by 270 deputies (including 90 liberals). The Clergé is represented by 291 deputies (including 220 priests), the majority acquired with the ideas of reform. The Clergy and the Noblesse are in a majority in voice with the general states (2 against 1), and any decision has chances to be to them favorable. But there already exists in these two “States”, of burning reformers who could not be long in becoming still much more committed (however, at that time nobody speaks yet about revolution).
The clergy and the nobility do not form completely homogeneous orders; it is necessary to note the presence of the low-clergy, traditionally favorable to the country world, as well as the existence of a rural minor nobility - for example in Brittany -, from which the prospects are quite different from those of the Court.
The Third578 deputies, (12 gentlemen, 18 mayors of big cities, 162 magistrates of baillages or seneschalsies, 110 lawyers, 114 doctors, 162 traders, owners or farmers, and 110 tradesmen, farmers and industrialists) form the Tiers state with the general states of May 5th, 1789. Concerning its “lack of representation and consideration” (Beaumarchais), the Third itself is divided on many other questions which are mentioned in the registers of grievances:
- the Middle-class, rather urban, enriched by the trade or finance, opened with the Lumières sees its incipient economic force blocked by its origins commoners and claims an equal treatment: the noble ones only have access to the stations of Officier S or high the Public office, and are exempted taxes. These claims are at the same time social and economic.
- the farming community is not represented, but is based on the third state. She saw her thin harvests according to the risks of time, and collapses under the tax pressure which is inflicted to him: she asks a rebalancing of the tax system and her extension to privileged but also the hunting rights… All that could be made at the time of the general states, provided that the Tiers state is represented better there and that the vote is done there per capita rather than by Ordre;
The kingThe king itself, confronted with a national debt without precedent, must find a solution to make return quickly of the money in the cases. In her idea, the delegation of this decision to the general states allows him to dissociate from a measurement which will undoubtedly be unpopular.
Convocation of the general states (January)
The August 8th 1788, financial stagnation and the degradation of the situation in all the country lead Louis XVI to convene the general states of the kingdom for on May 1st 1789. The December 27th 1788, the Council of State decides that the Bailliage will be the basic electoral unit, that there will be at least 1.000 deputies according to the population and of the amount of the contributions of each baillage, and especially that there will be doubly representation of the third state.
The election of the representatives takes place in January 1789 and causes a very variable participation. The representatives of the third state are designated in an indirect way. Only the men of more than 25 years and paying the tax have the right to vote. The January 14th, the king addresses the notice of following meeting:
Notice of meeting of the general states in Versailles
- “From the King,
- Our liked and ferroaluminium.
- We need the contest of our faithful subjects to help Us to overcome all the difficulties where We are relative with the state of Our finances, and to establish, following our wishes, a constant and invariable order in all the parts of the government which interest the happiness of our subjects and the prosperity of Our kingdom. These great reasons determined Us to convene the Parliament of the States of all the provinces of our obedience, so much to advise Us and assist Us in all the things which will be put under our eyes, that to make known to Us the wishes and complaints of our people, so that by a mutual insurance company confidence and a reciprocal love between the sovereign and his subjects, it is brought most promptly possible effective remedy for the evils of the State, that the abuses all kind are reformed and prevented by average goods and are solid which ensure the public happiness and which return to us particularly to Us, the calm one and the peace of which We are deprived since so a long time.
- Given to Versailles, the January 24th 1789. ”
- Our liked and ferroaluminium.
Opening of the general states (May)The general states open on May 4th, 1789 by a procession in the streets of Versailles and a mass of the Holy Spirit, during which Mgr of Fare pronounces the sermon of use, honor that Talleyrand aspired to. This sermon made run much ink, but it is confused by almost all the historians with a text apocryphal book which does not have any relationship with the original, and has only summer printed at the time. After these preliminaries, the following day, May 5th, takes place the opening of the royal meeting in a room arranged in the hotel of the Menu-Pleasures to Versailles and named for the circumstance room of the three orders . This date marks the beginning of the French revolution.
On 1139 Appointed S, 291 belongs to the Clergé and 270 with the Noblesse. The first meeting, on May 5th, is chaired by Louis XVI in person, the clergy assied with the right-hand side of the throne, the nobility on the left, the Tiers state opposite. The speakers are the king, it Minister of Justice, Barentin, and the Minister for Finance, Jacques Necker.
Under the applause of the clergy and majority of the third, Anne Louis Henri of Fare, the bishop of Nancy, pronounces the sermon of the mass of opening of the general states. But the public opininion impressed by the libelous assertions of Mirabeau will evolve/move quickly.
After a concise speech and accommodated generally well of the king, Barentin, the Minister of Justice, makes then the praise of the king. Necker makes finally a speech which lasts three hours and during which the king himself falls asleep. (???) This speech makes become aware with the deputies that the financial position of the kingdom is disastrous. It reveals that the general situation in France is much more confused than it was thought; the government is completely disorientated.
Only the controller of finances approaches the reasons for which the General states are joined together: the deficit of the budget. But he affirms that it will be easy to cure it. He does not speak about the problem which worries more the deputies: the vote by order, or, at the conclusion of the solemn meeting, which conditions any reform.
DissensionsDissensions burst very quickly on the manner of voting. The clergy and the nobility wish that the vote take place by order, which ensures the majority to them; the third-state claims the vote per capita, which would ensure the equality to him and that the debates have joint place. The third makes the point that it represents with him only the Nation, and thus refuses to leave the place. The June 10th, the Tiers state invites the deputies of the two other orders to join them. Some of them, of the noble liberals (Lafayette) and the clerks close to the people, are linked with the third order. One thus attends a revolution in legal matter: suppression of the orders vis-a-vis the king, for which a national representation in only one assembly substitutes itself. The group thus made up thus proclaims National Assembly, on the motion of the abbot Sieyès. In front of this first revolutionary act , Louis XVI, against the opinion of Necker, makes close the room of the states that Bailly chairs.
The new National Assembly finds another meeting room with Versailles, a room of Jeu of palm, on the proposal of the Dr. Guillotin. At the time of the meeting known as of the Oath of Jeu de Paume, the June 20th 1789, the deputies promise not to separate before to have written a Constitution for the country: the constituent National Assembly will sit thus until September 3rd, 1791 and will exert at the same time the legislative power. At the time of the royal Meeting of June 23rd, 1789, the king ordered the dispersion of the Parliament. The large Master of the ceremonies went to carry the order to Bailly, senior of the Third. Mirabeau would then have, according to the legend, marked this famous sentence: “ We are here by the will of the people and we will leave there only by the force the bayonets. ”
French citizens also called with the convocation of a “fourth order: that of the poor Journalier S, the disabled person, poor”, etc, or the order crowned of the unfortunate ones, which, at the time, consisted of a big number of people.
A middle-class and peaceful revolution thus had been just achieved, a constitutional monarchy substituent with the royal absolutism of the Old Mode.
- Convocation of the General states of 1789
- Presentation by order of the 1200 deputies to the king
- List of the deputies of the General states of 1789, by order, bailliage and alphabetical seneschalsy
- List of the members of the constituent Assembly of 1789
- List of the presidents of the General states of 1789 and the constituent Assembly
- constituent Assembly of 1789
- French National Assembly
- national Convention
|Random links:||Cristal lÃquido | List Web navigators | Saint-Gervais (Val-d'Oise) | Salabanzi flip | Joe To grip | Antonio Campi|