Paris (refs)

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Papers] (index) [(art) concepts] [Time Line] [Paris] [Paris Project (references)] REFS & REF-INDEX [Social Protest in the Arts] (papers) [Leo Gershov's 1789-1799 text] These documents were (initally) gathered from Leo Gershov's fine book "The Era of the French Revolution: 1789-1799. Ten Years that shook the World", Anvil Press ISBN 0.4442.00022.7 (Cincinnatti, 1957).

French Revolution (1789-1799)

On this page: {
Abbé Sieyès' "What is the 3rd Estate?"} Well Done, Brother James! {Cahier of the Community of Valleraugue} {Cahier of the Third Estate of Beaucaire} {The Creation of the National Assembly!} 1789.06.17: {The Tennis Court Oath} 1789:06.20 {III. Proceedings of June 23} 1789.06.23 (Declaration of Louis XVI concerning the Estates) Decree (respone) by the Assembly {War & Propaganda (Republican victories leading up to... Declaration for Assistance and Fraternity... 1792.11.19 Decree for Proclaiming the Liberty and Sovereignty of all Peoples 1792.12.15 {The Guillotining of the King 1792.01.23 {An "Aristo" report on the Death of the King 1792.01.23 And finally: {A Police Report: Attacking the Cult of Marat 1795.01.20

Abbé Sieyès' Little Pamphlet

What is the 3rd Estate?

Pp. 119-121, from GERSHOV, LOC CIT. Orig from: J.H. STUART (transl'r) in "A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution" (New York, 1951), Pp.42, 44, 45, 52. Brother Leo writes: Of the 1000 or more pamphlets that were printed and circulated from 1788 to 1789, that of the Abbé Sieyès, "What is the Third Estate?" from which excerpts are given, was easily the most influential. Brother James (the Abbé Sieyès) What is the Third Estate? The plan of this pamphlet is very simple. We have three questions to ask:" 1st. What is the third estate? Everything. 2nd. What has it been here-to-fore in the political order? Nothing. 3rd. What does it demand? To become something there-in. We shall see if the answers are correct. Then we shall examine the measures that have been tried and those which must be taken in order that the 3rd estate may in fact become something. Thus, we shall state: 4th. What the ministers have attempted, and what the privlidged classes themselves propose in its favor. 5th. What ought to have been done. 6th. Finally, what remains to be done in order that the third estate may take its right-full place. ... Who, then, would dare to say that the third estate has not within itself all that is necessary to consititute a complete nation? If the privledged order were abolished, the nation would not be something less but something more. Thus, what is the third estate? Everthing; but an every-thing that is shackled and oppressed. What would it be without the privlidged order? Everything; but an every-thing free and flourishing. Nothing can progress wihtout it; everything would proceed infinitely bettter without the others. ... Let us examine its position in the Estates General. Who have been its so-called representatives? The ennobled or those privlidged for a period of years. These false deputies have not even been always freely elected by the people. Some-times in the Estates General, and almost always in the provincial Estates, the representatives of the people has been regarded as a prequisite of certain posts or offices. ... Let us sum up: The Third Estate has not here-to-fore had real representatives in the Estates General. THus, its political rights are null. ... The true petitions of this order may be appreciated only through the authentic claims directed to the governement by the larger municipalities of the kingdom. What is indicated there-in? That the people wishes to be something, and in turth, the very least that is possible. It wishes to have real representatitives in the Estates General, that is to say, deputies drawn from its order, who are competent to be interpreters of its will and defenders of its interests. But, what will it avail it to be present at the Estates General if the predominating interest there is contrary to its own! Its presence would only consecrate the oppression of which it would be the eternal victim. THus, it is indeed certain that it can-not come to vote at the Estates General unless it is to have in that body an influence at least equal to that of the privledged classes; and that it demands a number of represnetataives euqal to that of the first two orders together. Finally, this equality of representation would become completely illusory if every chamber voted separately. The Third Estate demands, then, that votes be taken by head and not by order. This is the essence of those claims so alarming to the prividged classes, because they believed that there-by the reform of the abuses would become inevitable. ... In such a state of affairs, what must the Third Estate do if it wishes to gain possession of its political rights in a manner beneficial to the nation? There are two ways of attaining this objective. In following the first, the Third Estate must assemble apart: It will not meet with the nobility or the clergy at all; it will not remain with them, either by order or by head. I pray that they will keep in mind the enormous difference between the assembly of the third estate and that of the other two orders. THe first represents 25_000_000 men, and deliberates concerning the interests of the nation. The two others, were they to unite, ahve the powers of only about 200_000 individuals, and think only of their privlidges. The Third Estate alone, they say, can-not constitute the Estates General. Well! So much the better! It will form a National Assembly. ... {
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Again, Brother Leo [Magum Opus Citato, P.119], [Excerpts are from] two primary cahiers [notebooks] from the provinc eof Languedoc, the cahier of the Third Estate of a small commnity of fewer than 500 inhabitants, Valleraugue in the Cévennes, and the chaier of the Third Estate of the town of Beaucaire, with a population of 2_000. Orig src (via footnote, [GERSHOV, P. 118]) is translated from the text as quoted in A. Soboul, 1789, "'An Un de La Liberté", 2nd Ed. (Paris, 1950), Pp. 80-82, and 85-86, respectively.

Chahier of the Community of Valleraugue

The King is most humbly beseeched: In the first place: TO accord to this province of Languedoc the right to assemble and form its special estates in the way that it judges most suitable, by admitting to this assembly memebers of the Third Estate at least equal in number to that of the two other orders combined. 2. To order that all citizens, without distinction of orders be called upon to contribute to all expenses, present or future, in proportion to their incomes and abilities, of what-ever nature they be. 3. TO oblige the tithe-owners to grant to the curés a portion really and truly adequate, that is to say, suitable, sufficient, and capable of supporting them in making a living in a deceent fashon, and of permitting them to exercise their charity toward the poor. 4. TO be willing to reform the civil and criminal codes, to abridge and simplify the juidicial forms, to decrease the costs of justice, the length of the trials, and the number of legal agents, to bring the sovereign courts of justice closer in such a way so that the poor farmer no longer will be obliged to seek justice fifty leagues away from his home; to abolish the courts of exception, and if possible the venality of offices. 5. To abrogae also all the lawas and the regulation which harm agriculiture ... and to modify, above all, those lawsw shich forbid the transfer of wealth pertaining to dowry rights [and] the sale of the estates of minors. ... 6. To suppress the [???] as destructive to agriculture and replace this tax, if there be need, by a tax levied in money in fonformity with the opinoin of Monsieiur [king's brother], as contained in the minutes of the first Assembly of Notables. 7. To secure the individual liberty of citizens and not to punish anyone without a hearing and without observing the forms prescribed by ordinanaces. 8. To order that in the future the community as a whole bear the expenses for its militiamen. 9. To arrest the in-roads of celibacy by according advantages and benefitsw uponjd married people, while increasint one quarter the rate of the personal tax of bachelors. 10. Finally, to bear in mind that the pays [???] of the Hautes-Cévennes [???] is unable to stand an increase in taxes because, on the one hand, its soil, by its very location, depreciates in value every day and grows more and moru sour and un-yielding; and on the other hand, the price of mulberry leaves, the sole source of income of this little area, which, only thirty years ago, brought two measures of wheat, today buys only one and a quarter. Done and drawn up in two originals, the day and year above, by the citizens making up the said assembly, and those who were able to sign, having signed. {
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Cahier of the Third Estate of Beaucaire

[GERSHOY, Pp. 122-123] 1. The deputies of the commons of this city will be instructed to present their wishes for the suppression of the existing Estates of the province and the drawing up of a new constitution with free and equal representation. And to this end, a general assembly of the three orders will be requested. The deputies to protest against the regime of the said estates and to authorise the deputies of the diocese in Paris to beseech with all their might the execution of the present article. 2. The deputies of the Estates General will direct all their efforts toward mjaking the voting be by head and not by order. 3. A declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen. 4. Liberty of th epress and the security of publications, and in this respect the public trust may not be violated in any place and in any case. 5. The abolition of lettres de cachet [???] and every arbitrary act prejudicial to the liberty of the citizen. 6. Proportional equality of contributions upon persons and goods without distinction. 7. A commission will be nominated for the reform of criminal lawas. 8. A second commission for the reform of civil lawas. ...?... 9-11??? 12. The suppression of toils ... and other rights of this nature by means of just and reasonable indemnitites in favor of the owners. 13. To request theat in the re-assessment of taxes all those harmfull to commerce and industry be done away with. 14. Freedom of perpetural lease-holders to free themselves from rights which weigh heavily upon them by means of a payment of real, effective and proportional compensation to their lords. ..15??.. 16. That different positions in the military and naval forces and in high magistracy be made accessible to all members of the Third Estate. 17. The freedom of persons of the Third Estate to carry arms with suitable restrictions. {
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Again Brother Leo: The June days of 1789 [The translations from the French are all from F.M. Anderson, Consititutions and Documents Illustrative of the History of France, 1789-1901 (New York, 1904), Pp.1-2; 3-4; and 10-11.] The deliberate policy of the deputies of the Third Estate to refrain from verifying their credentials separately reached a dramatic climax on June 17. On that day, they took a *revolutionary* step [italics mine] by formally conferring upon themselves the title of National Assembly. They re-affirmed their dis-obedience of Louis XVI three days later by swearing the Tennis Court Oath and again on June 23, by refusing to adjourn when ordered to do so. (At this point in our story, the in-decisive Louis the 16th decided to expand the seating of the assembly hall at Versailles ?sp?. But, unfortunately, he did't make WHAT he was doing clear. So, when the delegates of the Third Estate showed up and found the doors locked, they were a bit a-miff (to say the least). The way that I heard it, it was Simone (the Baker's wife who had showed up since his gout was acting up) made the declaration: "Oi! I think we should bloddy well set up on those bourgeois tennis court over there!" (or what-ever the equivalent in common french is ;)

I. The Creation of the National Assembly

1789.06.17: ! The Assembly, deliberating after the verification of the powers, recognises that this assembly is alredy composed of the representatives sent directly by at\ least ninety-size percent of the nation. [Pizo: Can you imagine!] Such a body of deputies can-not remain in-active owing to the absence of the deputies of some bailliages [???] and some classes of citizens; for the absentees, who have been summoned, can-not prevent those present from exercising the full extent of their rights, espeically when the exercise of rhtese rights in an imperious and pressing duty. Furthermore, since it belongs only to the verified representatives to participate in the formation of the national opinion, and since all the verified representatives ought to be in this assembly, it sis still more indispensiable to conclude that the interpreation and prestatiojn of the gernal will of the nation belong to it, belong to it alone, and that there cann-not exist between the throne and this assembly any veo, any naeatavie power. -- The Assembly deaclares then that the common task of tha nationa restoration can and ought to be commenced without delay by the deputies presnet and that they ought to pursue it without hindrance. -- The denominationNATIONAL ASSEMBLY is the only one which is suitable for the Assembly in the present condition of things; because the members who compse it are the only representaitves lawfully and publiclly known and verified; because they are sent directly by almost the totality of the nation; because, lastly, the reprresentation being one and indivisible, none chosen, has the right to exeercise his functions apart from the present assembly. ... The National Assembly orders that the motives of the present decision be immediately drawn up in order to be presented to the King and the nation. {
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II. The Tennis Court Oath

1789:06.20 ! The National Assembly, considering that it has been summoned to determine the Constitution of the kingdom, to effect the re-generation of public order, to maintain the true principles of monarchy; that nothing can prevent it from continuing its deliberations in what-ever place it may be forced to establish itself, and lastly, that when-ever its members meet together, there is the National Assembly. Decrees that all the members of this Assembly shall immediately take a solemn oath never to separate, andd to re-assemble when-ever circumstances shall require, until the Constitution of the kingdom shall be established and consolidtgated upon firm foundation; and that, the said oath being taken, all the members and each of them individually shall ratify by their signatures this stead-fast resolution. {
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III. Proceedings of June 23

A. Declaration of Louis XVI concerning the Estates General: The King wishes that the ancient distinction of the three Orders of the State be preserved in its entirety, as esentially linked to the constition of his Kingdom; that the deputies, freely elected by each of the three Orders, forming three chambers, deliberating by Order ... can alone be consdiered as forming the body of the representatives of the Nation. As a result, the King has declared null the resolutions passed by the deputies of the Order of the Third Estae, the 17th of this month, as well as those which followed them, as illegal and un-constitutional. ... B. Declaration of the King's Intentions: [After he had stated his intentions, the King declared:] I order you, gentlemen, to separate immediately, and to go to your Order; in order to take up again your sessions. I order, therefore, the Grand Master of Ceremonies, to have the halls prepared. C.Decree of the Assembly: The National Assembly declares that the person of each of the deputies is in-vioable; that all individuals, all corporations, tribunal, court or commission, that shall dare during or after the present session, to pursue, to seek for, to arrest or have arrested, detain or have detained, a deputy, by reason of any propositions, advice, opinions, or discourse made by him in the States-General; as well as persons who shall lend their aid to any of the said attempts by whom-so-ever they may be ordered, are infamous and traitors to the Nation and guilty of capital crime. The National Assembly decrees that, in the a-fore-mentioned cases, it will take all the necessary measures to have sought out, pursued and punished those who may be its authors, instigators, or executors. [As Kosh might say: And so; it, begins.] {
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War & Propaganda Brother Leo writes: (P.152) "The Despotism of Liberty", The victories of the republican armies encouraged the deputies late in 1792 to extend and amplify their propaganda activities. Translations from: F.M. Anderson, op.cit, Pp.129-132. Declaration for Assistance and Fraternity to Foreign Peoples (November 19, 1792) The National Convention declares, in the name of the French people, that it will accord fraternity and assistance to these peoples and to defend the citizens who may have been or may be harassed for the cause of liberty. The present decree shall be tranlated and printed in all languages. Decree for Proclaiming the Liberty and Sovereignty of all Peoples (December 15, 1792) The National Convention, having heard the report of its united committees of finances, war, and diplomacy, faithful to the principles of the sovereignty of the people, which do not permit it to recognise any of the institutions which bring an attack upon it, and wishing to settle the rules to be followed by the generals of the armies of the Republic in countries where they shall carry its arms, decrees: 1. In the countries which are or shall be occupied by the armies of the Republic, the generals shall proclaim immediately, in the name of the French nation, the sovereignty of the people, the suppression of all the established authorities and of the existing imposts and taxes, the abolition of the tithe, of feudalism, of seignoiorial rights, both feudal, and censuel, fixed or precarious, of banalities [????], of real and personal servitude of the the privlege of funting and fishing, of corvés [???] of the nobility, and generally of all privleges. 4. The generals shall directly place under the safeguard and protection of the French Republic all the movable and immovable goods belonging to the public treasury, to the prince, to this abettors, adherents and voluntary satellites, to the public establishments, to the lay and ecclesiastical boddies and communities. ... 5. The provisional administration selected by the people shall be charged with the surveillance and control of the goods placed under the safeguard and protection of the French Republic; it shall look after the security of persons and property; .... 11. The French nation declares that it will treat as enemies the people who, refusing liberty and equality, or renouncing them, may wish to preserve, recall or treat with the princes and the privliged castes; it promosea dnd engages not to subscribe to any treaty, and not to lay down its arms until after the establishment of the sovereignty and independent of th epople whose territory the troops of the Republic have entered upon and who shall have adopted the principles of equality, and established a free and popular government. {
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Guilloting of the King

[Translation by J.H. Stewart, op.cit. Pp.392-393] Proclamation of the Convention of the French People (January 23, 1793). Citizens, the tyrant is no more. For a long time, the cries of the victims, whom war and domestic dissensions have spread over France and Europe, loudly protested his existence. He has paid his penalty, and only acclamations for the Republic and for liberty have been heard from the people. We have had to comabat invetereate prejudices, and the superstitions of centuries concerning monarchy. Involuntary uncertaintinies and ineevitable disturbances always accompany great changes and revolutions as profound as ours. This political crisis has suddenly surrounded us with contraditions and tumults. ... but the cause has ceased, and the motives have disappeared; respect for liberty of opinion must cause these tumultuous scenes to be forgotten; only the good which they have produced through the death of the tyrant and of tyranny now remains, and this judgement belongs in its entirietly to each of us, just as it belongs to the entire nation. The National Convention and the French people are now to have only one mind, only one sentiment, that of liberty and civic fraternity. Now, above all, we need peace in the interior of the Republic, and the most active surveillance of the domestic enemies of liberty. Never did circumstances more urgently require of all citizens the sacrifice of their passions and their personal opinions concerning the act of national justice which has just been effected. Today, the French people can have no other passion than that for liberty. Liet us, through our union, avert the shame that domestic discord would bring upon our new-born republic. Let us, through our patriotism, avert those horrible shocks, those anarchical and dis-orderly movements which would soon over-whelm France with disturbances and grief, if our outside enemeis, who are fomenting them, could profit there-from. ... {
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An "Aristo" report on the Death of the King

[Translated from P. de Vaissiére (Ed.), Lettres d' "Aristocrates" (Paris, 1907), Pp. 476-477] Monsieur, ... the frightful even of the 21st has spread dismay everywhere, and it is worth noting that even the most zealous partisans of the revolutionary system found this measure both excesssive and dangerous. It will not save us from the untold ills which threaten us, the reality oand duration of which are now all the more sure. Thus, peace, security, fortune -- one must make up one's mind to sacrificing all of these without hope of anything better. We must now see how departments will {
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A Police Report

Attacking the Cult of Marat 1795.01.20 [Translated from the report of a police observer, cited in F.A. Aulard, Paris pendant la réaction thermidorienne, 5 vols. (Paris, 1898-1902), I, P. 411. Again, Brother Leo writes: (P.152) "The Despotism of Liberty", After the king had been guillotined, the Convention issued a proclamation calling on all citizens to support it, but it is clear that the country was deeply divided. THe bitter divisions within France and the reverses on the fighting front in 1793 brought the Revolution to the brink of defeat, from which it was saved by the "great" Committee of Public Safety. With the downfall of Robespierre on the 9th Tehmidor (July 27, 1794), reaction set in against the committee and its rule. Police Report, January 20, 1795. Yesterday the day passed in the greatest calm until 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening, when some young men, frequenters of the Cafe de Chartres, met as they had planned. One of them spoke up and said: "I just dined at Février's with my brothers of the the Faubourge St. Antoine; they will be around with the mannikin in 10 minutes". A short time later, two or three hundred people assembled in the Jardin-Egalité with a mannikin which they called the "Jacobin", wearing a black wig and red bonnet on its head, [and carrying] a purse and a portfolio in one hand, a torch in the other. In the midst of this mob, lit up by a half-dozen torches, one of them made a speech and then sang several songs while the audience, as chorus, repeated the refrain; from there they left en masse and betook themselves first, and with much clamor, on the route to the Place de Réunion, where they insulted the memory of Marat; from there to the court before [the convent of] the Jacobins where the mannikin was burnt. The ashes were then tossed into a chamber pot and thrown into the Maontmarte sewer, the place, they said, which ought to be the Pantheon of all Jacobins and blood-suckers. One citizen to whom this behaviour appeared, at least, dangerous, spoke her mind somewhat loudly; she was whipped with great indecency after the most horrible revilement. {
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