1789- Part one

1789- Part one- including: estates-general, Cahiers de doléances, Abbé Seiyes, National Assembly, Tennis Court Oath, Royal Session, Great Fear, formational of the national guard, second dismissal of necker, storming of the bastille and historian's views.

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  • Created on: 06-05-12 10:16

background and meeting of the estates-general

When and why?

  • 4th May 1789- Held in Versailles
  • Increased pressurre from people
  • "What is the third estate?"
  • Economic pressure- Necker
  • May eddicts- revolt of the nobles


  • Meet as in 1614- separately- 3rd outvoted
  • Parlement unpopular- selfish defenders of privilege
  • Third estate circled pamphlets of their intent

How many involved

  • Elections held March/April 1789
  • 1st/2nd- 300 each. 3rd- 600 after December 1788- doubling of third
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background and meeting of the estates-general cont

How representatives were elected

  • Electoral assembly elected 1st and 2nd. 3rd elected by tax payers
  • Each constiuency sent 2 deputies for 1st and 2nd - 4 for 3rd.
  • Each estate in each constituency drew up cahiers de doléances

Cahiers de Doléances

  • 1st estate- (conservative) King should rule, vote by order, estates should have equal power, every citizen has the right to personal liberty and property.
  • 2nd estate- :O many liberal ideas (89% prepared to give up financial privilege), rights of personal liberty and property, no person should be imprisoned or worse without trial, tax system for all
  • 3rd estate- estates should be treated equally, no person should lack trial, rights to personal liberty and property, tax should be equal between classes
  • Sim/diff- 2nd and 3rd had similar ideas on trials and tax. -all estates agreed all estates were equal. But- 1st said monarch should rule alone and differed greatly to 3rd.
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Events of the Estates-general


  • 1614- vote by order- voting till undecided by 4th may
  • Mecker's speech didn't clarify- estates told to decide- voting by order won vote
  • After royal session - king chose voting by head but had proven indecisive

Debate over Sieyes pamphlet

  • "What is the third estate?" (Jan 1789)
  • Radical rection- united common causes of 3rd, encouraged radicalism, led to evolutionary struggle for fair power and equal rights, challenged order of society, inspried tensions leading to estates general and revolution, encouraged voting by head and all estates meeting together.
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National Assembly

  • Formed 17th June 1789
  • represent interests of nation
  • clergy joined- after king failed to declare void and tennis court oath, more joined- after royal session (23rd june 1789) kiing forced to recognise- estates-general became national assembly (NA).

Tennis Court Oath

  • 20th June 1789- turning point- no longer passive

Royal session and significance

  • called after 3rd became NA. - first session led to tennis court oath
  • 3rd had become more radical
  • siginificant- showed indecisive monarch
  • insignificant- already formed national assembly and may have joined and voted by head anyway
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Great Fear and Provincial riots

Great Fear and Provincial Riots

  • July/ August 1789
  • already been attacks on chateaus (to destroy debt) and grain convoys (hoards)
  • Great fear- new intensity- peasants feared nobles - took up arms first
  • worked against NA in versailles
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Formation of the National Guard and second dismiss

Formation of the National Guard 

  • Esatblished after Necker's first dismissal (11th July 1789) when order was lost due to appearence of german cavalry and rumours of king's invasion of NA
  • 12/13th July- alarm raised and parisians armed themselves- chaos
  • Emergency meeting called at Hotel de ville- established parliamentary force (National guard) and commune to run city independant of the king- would become very pwerful.

second dismissal of Necker

  • 1st dismissed 1781- recalled 1788- persuaded louis to call Estates general
  • Failed to address voting issue and speech at E-G focussed on tax not reform
  • Dismissed 11th July 1789- led to bastille and national guard.
  • Racalled 19th July 1789- joy- believed he could save france- seemed incompetant but remained until he resigned in 1790.
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Storming of the Bastille and its significance

Storming of the bastille (14th July 1789)

  • les invalides occupied for arms- journée (crowd) moved to bastille for more.
  • Formed outside gates- negotiations began- crowd impatient- entered courtyard.
  • Firing began- bastille taken and demolished- stones became signs of freedom.
  • Also freed prisoners- believed to hold patriots- only 5 criminals ans 2 lunatics
  • Likely to have been sans-culottes


  • symbolised king's loss of control
  • king reappointed Necker
  • Peasant's revolted against landlords- provincial riots and great fear
  • 17th july - king wore tricolour- symbolised end of absolutism and increased power of NA.
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Historian's Views

D.G.Wright- Conflict between privileged and unprivileged

D.Murphy- Tennis court oath sealed the revolution

F.Ford- Tennis court oath less significant

W.Doyle- After storming of the bastille, all hope of stopping revolution had gone.

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