The Legislative assembly to the convention

The Legislative assembly to the convention. Includes: the formation of the legislative assembly, political factions, the campaign for war, France at war (1792), the fall of the monarchy, the september massacres, the formation of the convention, the impact of the commune on the convention and historian's views.

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  • Created on: 07-05-12 18:53

The formation of the legislative assembly and Poli

The formation of the legislative assembly

  • Constituent assembly dissolved after constitution of 1791 due to self denying ordinance which meant no member of the NA could sit on the LA. 
  • LA ellected during summer 1791- mostly bourgeoisie
  • First convened 1st October 1791

Political groupds within the LA

  • Feulliant club- considered revolution over, mostly conservative.
  • Jacobin club- revolutionary and republican, backed by sections of paris, radicals and sans culottes.
  • Girondins- moderately revolutionary
  • Cordeliers club- represented radical and sans culotte opinion. 
  • About 350 "plain" deputies.
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Review of key reforms

Review of key reforms

  • passed two laws against non-juring clergy and émigrés.

1. all non-juring clergy became suspects

2. all émigrés who did not return to France by 1st January 1792 would forfeit property and be regarded as traitors.

Why did the LA ultimately fail?

  • War with Austria began 1792
  • Disagreement between factions
  • Fall of monarchy- king fled to protection of LA after attack on Tuilerries
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France at War- Reasons why

Reasons why

  • Leopold II of Austria wrote to Louis in December 1791 demanding that all reforms since August 1789 be reversed--> tensions
  • Note caused debate which ended in a decree that anyone who cooperated with a foreign concert was a traitor- this made negotiations impossible.
  • January 1792-> decree passed accusing Austrians of breaking treaty of 1756 and inciting European powers to create a concert-> instructed Louis to gain assurances from Leopold that he was peaceful- If not sufficiently met by March then war would be declared- Leopold unlikely to concede.
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Brissotin Campaign for war

Brissotin Campaign for war

  • Brissot believed war would rouse enthusiasm for revolution and show permanence of new regime.
  • Saw promising international situation as European powers were unlikely to unite against France- Russia vs. Poland and Prussia likely to support France.
  • Brissot sought war as it would force King into open and expose traitors.
  • Gained Lafayette's support as he saw it as a chance to strengthen power.

Robespierre's Opposition to Campaign

  • Believed opponents of revolution weren't a threat as they lacked popularity.
  • Made speeches in Jacobin club- became isolated/ unpopular
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Final build up to war

Final Build up to war

  • February 1792- Prussia and Austria became allies after Leopold was replaced by francis I who had a more radical foreign policy.
  • French declared war on 20th April 1792--> hoped to fight Austria alone but Prussia also declared war a month later.
  • Showed French weaknesses
  • Caused Louis to appoint more radical ministers
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Political rivalry in the assembly

What were the factions?

  • Beginning- majority of assembly uncommitted "plain" 
  • Conflicts between Girondins and Jacobins


  • Jacobins known as "montagnards" due to sitting on higher benches
  • (Original) Girondins wanted king imprisoned- Jacobins wanted trial/execution
  • Girondins supported by paris press/provinces- Jacobins supported by clubs

Points of agreement

  • Believed in revolution and republic
  • Hated privilege
  • Committed to winning war
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Political rivalry in the assembly continued

Battle for support

  • Montagnards needed support of people to gain majority
  • Both needed support of the plain- plain frightened of popular movement
  • Plain began by supporting girondins- shocked by september massacres

How did louis's trial affect factions?

  • Jacobins rellied on sans culottes and so pushed for trial
  • Girondins attempted to stop trial- proposed referendum, failed- after louis found guilty- proposed reprieve, failed
  • First Jacobin victory

Affect of war on faction

  • Mantagnards drew closer to sans culotte to gain support 
  • Girondins held responsible after failures in war and Dumouriez defected
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Fall of monarchy

Attack on Tuileries and formation of revolutionary commune

  • 9th August 1792- sections summonded three representatives from each section to Hotel de ville- established commune led by people like Hébert
  • 10th August 1792- column comprised of national guard and fédérés marched on Tuileries. Royal family fled to LA protection. National guard joined attackers. King order swiss cease fire and massacre occured.


  • symbolised sans-culotte rejection of LA/ monarchy- king suspended and fate left to convention
  • led to invasion of LA- forced to recognise revolutionary commune
  • forced deputies to hand over king to commune- imprisoned in Temple
  • Assembly forced to agree to election of convention for new constitution.
  • Revolutionary commune now in control of paris- rest of france still under LA
  • final 6 weeks- assembly followed commune's wishes- passed radical measures like deportation of refractory priests
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September massacres of 1792

September massacres of 1792

  • Lafayette fled to Austrians after attempting to turn army of paris and failing
  • Rumours that aristocrats and priests would escape prison and attack citizens when Prussian army neared. Also rumours they would free criminals to massacre patriots- Marat called for conspirators to be killed.
  • When Verdun, last fortress on way to Paris, fell commune issued call to arms
  • sans culottes started massacres 2nd september for five days
  • Neither LA nor commune tried to stop them

After effects

  • overshadowed first meeting of convention
  • Deputies rallied to Girondins
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Formation of the Convention

Formation of the Convention

  • All men over 21 able to vote in elections at end of August to september 1792
  • Results distorted by fear
  • First met 20th September 1792
  • 21st september- voted to end monarchy
  • 22nd September- declared republic and new calendar
  • Declared principles: liberty, equality and fraternity

Leaders in the convention

  • Robespierre- Jacobin
  • Danton- Jacobin
  • Brissot- Girondin

Impact of commune- majority of Paris deputies came from commune e.g. Robespierre, Danton, Desmoulins

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Trial And execution of the king

Trial And execution of the king

  • Convention voted to end monarchy on 21st september 1792
  • Appointed commission to examine papers seized from Tuileries- secret cupboard discovered containing letters to Austria
  • 1791 constitution guaranteedinviolability of the king unless he left the country, became head of foreign army or refused constitutional oath- he hadn't done
  • Convention debated fate- argued King was now normal citizen- King bought to trial- convention became court of justice
  • Voting done by name to expose traitors
  • Louis executed 21 January 1793

Historian's Views

Furet- By executing the King the convention has severed all ties with the past.

T.C.W.Blanning- Political stability may have been maintained without war.

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