French Revolution Part II

Art. VI: The law is the expression of the general will. All citizens are entitled to participate in its creation personally or through their representatives. Whether it protects or punishes: it must be the same for everyone. Since all citizens are equal in his eyes, they also have equal access to all dignities, positions or public offices, depending on their abilities, without any difference other than that of their virtues and talents.

Art. VII: No person can be charged, arrested or taken into custody other than in the cases prescribed by law and the prescribed forms. […]

Art. IX: Since every person is considered innocent as long as he has not been found guilty, if an arrest is inevitable, any unnecessary hardship to insure his person should be strictly forbidden by law.

Art. X: Nobody may be prosecuted for their opinion, even of a religious nature, as long as the utterances do not disrupt the legally established order.

Art. XI: Free freedom of thought and expression is one of the most precious human rights; every citizen can therefore write, speak and print freely, subject to the abuse of this freedom in the cases stipulated by law.

Art. XV: Society has the right to hold every public official accountable for his administration.

Art. XVII: Since property is an inviolable and sacred right, it cannot be deprived of anyone, except in the case of public need on condition of just and prior compensation.

The declaration of human and civil rights, quoted from: Geschichte in Quellen, edited by W. Lautemann and M. Schlenke, Volume 4: The American and French Revolution (Munich: Bayerischer Schulbuchverlag, 1981), page 199 ff.

In the wake of the unrest in Paris and the peasant revolts in most provinces (“La Grande Peur”) caused by the famine of the summer of 1789 and the fear of an aristocratic reaction, the National Assembly made a series of fundamental decisions in the following months: Elimination feudal professional rights, redeemability of land-based rights, abolition of spiritual tithe (night session of August 4th), proclamation of human and civil rights (August 26th; human rights), confiscation of church property and their use as national property (November 2nd), the issue of assignats (19.12.), Then the sale of national goods; Creation of 83 departments, in Paris of 48 sections (January 1790); Abolition of the hereditary nobility (June 19). The civil constitution of the clergy (“Constitution civile du clergé”, July 12th) made every department a diocese and prescribed the election of the clergy by political bodies. The refusal of many priests to take the oath on the civil constitution, which has been required since November 27, 1790, and the condemnation of this constitution by Pope Pius VI. (April 1791) led to the schism and the complete aversion of Louis XVI. from the revolutionary development. His attempt to escape (discovered in Varennes on June 21, 1791) destroyed the last possibility of a merger between the King and the National Assembly.

The constitution of 1791 (promulgated on September 3, 1791) established a constitutional monarchy with a limited royal share in the legislature (suspensive – postponing – veto); a census suffrage restricted the exercise of political rights to a minority of wealthy, “active” citizens. Check to see more about France and other countries in the world.

However, since the escape of Louis XVI. , intensified since the “bloodbath on the Marsfeld”, when the National Guard with armed force blew up an anti-royalist mass rally (July 17, 1791), the agitation for the creation of the republic. The radical political clubs, v. a. the Cordeliers and the Jacobins; in the latter, the Girondins initially dominated. The moderate supporters of the monarchy gathered in the Feuillants’ club.

The members of the political clubs then also made up the majority of the members of the newly elected Legislative National Assembly (since October 1, 1791: “Assemblée nationale législative”). The political leaders of the Girondins viewed kingship with suspicion; they enforced the declaration of war on Austria (April 20, 1792 French Revolutionary Wars). Since then, internal and external events have been closely interrelated.

The anti-revolutionary attitude of the king led on August 10th, 1792 to that of August 8th. deployed revolutionary Paris “Commune” organized an assault on the Tuileries. Louis XVI was deposed and arrested with his family in the “Temple”. At the same time, it was decided to elect a national convention (“Convention nationale”).

The time of the National Convention

The convention, which emerged from general elections, was elected with a very low turnout (10%) because of the September murders accepted by Justice Minister G. J. Danton (around 1,300 victims among prison inmates in Paris from September 2 to 6, 1792) (strongest groups: Girondists and mountain party) called on 21.9. (22.9. Beginning of year I of the republican calendar) the republic from. The church conflict, the persecution of the priests who refuse oath and the trial of Louis XVI.(“Citizen Capet”) because of treasonous relations with the emigrants since December 11, 1792, the death sentence (January 17, 1793) and his execution (January 21, 1793) sparked uprisings, especially in the rural Vendée (Chouans). As a reaction to these uprisings, which the provisional revolutionary government called the “worst cancerous tumor”, the convention decided on August 1, 1793 to destroy the Vendée and to annihilate the population that was regarded as unassimilable. The number of deaths there was between 120,000 (R. Secher) and 250,000 (J. C. Martin), so that historians (P. Chaunu, Secher) speak of the French-French genocide.

French Revolution 2