Overthrow of French Monarchy

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 98
  • Published : May 9, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The French Revolution was a period in the history of France covering the years 1789 to 1799, in which republicans overthrew the Bourbon monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church perforce underwent radical restructuring. This article covers the one-year period from 1 October 1791 to September 1792, during which France was governed by the Legislative Assembly, operating under the French Constitution of 1791, between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly and of the National Convention. Contents [hide]

1 The composition of the Legislative Assembly
2 The king's ministers
3 The politics of the Left
4 The king exercises his veto
5 A new administration in Paris
6 War approaches
7 The Girondin ministry
8 The initial disasters of war
9 The 10 August
10 Insurrection and constitutional crisis
11 References
[edit]The composition of the Legislative Assembly

The National Constituent Assembly dissolved itself on 30 September 1791. Upon Robespierre's motion it had decreed that none of its members should be capable of sitting in the next legislature, this is known as the Self-Denying Ordinance. Its legacy, the Constitution of 1791, attempted to institute a liberal constitutional monarchy. This had been envisioned as an arrangement not to be tampered with for a generation but, in the event, it did not last a year. In the attempt to govern, the Assembly failed altogether. In the words of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "It left behind an empty treasury, an undisciplined army and navy, and a people debauched by safe and successful riot." In the elections of 1791, despite a limited electoral franchise, the party which desired to carry the Revolution further had a success disproportionate to its numbers, a triumph for the Jacobin Club and by its affiliated societies throughout France. The Legislative Assembly first met on 1 October 1791. It consisted of 745 members. Few were nobles, very few were clergymen, and the great body came from the middle class. The members were generally young, and, since none had sat in the previous Assembly, they largely lacked national political experience. The Right consisted of about 165 "Feuillants". Among them were some able men, such as Mathieu Dumas, Ramond, Vaublanc, Beugnot and Bigot de Préamenau, but they were guided chiefly by persons outside the House, because incapable of re-election: Barnave, Adrien Duport, and the brothers Alexander and Charles Lameth. The Left consisted of about 330 Jacobins, a term which still included the now-emergent party afterwards known as the Girondins or Girondists – so termed because several of their leaders came from the region of the Gironde in southern France. Among the extreme Left—those who would retain the name of Jacobins—sat Cambon, Couthon, Antoine-Christophe Merlin ("Merlin de Thionville"), François Chabot, and Claude Bazire. The Girondins could claim the most brilliant orators: Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud, Marguerite-Élie Guadet, Armand Gensonné, and Maximin Isnard (the last being from Provence). Jacques Pierre Brissot ("Brissot de Warville"), a restless pamphleteer and editor of the newspaper Patriote, was described by the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica as "inferior to these men in talent", but exerted such great influence over the party that it has sometimes gone by his name ("Brissotins"). Also aligned with the Girondins were Condorcet, secretary of the Assembly and Pétion, barred from the Legislative Assembly because he had been in the Constitutional Assembly, but who soon became mayor of Paris. This strong representation of the left in the Assembly was supplemented by the political clubs and the disorderly revolutionary elements in Paris and throughout France. The remainder of the Assembly, about 350 deputies (Matthews 2004), did not belong to any definite party, but voted most often with the Left. [edit]The king's ministers

The king's ministers, named by him and excluded from the Assembly, were mostly persons of little mark. Montmorin...
tracking img