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Counterrevolution, France, 1789–1830

Soma Marik

Subject History » Political History
Study of History » Comparative History

Place Western Europe » France

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1700-1799, 1800-1899

Key-Topics conservativism, rebellion, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00418.x


Counterrevolution was an integral part of the French Revolution, as soon as there was a revolution to counter. When the deputies of the Third Estate resolved to establish a Constituent National Assembly, and not to disperse before the creation of a constitution, the king's brother, the Comte d'Artois, organized aristocratic and upper clerical resistance. At the Royal Session of June 23, 1789, the king outlined a program of extremely moderate reforms, such as no taxation without consent, regular meetings of the Estates General , abrogation of binding mandates (so that deputies could take initiatives on their own), individual and press freedom, and a set of legal and fiscal reforms. This was a whittling down of the Comptroller General Necker's proposal. For the next decade, this was as far as the leaders of the counterrevolution were willing to go, while some of their followers thought even this went too far. The queen's party, or the grouping around her and Artois, engineered the removal of Necker when they failed to arrest the Revolution through the Royal Session of June 23. This of course resulted in the uprising that caused the fall of the Bastille. By the end of May 1789, bishops were meeting regularly in the Church of Notre-Dame in Versailles. Some 40 percent of the nobles, actually residents of Paris, had gone to the provinces to seek election. At least 78 percent of the nobles ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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