National Legislative Assembly

Created: 1 October 1791

It was common practice for every iteration of France's national representative body to be referred to simply as the 'National Assembly', but this term covered three entirely separate institutions. The National Legislative Assembly replaced the Constituent Assembly as France's national representative body after the approval of the 1791 Constitution, which confirmed Revolutionary France as a constitutional monarchy. This arrangement lasted until 10 August 1792, when popular protests forced the Assembly to suspend the king's executive powers. Crucially, a 'Self-Denying Ordinance' meant that no deputy from the Constituent Assembly (and therefore no deputy from the Estates General out of which that body had grown) was allowed to stand for election to its successor institution. This broke the political link back to the earlier Revolutionary period and also encouraged rival spheres of political influence to grow up outside the Assembly around ineligible politicians. After the 10 August Revolution the Legislative Assembly was succeeded in September 1792 by a National Convention which immediately declared France a Republic.





Appears in these Letters:


3 October: Life as an Émigré. Part 1

The duchess recounts her departure from France for Tournai in the Austrian Netherlands, which had become a rallying post for the expanding French...

7 November: Life as an Émigré. Part 2

The duchess gives a more positive report of life in Tournai than in her Letter of the previous month, comparing the fear she would have been enduring...


25 May: Revolutionary France Faces Military Disaster

After much triumphalist rhetoric in Parisian political circles ahead of France's declaration of war against Austria on 20 April 1792, the harsh...

14 August: The August Revolution: The Fall of the Monarchy

The summer of 1792 was a perfect storm for the French monarchy, with rising demands for a Republic amid military defeats and the lasting resentment...

4 September: Revolutionary Massacre: Paris in September 1792

At the start of September 1792 Revolutionary tensions boiled over in the capital in the wake of the fall of the monarchy and news of...