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French National Convention 1792 - Birth of a Republic


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After the failure of the compromise that the National Assembly, formed from the Third Estate and reformist members of the First and Second Estates of the Estates-General of France, called in 1789 (for the first time since 1614) to resolve the massive debt of the French Crown, made with Louis XVI, King of France, in the aftermath of the Storming of the Bastille and other popular revolutionary activities, that created a short-lived constitutional monarchy with Louis and his chosen ministers as the executive branch, a popularly elected Legislative Assembly as the legislative branch, and an independent judiciary that was due to be reformed (but never had been in this brief period of governance), as well as the breaking up and reorganization of the old provinces of the old kingdom into modern "departments," originally supposed to each be of roughly equal area and population, and named for local rivers, coasts, mountains, and forests, with no mention of old historical or regional references in their names, the adoption of the Universal Rights of Man, likely only the third such document passed into law in world history, after only those of Virginia in 1775 and the United States in 1790, and the stripping of all inherent privilege of the peerage of France, Louis, after virtually every other European nation, offended by the tenor of France's revolutionary atmosphere, and egged on by emigres (self-exiled French nobles fleeing to foreign courts) was caught at a border inn with his family, seemingly trying to flee the country. He as accused of treason (a crime most European nations at that time considered it literally and legally impossible, by definition, for a reining monarch to commit), but, it was decided that a new election for a new type of governing body would be made, with the newly elected to decide his fate. Thus, a National Convention, which would collectively assume executive and legislative power, was to be elected. Amongst the big issues they will have to deal with will be the trial of Louis XVI, the possible declaration of a French Republic, the reorganization of the French Army and the conduct of war against almost all meaningfully powerful states in Europe, internal security, and furthering economic, social, and political reform with France.

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