The Remaking of France: The National Assembly and the Constitution of 1791

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9780521454070: The Remaking of France: The National Assembly and the Constitution of 1791

How did the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity evolve out of the corporate structure of the Old Regime in France? This study investigates the evolution of a new ideal in polity in 1789 and the reaction of French society to it. Concentrating especially on the restructuring of the administration and judiciary, the author argues that the new political structure created by the Constitution of 1791 was the most equitable and participatory national political system in the world and that the achievements of the National Assembly deserve greater recognition than they have traditionally received.

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"...cleary shows that the National Assembly performed an incredible task in bringing about a new idea of polity for the French people and that this important work should not be lost amidst the later bloodshed." Historian

"Michael Fitzsimmons has... provided a valuable service in recapturing the spirit and achievement of the National Assembly. Not only does he convey the sense of possibility that animated the French nation, but he also restores the notion of historical possibility..." Canadian Journal of History

"...a common sense refreshing in a field in which too much energy has been devoted to the search for hidden significance...." William Doyle, Times Literary Supplement

"Fitzsimmons's research is supported by a prodigious amount of archival material, including parliamentary debates, pamphlets, and personal memoirs. his work provides a helpful corrective to teleological views of the revolutionary process." Gail Bossenga, American Historical Review

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