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Topics: French Revolution, Louis XVI of France, Tennis Court Oath Pages: 2 (531 words) Published: September 24, 2013
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now characterize it as a duplicitous and hysterical over-reaction which deliberately made capital out of a private tragedy in the royal family. Other historians have argued that given political tensions in France at that time, the deputies' fears, even if wrong, were reasonable and that the importance of the oath goes above and beyond its context.[3] The deputies pledged to continue to meet until the constitution had been written, despite the royal prohibition. The oath was both a revolutionary act, and an assertion that political authority derived from the people and their representatives rather than from the monarch himself. Their solidarity forced Louis XVI to order the clergy and the nobility to join with the Third Estate in the National Assembly.[1] Significance[edit source]

The Oath signified the first time that French citizens formally stood in opposition to Louis XVI, and the National Assembly's refusal to back down forced the king to make concessions. The Oath also inspired a wide variety of revolutionary activity in the months afterwards, ranging from rioting across the French countryside to renewed calls for a written French constitution. Likewise, it reinforced the Assembly's strength and forced the King to formally request that voting occur based on head, not order.[citation needed] Moreover, the Oath communicated in unambiguous fashion the idea that the deputies of the National Assembly were declaring themselves the supreme state power. From this point forward, Louis XVI would find the Crown increasingly unable to rest upon monarchical traditions of divine right. In terms of his political sympathies, Louis XVI was noticeably more liberal than any of his predecessors or immediate family. However, given personal circumstances and the death of his son, he had badly mismanaged the mood of the Assembly.[4] As well as bolstering the Left and reformist movement, the Oath also galvanized the French Right. In royalist and conservative circles, the...

References: 1. ^ Jump up to:
a b Doyle, William (1990)
2. Jump up
^ Thompson, Marshall Putnam (1914)
4. Jump up
^ Hardman, John (1994)
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