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The End of an ÉliteThe French Bishops and the Coming of the Revolution 1786-1790$
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Nigel Aston

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202844.001.0001

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The Constitutionalists on the defensive, winter 1789–1790

The Constitutionalists on the defensive, winter 1789–1790

(p.212) 11 The Constitutionalists on the defensive, winter 1789–1790
The End of an Élite

Nigel Aston

Oxford University Press

Despite the set-backs of September 1789, the vast majority of episcopal deputies had as yet no thoughts of giving up attendance, or abandoning the National Assembly. It was symptomatic of this demoralisation that Jean-Joseph Mounier, Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre, and Marquis de Lally-Tollendal all resigned from the Committee for the Constitution, in the belief that the rejection of the plans on the Senate and the veto was a no-confidence-vote in them personally. In fact, the Assembly was in the curious situation of favouring the moderate monarchists while suspecting that their ideas amounted to nothing more than an apology for authoritarian royal government. Thus, on the same day that Clermont-Tonnerre left the Committee for the Constitution he was re-elected President of the National Assembly. This continuing prestige of the moderates could not conceal from them the awareness that their attempt at patriotism had turned sour.

Keywords:   National Assembly, Jean-Joseph Mounier, Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre, Marquis de Lally-Tollendal, Committee for the Constitution, patriotism

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