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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 end of the First Estate: the bishops and the Estates-General, May-July 1789

The end of the First Estate: the bishops and the Estates-General, May-July 1789

(p.157) 8 The end of the First Estate: the bishops and the Estates-General, May-July 1789
The End of an Élite

Nigel Aston

Oxford University Press

The actions of J.-M. Champion de Cicé and his liberal aides had left the First Estate in a desperate plight. The nerve of the most prominent conservatives had broken; Archbishop de Juigné was terrified of another mauling at the hand of the mob and wanted to band over his powers to Champion de Cicé with the minimum delay. However, first de Juigné loyally accompanied Cardinal La Rochefoucauld to Marly to learn whether the king still wished the clergy to sit apart. Then the archbishop of Paris went together with Archbishop Champion de Cicé into the National Assembly. De Juigné gave way to his emotions on his arrival in the salle des communes, against a background of applause. This chapter states that the fatal weakness of La Rochefoucauld's case was to assume a clerical unanimity of sentiment which had not been apparent since the beginning of the Estates-General.

Keywords:   J.-M. Champion de Cicé, First Estate, Archbishop de Juigné, Cardinal La Rochefoucauld, National Assembly, salle des communes, Estates-General

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