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The time period before 1789 (before the revolution started) is known as the Old Regime. During the Old Regime King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette ruled France and the king had all power over the country. While the country was falling into a great debt and starvation, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette constantly through parties, ate feasts every night, and Marie always spent insanes amounts of money on jewelry and clothes. The society of France used to be organized into three estates. The first estate was the Roman Catholic clergy which was only 1% of the population, and the second estate consisted of nobles and was less than 2% of the population. Lastly, the rest of the population of France, which was approximately 97%, made up the third estate. Bourgeoisies were the top of the middle class and following them were the merchants, manufacturers, doctors, lawyers, et cetera. The people in the third class were the ones who paid all of the taxes in France, as well as give part of their income to the church. The First and Second Estate, the clergy and nobles, although they were the wealthiest, didn't have to pay taxes; instead they got many privileges that the third estate, the peasants and bourgeoisie, did not get. King Louis XVI did not do anything to solve this problem within France. All of King Louis XVI's careless actions lead to France falling into an even worse state than it was in, and to the third estate revolting against the monarch to improve the country. King Louis enjoyed the privileges of being king, but did not take on the responsibility.
June 17, 1789 The Third Estate proclaimed itself the National Assembly because it had as many representatives as the First Estate and Second Estate combined and it wanted the three states to meet together with their representatives voting as individuals. At an Estates-General meeting on May 5, 1789, Louis XVI instructed that the delegates followed the old way of each estate separately voting, but the representatives of the Third Estate said that the Estates-General represented the French people, not three classes. Since Louis failed to take action after this the Third Estate proclaimed itself the National Assembly. Later on, the National Assembly asked the delegates of the two other estates to join them, but then the king locked the representatives of the third estate of their meeting place. They met on a nearby tennis court and, on June 20, 1789, they made a pledge called the Tennis Court Oath. This made the representative declare that they would not adjourn until they have written up a constitution for France and seen it adopted. Because of this Louis XVI sent in troops to Paris and Versailles, where the representatives met. The people thought they were trying to drive out the National Assembly by force, so the people of Paris fought back. Many people of the National Assembly felt that they could deal with the revolutionary violence by removing the oppression and injustice that produced it. They did this by abolishing the last remnants of feudalism in France, repealing the tithe, and ending special privileges for the First and Second Estates. Next, they enacted The Declaration of the Rights of Man that stated that men are born equal and remain equal before the law, as well as stating and defining the principles that became the slogan of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity (to everyone but women). The National Assembly passed more than 2,000 laws aimed at correcting abuses, setting new government, and creating departments. They also called for the election of all local officials.Land of the Catholic church was seized and sold to the public. The proceeds could pay off public debt and the wealthier peasants, who had been renting the land, bought a good portion of it. The government compensated the church by paying the salaries of the priests and bishops. The pope refused to allow this. Some clergy became émigrés. Passed Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which stated that people in the parishes dioceses could elect their clergy.