The Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution by Michael P. FitzsimmonsThe Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution by Michael P. Fitzsimmons

The Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution

byMichael P. Fitzsimmons

Paperback | December 21, 2005

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If the Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, marks the symbolic beginning of the French Revolution, then August 4 is the day the Old Regime ended, for it was on that day (or, more precisely, that night) that the National Assembly met and undertook sweeping reforms that ultimately led to a complete reconstruction of the French polity. What began as a prearranged meeting with limited objectives suddenly took on a frenzied atmosphere during which dozens of noble deputies renounced their traditional privileges and dues. By the end of the night, the Assembly had instituted more meaningful reform than had the monarchy in decades of futile efforts. In The Night the Old Regime Ended, Michael Fitzsimmons offers the first full-length study in English of the night of August 4 and its importance to the French Revolution.

Fitzsimmons argues against François Furet and others who maintain that the Terror was implicit in the events of 1789. To the contrary, Fitzsimmons shows that the period from 1789 to 1791 was a genuine moderate phase of the Revolution. Unlike all of its successor bodies, the National Assembly passed no punitive legislation against recalcitrant clergy or émigrés, and it amnestied all those imprisoned for political offenses before it disbanded. In the final analysis, the remarkable degree of change accomplished peacefully is what distinguishes the early period of the Revolution and gives it world-historical importance.

Michael P. Fitzsimmons is Professor of History at Auburn University Montgomery. He is the author of The Parisian Order of Barristers and the French Revolution (1987) and The Remaking of France: The National Assembly and the Constitution of 1791 (1994). Michael P. Fitzsimmons is Professor of History at Auburn University Montgomery. He i...
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Title:The Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French RevolutionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:December 21, 2005Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271028998

ISBN - 13:9780271028996

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Preface

1. The National Assembly and the Night of August 4

2. The Impact on the Church

3. The Abolition of Nobility

4. The Ramifications in the Countryside

5. The Reverberation in the Cities

Conclusion

Endnotes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This is a challenging and interesting analysis, which will be invaluable for students at undergraduate and graduate levels and, hopefully, stimulate further work on the legislative achievement of the National Assembly.”

—Hugh Gough, The Historian