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What measures were taken to meet the demands for reform in France between 1789 and 1792?

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Introduction

Katarina Kamieniecka What measures were taken to meet the demands for reform in France between 1789 and 1792? After October 1789 most Frenchmen believed that the revolution was over. During the next few years the Constituent assembly set about reorganising French government, laws, finances and the economy by applying the principles of the Declaration of Rights to give France a uniform, decentralised, representative and humanitarian system. The deputies wanted to make sure that power was decentralised by restructuring local government. Therefore it would be more difficult for the king to recover the power he had held before the revolution. By decrees of December 1789 and January 1790 the deputies divided France into 83 departments, which were subdivided into 547 districts and 43,360 communes. ...read more.

Middle

The new financial system began in 1791. It benefited the poor particularly as the burden of taxation fell on the producers rather than consumers and there were no indirect taxes. The deputies of the constituent assembly believed in laissez-faire. They introduced free trade, removed price controls and abolished internal tariffs in 1790. In 1791 guilds were abolished so people were not restricted from entering any trade. The assembly regarded the poor as a duty of the state however the scale of the problem was so great that it was impossible to deal with. Therefore nothing was done. Between 1789 and 1792 all the old law courts, the parlements, seigneurial and ecclesiastical courts were swept away and replaced by a new system based on local government. ...read more.

Conclusion

In August 1789 the deputies abolished the tithe, annates and pluralism. Many privileges of the church were ended and the taking of religious vows was forbidden. The decree of December 1789 gave civil rights to the Protestants and the Jews in September 1791. However there was no serious conflict with the church until the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in July 1790 accepting the organisation of the church under the administrative framework of local government. This had momentous results, in effect creating two Catholic Churches in France; one constitutional and respected by the revolution but rejected by Rome and the non-juring church. In conclusion, many measures were taken to meet the demands for reform in France between 1789 and 1792. These covered many areas of society such as system of government, finance, the economy, justice and religion. ...read more.

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