Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 August 1792: Storming of the Tuileries

An "Example to the Nations":

On 10 August 1792, as tensions rose in an atmosphere of civil war and foreign invasion, the revolutionaries in Paris stormed the Tuileries Palace, where the royal family had been kept under de facto house arrest since being captured in an attempted flight the preceding year (details in last year's post).

The National Assembly issued the following decree:

LAW No. 1978.

Relative to the suspension of the executive power.

of the 10th August of the Year 4 of Liberty.

The National Assembly, considering that the dangers to the Fatherland have reached their zenith;
 That the most sacred of the duties of the Legislative Body is to employ all its means to save it.
  That it is impossible to find efficacious means of doing so if one does not concern oneself with putting a stop to the source of its ills;
  Considering that these ills derive principally from the distrust that prompted the behavior of the head of the Executive Power in a war undertaken in his name against the Constitution & national independence;
  That these suspicions have elicited among various parties of the dominion a desire tending to the revocation of the authority delegated to Louis XVI;
  Considering nonetheless that the Legislative Body neither must nor should want to aggrandize its own by any act of usurpation;
 That under these extraordinary circumstances, in which events unforeseen by all the laws have placed it, it can reconcile what it owes to its unshakable fidelity to the Constitution with the firm resolution to bury itself beneath the ruins of the temple of liberty, rather than than to let it perish.
 except by having recourse to the sovereignty of the people, & at the same time taking indispensable precautions so that this recourse is not rendered illusory by treason, decrees, as follows:

Article One

  The French people is invited to form a national convention:  the extraordinary commission will tomorrow present a plan to indicate the method and date of this convention.


The Head of the Executive Power is provisionally suspended in his functions, until such time as the national convention will have declared regarding measures that it believes it must adopt in order to assure the sovereignty of the People, the the reign of liberty and equality.
. . . . (full, slightly different translation from another site)
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