The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly, the Estates-General of 1789, made up of representatives of the three estates, which had not been convoked since 1614, convened on 5 May 1789. The Estates-General reached a deadlock in its deliberations by 6 May, the representatives of the Third Estate attempted to make the whole body more effective and so met separately from 11 May as the Communes. On 12 June, the Communes invited the other Estates to join them, on 17 June 1789, the Communes approved the motion made by Sieyès that declared themselves the National Assembly by a vote of 490 to 90. The Third Estate now believed themselves to be an authority equal to that of the King. A legislative and political agenda unfolded, there were soon attempts by King Louis XVI and the Second Estate to prevent the delegates from meeting, as well as misunderstandings on both sides about each others intentions. Failing to disperse the delegates, Louis started to recognize their validity on 27 June, the Assembly renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July and began to function as a governing body and a constitution-drafter. However, it is common to refer to the body even after then as the National Assembly or the Constituent Assembly, following the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, the National Constituent Assembly became the effective government of France. In the words of historian François Mignet, The assembly had acquired the power, the corporations depended on it. The royal power, though existing of right, was in a suspended, since it was not obeyed. The number of the Estates-General increased significantly during the election period, according to Timothy Tackett, there were a total of 1,177 deputies in the Assembly by mid-July 1789. Among them,278 belonged to the nobility,295 to the clergy, for the entire duration of the Assembly, a total of 1,315 deputies were certified,330 clerics,322 nobles, and 663 deputies of the Third Estate. Tackett noted that the majority of the Second Estate had a background. In the early period, its most notable leaders included Honoré Mirabeau, the Marquis de Lafayette, lameths brother Charles also belonged to this group. For a partial list of members of the National Constituent Assembly, in the summer of 1791, the National Constituent Assembly decided that the king needed to be restored to the throne if he accepted the constitution. The decision was made after the failed attempt to flee to Varennes. That decision enraged many Parisians into protesting, and one major protest devolved into the Champ de Mars Massacre, after surviving the vicissitudes of a revolutionary two years, the National Constituent Assembly dissolved itself on 30 September 1791. The following day, the Constitution of 1791 went into effect and this article incorporates text from the public domain History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814, by François Mignet, as made available by Project Gutenberg
Le serment de Jeu de Paume. Copper plate by Pierre-Gabriel Berthault after a drawing by Jean-Louis Prieur (1789). The representatives swore not to depart until they had given France a new constitution.
Image: Emblem of the French national assembly (1789 1792)