Last week we were examining the causes of the French Revolution of 1789, and we concluded with an examination of the statement of revolutionary principles, that the National Assembly made, in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and in the August Decrees. What we're going to be doing this week, is looking at the attempts by the National Assembly to remake the new France across the next two years, an extraordinary project, in which the revolutionary National Assembly was engaged. Remember, this is a body of about 1200 people, the deputies who were chosen to be members of their three estates in May 1789 which has now come together to be the National Assembly, shorn of those people who decided they couldn't work with such a body, and had literally resigned and left. This is the body, which is charged with the awesome task of implementing, those revolutionary principles of 1789, which are designed to regenerate, to recreate a new France on very different principles. Remember, this is the blueprint that they have to seek to implement, that they intend to replace an absolute monarchy based on the divine right of kings with a constitutional monarchy based on popular sovereignty, that in a world of privilege pertaining to orders and regions, they intend to implement civil equality in every dimension of public life, including religion that in so far as there is to be a hierarchy in the new France. It will be based on merit and talent, demonstrated capacity, rather than the claims of birth. And, significantly in social terms, they set about the abolition of feudalism at least in part. And across the next two years, the members of the National Assembly, made an awesome commitment of energy and talent to implementing those principles across the new nation. They had to confront two immediate problems. One was to do with political power. Remember, that the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen, had proclaimed that all sovereignty resides in the nation. And that the law was to be the expression of the general will. But what did 'all citizens or their representatives' actually mean? Who should participate in political power? And what should the role of the king be? Remember, that he had called the Estates-General together, to advise him. Now, a few months later, he's expected to behave as a constitutional monarchy but with what powers? The assembly answers the first question about, who is to exercise power by making a crucial distinction: that various sections of the population, numerically most important of course women, are to be excluded. But also those men who don't own sufficient property on which a certain level of taxes is paid. They make a distinction between active citizens and passive citizens. Still a very broad suffrage in that active citizens are to be about 60% of adult men, but they have decided to restrict the rights of poorer men as well as all women. They decide that's Louis XVI is to be given a suspensive veto. He's to be the head of the government, and he will also have the right to hold up, legislation that he disapproves of but not to stop it completely, he can hold it up for reexamination for extended periods of time. The second immediate problem, confronting the National Assembly, is that of bankruptcy. Remember, Louis XVI had called the Estates-General together, to advise him on ways of dealing with a fiscal crisis. That crisis has not gone away and what the Assembly does immediately, is to seize, effectively nationalize, church property. About 6% of the rural property of France, rather more of the urban property, which is to be sold off at auction and is to be used as the backing for a new revolutionary currency called the Assignat. Revolutionary bank notes that are to draw their value from the sale of that church property to be called biens nationaux, national property. Significantly on this Assignat is a profile of Louis XVI, and around the top of that, that profile is a telling statement: this is Louis XVI, King of the French. And in that simple change of title, Louis XIV, King of France, by the grace of God, to Louis XVI, King of the French is an enormous gulf, for that man to cross in terms of his understanding of his own role. The assembly then sets about its task of transforming, the institutional shape of the country. I'm going to show you again a series of maps that I showed you in the first week, of the institutional arrangements of 18th century France, ranging from, internal administration, the provinces of France, and the different size and powers which they had. A map of customs regulations and taxation, noting the huge variation in levels of indirect taxes, particularly on salt that were paid, but also that there were internal customs houses as well as external ones. There were huge differences in terms of weights and measures across the country. In terms of law, an essential difference between the customary law of the North and the written law of the South, but on both sides of that legal boundary, there were 60 different provincial law codes, and of course the privileged orders, the clergy and nobility, had their own systems of law. There were major differences in language across the kingdom of France, from Breton, and Catalan and Basque, German, Provencal and Occitan, to the various dialects of French that are spoken. In terms of ecclesiastical organization, there are massive differences in the size of the archdiocese, as well as in the location of the various cathedral cities or bishoprics. In other words I argued, France in the 1780s, bears the imprint of centuries of state making. It is a land that is divided. Not only divided not only in terms of the privileged orders, the clergy and nobility, but also in terms of region. There are enormous variations, in terms of the way that France is administered, in every single dimension. What the deputies of the National Assembly decide to do on the face of it looks much more complicated but, in fact, is to rationalize and make simpler and more efficient, the institutional map of France. What they do is to create 83 departments of roughly similar size, 60 miles or 100 kilometers or so across, each of them with a capital. Crucially, what they decide is that, in every one of those 83 departments which are still the basis of French administrative life today, French people will have one single set of administrative arrangements. There will be a cathedral or a bishopric, in every department. Taxation and the law will be the same across the kingdom. There will be a common set of weights and measures and currency. The customs houses will be rolled back to the frontier, in other words hence forth they argue, all French people, whatever language they speak, wherever they live, whatever their social background, will be subject to uniform laws, taxation provisions, rights, and responsibilities. They will become equal citizens of a new order. They took to that task, their values of efficiency, rationality and uniformity. But they also took with them the value of fraternity because among the most crucial reforms that they introduce are those to do with the legal system, that not only do they introduce one common legal system for all French people, abolishing all of the special arrangements for privileged provinces or privileged orders, they now introduce a series of humanitarian reforms. They get rid of torture, which had been a common practice in extracting confessions for serious crimes, under the old regime. They introduced jury trials, they looked to the Netherlands and to England for the concept of justices of the peace, which are to be extraordinarily popular and replace the old seigneurial courts. There is an extraordinary debate, in 1790, about capital punishment. Some deputies argued that all, of the scores and scores of offenses for which one could be executed under the old regime should be abolished, but in the end, capital punishment is kept for just a handful of the most serious, crimes, such as treason. And if, sadly someone must be executed for one of those capital offences then in future there will be one single way of putting someone to death. It will be based on the invention of this, Parisian Doctor, a man named, Joseph Guillotin and his guillotine, that he argues will be the most painless way, of dispatching someone if that has to be the case. But it is seen to be a humane reform. There is enormous exhilaration and excitement about the work of a National Assembly and what has been achieved. On the first, anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July 1790 rough land where today the Eiffel Tower stands, is levelled, the Champ-de-mars, is turned into a large flat space suitable for celebrating the first anniversary of this Storming of the Bastille. And it seems as though perhaps every Parisian, turns up to celebrate. And there in the middle of the Champ-de-mars, is the Altar of the Homeland, where Louis XVI takes an oath to his people and the constitution. Talleyrand, one of the most patriotic of the bishops, reads prayers. Lafayette, is there as the head of the national guard, celebrating what has been achieved, celebrating unity and purpose for the future. This ceremony for the first anniversary of the revolution of 1789 is one that's really played out right across the kingdom and often oaths are taken, the ceremonies held around new objects called Altars of the Homeland. Over the centuries they've all disappeared, mainly, for political reasons but there is one left, up here on the Eastern border of France, in a town called Thionville. And there, still on one of the public squares today, is the last remaining Alter of the Homeland, on which the oaths of 1790, of unity, of respect for the laws, the constitution, the revolution itself, are taken. Next we'll turn to, looking at some of the ways in which there are tensions nevertheless about some of the things that the revolution has not yet achieved.