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Overture to RevolutionThe 1787 Assembly of Notables and the Crisis of France's Old Regime$
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John Hardman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199585779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585779.001.0001

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Choosing the Notables

Choosing the Notables

(p.56) 2 Choosing the Notables
Overture to Revolution

John Hardman

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the selection of the members of the Assembly and the organization of its procedure. The members were nominated by the king but certain precedents were followed and half the members were summoned ex office. As such the Assembly was representative if not elected. Calonne made little attempt to pack the Assembly, contenting himself with excluding a handful of known enemies. He had to square the circle of finding men of known reputation and weight who would also prove pliant. Again, with procedure, Calonne sought to devise a system which would be expeditious and avoid dangerous digressions and yet avoid the impression of undue pressure. The rationale behind the division of the Assembly into seven working committees or bureaux is discussed. Miromesnil's annotations to Calonne's plan suggest that he was optimistic in expecting to conclude all the business in a month.

Keywords:   choosing, Calonne, King, Miromesnil, timetable, procedure

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