Work of the National Assembly (1789 - 1791)
The National Assembly styled itself the Constituent Assembly. It drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The new constitution drafted by the Constituent Assembly provided for a limited monarchy to France. The titles of the nobles were abolished. Judiciary was remodeled. The method of torture was abolished. New central and local courts were established. Judges were to be elected. Drastic action was also taken against the church. The monasteries were suppressed. Absolute religious toleration was proclaimed. The collection of tithes by the church was abolished. Then, measures were taken for the nationalization of church properties. After drafting the new constitution, the National Assembly dissolved itself in 1791.
The political clubs sprang up in different quarters. Of these, the most conspicuous were the Jacobian Club and Cordelier Club. The Jacobian Club was led by Robespierre, a radical emocrat. The Cordelier Club was led by Danton. The Girondists were a group of eloquent young men and stood for establishing a republican form of government. Madame Roland was a prominent member of the Girondists.
According to the new constitution, the new Legislative Assembly met in 1791. When the revolution broke out many of the nobles managed to escape from France. They carried out propaganda against the revolution in France and tried to mobilize support from other countries. Austria and Prussia came forward to help them. To curtail their activities the Legislative Assembly passed laws. The king did not approve of these laws and used his veto against them.
King Leopold of Austria issued the famous Declaration of Pilnitz against the revolutionaries on 27th August 1791. War broke out between the revolutionary government and Austria in 1792. The revolutionary army was defeated. The wrath of the revolutionaries turned against the French king. On 10th August 1792 the mob attacked the King's palace at Tuileries. The king was suspended and elections were ordered for a National Convention to prepare another new constitution for the country. This was followed by the 'September Massacres'. The Revolutionary government at Paris led by Danton massacred 1500 suspected supporters of the French king. Then the French army defeated the Austrian army at Valmy.