The Tennis Court Oath

The Tennis Court Oath

The Tennis Court Oath

The Tennis Court Oath of the French Revolution took place on the 20th June 1789. It was a pivotal event during the revolution as it was the first formal stance in which the people resisted the autocratic power of the monarchy. This event refers to the pledge taken by a total of 576 out of 577 members of the Third Estate during the Estates-General. This event was initiated as a result of the meeting of the Estates-General, where on the 20th June, the Third Estate found themselves locked out from Versailles. Fearing a royal coup, the members rushed to a nearby tennis court to take an oath "never to separate, and to meet wherever circumstances demand, until the constitution of the kingdom is established and affirmed on solid foundations".

This collective oath was a turning point in the revolution as it showed that not only the deputies, but the French citizens were defying Louis XVI, the monarch.

This event was of immense significance to the revolution. It was the first time the French people had defied Louis XVI and the strong stance they had taken resulted in the king having to make compromises.

• The Oath had a domino effect, triggering a series of revolutionary acts such as riots and repeated calls for a constitution to be drawn up.

• The oath was both a revolutionary act, and an assertion that political authority derived from the people and their representatives rather than from the monarch himself. Their solidarity forced king Louis XVI to order the clergy and the nobility to join with the Third Estate in the National Assembly [2]

• Declaration of the Constitution in France … which became the fundamental document for justice and equality in the new society.

• The members of the Third Estate had a sense of unity, a strong force which held them together as they expressed their grievances

Similar Essays