The king’s decree convoking the Estates General (1788)


In August 1788, Louis XVI issued the following decree announcing the convocation of the Estates General in the following spring:

“His Majesty has decided to provide for an immediate convocation of the Estates General of his kingdom. His Majesty has not yet decided where the Estates General are to meet, but is able to announce to his subjects that their assembly is fixed for May 1st 1789.

Certain of reaping the fruit of the representatives’ enthusiasm and love, His Majesty is already looking forward to calm and peaceful days after the storm, to seeing order restored in all the provinces, to the national debt being consolidated and to France enjoying without disturbance, the power and respect due to its size, population, wealth and the character of its people.

His Majesty commands that this present decree shall be printed, published and displayed throughout the kingdom. The lieutenant general of police of the city of Paris and the intendants throughout the provinces are instructed to put this in hand.

Given at Versailles
August 8th 1788”