following document gives the response of the National Assembly to the
popular uprising of August 10, and formally deposes Louis XVI.
Decree of the National Assembly for Suspending the
The National Assembly, considering that the dangers to the fatherland have reached their height;
That it is the most sacred duty of the legislative body to employ all means to save it;
That it is impossible to find it remedied, unless they occupy themselves with removing the source of its evils;
Considering that these evils spring principally from the suspicions which the head of the executive power’s conduct has inspired, in a war undertaken in his name against the Constitution and the national
That these suspicions have provoked a desire tending to the revocation of the authority delegated to Louis XVI from different parts of the kingdom;
Considering, nevertheless, that the legislative body ought not to wish to aggrandize itself by any usurpation; that in the extraordinary circumstances in which unforeseen events have placed it, it cannot reconcile what it owes to its unshaken fidelity to the Constitution with its firm resolve to be buried under the ruins of the temple of liberty rather than to let it perish, except by taking recourse to the sovereignty of the people and by taking at the same time indispensable precautions so that this recourse may not be rendered illusory by treason; [the legislative body] decrees as follows:
The French people are invited to form a national convention; tomorrow,
the extraordinary commission shall present a proposal to indicate the method and the time of this convention.
The head of the executive power is provisionally suspended from his
functions until the national convention has pronounced upon the measures
which it believes ought to be adopted to assure the sovereignty of the people and the reign of liberty and equality.
The extraordinary commission shall present a method for organizing a
new ministry within a day; the ministers currently in service shall provisionally continue the exercise of their functions.
The extraordinary commission shall likewise present, within a day, a proposal for a decree upon the selection of a governor for the royal prince.
Payment of the king’s salary will remain suspended until the decision
of the national convention. The extraordinary commission shall present, within twenty-four hours, a proposal for a decree upon the stipend to be granted to the king during his suspension.
The registers of the annual salary shall be deposited in the office of the
National Assembly, after having been numbered and attested by two commissioners of the Assembly who shall repair for that purpose to the intendant of the annual salary.
The king and his family shall reside within the precincts of the legislative
body until calm may be reestablished in Paris.
The department shall give orders to prepare accommodation at the Luxembourg for them within a day, where they shall be put under the custody
of the citizens and the law.
Every public functionary, every soldier, every officer, of whatever rank he
may be, and general of an army, who shall abandon his post in these days
of alarm is declared infamous and traitorous to the fatherland.
The department and the municipality of Paris shall cause the present decree to be immediately and solemnly proclaimed.
It shall be sent by special couriers to the eighty-three departments, which
shall be required to cause it to reach the municipalities of their jurisdiction within twenty-four hours, in order to be proclaimed with the same solemnity.
[Source: J. M. Roberts and R. C. Cob, eds., French
Revolution Documents, vol.1 (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966), pp.
512-513. Translated by Tracey Rizzo in Laura Mason and Tracey Rizzo, eds.,
The French Revolution: A Document Collection (New York: Houghton
Mifflin, 1999), pp. 172-173.]
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