William Godwin's Diary


There existed at this time a tension between the king of France and the Parlement of Paris in particular (and the twelve other regional Parlements in general) over the issue of taxation reform. The Parlements refused to ratify royal edicts on new taxes. On 17 April the king delivered a speech which depicted his royal authority as a defense against factional interests. Subsequently, on 3 May, the Parlement of Paris insisted that the Estates General was the body which had to ratify new taxes. By way of response, Lamoignan, minister and future counsel for the defence of Louis XVI, attempted to dissolve the power of the Parlements by way of creating the ‘Cour Plénière’, a body of handpicked loyalists to ratify laws. This move exacerbated tensions throughout France.

See Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (London: Penguin, 2004), pp. 216-228.