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Lecture 85

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 85: Tennis Court Oath, Bourgeoisie, Proletariat

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
“Tennis Court Oath” of the National Assembly, June 17, 1789 (painting by J.L. David)
Behind this act is a radical shift in the way power in the society is to be conceived
This shift is captured in a pamphlet from January, 1789
What is the Third Estate?
Manifesto of the French Revolution
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes (1748-1836)
Catholic clergyman and political theorist of the revolution
1799 instigator of coup d’etat that helped Napoleon to Power
1817 painting by Jacques-Louis David
(coined the term sociologie in an unpublished letter)
The Third Estate
Not just one of the groups in the Estates-General
He has an overall conception of society
What does he see as the basic organizing principle of society?
The productive process
How does he organize the productive process into four stages?
Agriculture, manufacture (added value), trade, service
What role does the Third Estate play in the productive process?
It plays all roles! (Note, this makes even the peasantry a part of the Third Estate)
Hence, the third estate is the whole. That is, no longer is it l’etat cest moi”
(Louis XIV). and no longer is it the aristocratic class or the church. Now, the
concept of a nation is defined by the productive elements in it. The nation
identified with a new class, the bourgeoisie. He has helped establish the
hegemony of the bourgeoisie
Comes from the Greek word hegemon = leader
Important in (neo)Marxist theory
The establishment of one particular class as the universal determiner of power and
In establishing hegemony, the class can maintain rule by assent to its values and
not by force
Marx and Engels will (strive to) reveal that the bourgeoisie itself is only a
particular class; the rightful whole belongs to the protestant class; the rightful
whole belongs to the proletariat or working class. (but that’s another story about
who the truly productive class” is)
Beginning of the Pamphlet
What is the third estate? Everything. What has it been hitherto in the political
order? Nothing. What does it desire to be? Something
This reconception of the social order and the relation between the classes
underlies the revolution
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