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"Admission of Jews to Rights of Citizenship," 27 September 1791

Source

After several tumultuous discussions about the Jewish communities still excluded from political rights, the National Assembly finally voted to regularize the situation of all the different Jewish communities on 27 September 1791. Adrien–Jean–François Duport (1759–98), a deputy of the nobility of Paris, proposed the motion. The deputies shouted down those who attempted to speak against it, and... Read More »

"Constitution of 1793"

Source

The primary task of the Convention, when seated in the fall of 1792, had been to draft a new, republican constitution. Only after the purge of the Girondins, however, did the Convention complete this task, with what became known as the Constitution of 1793 or sometimes the "Montagnard Constitution." Particularly notable was the commitment to political democracy; universal manhood suffrage with... Read More »

"La Chalotais" Affair

Source

In the spring of 1765, the regional conflict between the Breton Parlement and the King spilled over to a higher level when the Parlement of Paris took up the case of Breton parlementary ally La Chalotais and began issuing its own remonstrances defending the regional Parlement’s power (issued 3 March 1766), under the doctrine of the "union of classes"—which held that all the Parlements were... Read More »

"Memorandum to Her Majesty the Queen Concerning the Diamond Necklace Affair" (1786)

Source

Controversy surrounding the Queen reached a fever pitch in 1785–86 in what was known as the "diamond–necklace affair." A court schemer, Jeanne de la Motte, wove a complex web of intrigue, in which she convinced Cardinal Louis de Rohan—an aristocrat from a long–standing noble family who was determined to become the Queen’s lover—to purchase for Marie Antoinette an elaborate jewel necklace (made... Read More »

"Petition of the Jews of Paris, Alsace and Lorraine to the National Assembly" (28 January 1790)

Source

When the Jews of Paris and the eastern provinces presented their case to the National Assembly, they leaned heavily on the precedent of granting full rights to the Protestants and on the language of human rights philosophy. They insisted that the Jews should be treated no differently from anyone else and refuted one by one all the customary prejudicial arguments used against the Jews, such as... Read More »

"Terror Is the Order of the Day"

Source

Responding to pressure from the sections, the Convention voted on 5 September 1793, to declare that "Terror is the Order of the Day," meaning that the government, through internal "revolutionary armies" that were formed two days later,should and would use force against its own citizens to ensure compliance with its laws, including the law of the Maximum.

"The Declaration of Pillnitz"

Source

In response to the "Padua Circular," King Louis’s brother, the Count of Artois, a leader of the émigré nobles, expressed his support for Emperor Leopold II of Austria. Leopold, in conjunction with Prussian King Frederick–William III, then issued this "Declaration of Pillnitz"; the "resolution to act quickly" was perceived as a declaration of war on France for the purpose of ending the... Read More »

Deposition of Jan Joosten

"Torture by Water" in the Early Modern Dutch Empire

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The Amboyna trial was a famous conspiracy case that took place in 1623 when a group of Japanese mercenaries were accused of plotting with English merchants to seize control of a Dutch fort on a remote island in Southeast Asia. Despite occurring thousands of miles away in an unfamiliar part of the world, the trial on Amboyna swiftly escalated to become one of the most famous legal cases of the... Read More »

4 August Decrees

Source

In late July 1789, as reports of several thousand separate yet related peasant mobilizations poured into Paris from the countryside, a majority of them against seigneurial property, the deputies of the National Assembly debated reforming not just the fiscal system or the constitution but the very basis of French society. In a dramatic all–night session on 4–5 August, one deputy after another... Read More »

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Al-Muwatta on the Legal Testimony of Children

Source

The legal practice described in the source relates the opinion of jurists on the use of children's statements in the courts. According to the source, children may be called upon to testify in cases of personal injury inflicted on one child by another, but only under the condition that the child's version of what happened is given in front of witnesses at the time and scene of the incident, and... Read More »

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