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Title: Monarchiens  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Scipione Piattoli, Nicolas Bergasse, Stanislas Marie Adelaide, comte de Clermont-Tonnerre, Jean-Nicolas Démeunier
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Monarchiens was one of the revolutionary factions in the earliest stages of the French Revolution. The Monarchiens were briefly a conservative, stabilising force, criticized by the left wing of the National Constituent Assembly, the spectators in the galleries and the patriotic press.

The Monarchien party was established in August 1789, but was quickly swept away. Specifically, the brief movement developed when the Revolution was shifting away from the Ancien Régime during the Spring of 1789 and was defeated by the end of 1789. Subsequently, the term itself is usually derogatory.

Monarchien positions

Monarchiens were once viewed as contributors to the Third Estate. They differed from Sieyès and Mirabeau, as they did not “speak the language of democracy”. Instead, they formed their views based on the liberal influences of the years of the Enlightenment and Constitution of the United Kingdom. They sought fairness under law and pushed for a working constitution. The monarchien position favored voting and common deliberations. It aimed to merge the rights of the royal authority with the rights of the common man. This idea was in fact part of the Monarchien’s downfall as the changes brought about by the Revolution were far more different than what the Monarchien’s viewed as change. Specifically, the Monarchien’s were unable to understand and reform to the importance of “Political legitimacy” when it came to discussing the constitutional process. In fact, they sought to establish a free government without substituting one power for another but rather redefining the existing powers of the monarchy.

Founder, Jean-Joseph Mounier

The group was founded and led by Jean Joseph Mounier, who was born in 1758. Though Mounier was neither graceful nor eloquent in his speeches, he was able to influence many with his strength and consistency. Among his followers were P.-V. de Malouet, Nicolas Bergasse, T.-G. de Lally-Tollendal and the comte de Clermont-Tonnerre. On July 9, Mounier’s views of the government's political position were outlined in a statement to the National Constituent Assembly. The Assembly ultimately voted against the introduced Monarchien views of Mounier on September 10 and 11 The rejection led to the resignation of Mounier.

  • A new party was formed by one of the original Monarchien members, Clermont – Tonnerre; “Amis de la Constitution Monarchique” in Dec 1789.
  • The Monarchiens Party was established under the authority of King Louis XVI.
  • The Monarchien movement was founded by Jean Joseph Mounier (1758-1806). Among the followers of the Monarchiens were liberal nobles including, T. –G. Lally – Tollendal, Clermont – Tonnerre, and P.-V. Malouet.
  • The Monarchien’s were a conservative faction with the National Assembly. For the most part, and although briefly, the Monarchien party was well organized and took an active role in Constituent debates.
  • Mounier supported another legislative Chamber & more royal authority.
  • The Monarchiens, specifically Jean Joseph Mounier, “wanted a compromise between the old aristocracy and the new elite, based on an absolute veto for ordinary laws and a bicameral legislature”.
  • Mounier’s views appeared in a pamphlet that was published titled, “Nouvelles observations sur les Etats – Generaux”, which introduced the Monarchien's ideas about Law & Government.
  • Within the Monarchien Party are three distinct groups of members: The first is the Dauphinois delegation-including the archbishop of Vienne. The second is the group of elite members of society-including bishop of Langres, Clermont-Tonnerre and Lally Tollendal. The third group was the deputies to the Third Estate-including Bergasse and Malouet.
  • Bergasse published his monarchien view in pamphlets and called for the unity between the throne and Third Estates.
  • Monarchien politics were more authoritarian and hierarchical.
  • The Monarchien’s organized for elections. The elections carried out in September 1789 demonstrated the popularity of the Monarchien movement as the movement’s candidates received many of the votes.
  • One of the laws passed which emphasized the Party’s political views was that in order for a royal veto to be overwritten, the same law needed to be passed by three straight legislatures.
  • After Mounier’s resignation, the Monarchien dream continued to live out until the end of the Constituent Assembly. This was due to the efforts of Pierre-Victor Malouet, Clermont-Tonnerre, Virieu, and others.
  • The clubs formed by these men after Mounier left the organization were “Club de Impartiaux” and “Club Monarchique”.

See also


  • Furet Francois, & Ozouf Mona. "A Critical Dictionary Of The French Revolution". Cambridge, Massachusetts. London, England. Harvard University Press, 1989
  • Scott F. Samuel, & Rothaus Barry. “Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution 1789-1799”, V-2. Westport, Connecticut. Greenwood Press, 1985
  • Katcs Gary. “The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies”. France. Routledge, 1998
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