Analysis Of Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes 'What Is The Third Estate'

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“Qu 'est-ce que le tiers état”/ “What Is the Third Estate” by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes was one of the French Revolution’s most momentous and prominent political texts, shaping the course of events in 1789. It is a pamphlet structured around three hypothetical questions and Sieyes responses. These questions are: What is the third estate? Everything. What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. What does it want to be? Something.” In response to his own title “What Is the Third Estate”, Sieyès answered, “The Nation.” The pamphlet expressed the widespread feeling in France that although a small faction may be in control, the country rightly belonged to the working crowd. Sieyès’s pamphlet bound the Third Estate to action, provoking the crowds to take matters into their own hands if the aristocracy failed to give them complete respect. Sieyès disputed that the commoners made up most of the nation and did most of its work, so therefore were the nation. He longed the members of the Third Estate to plea a constitution and a superior political representation. The third estate became more convinced of its entitlement to liberty. Since that neither the king nor the first or second estates would consent to their request. They began to organize within themselves and recruit vigorously from…show more content…
The impact of “What is the Third Estate?” brought him substantial respect and popularity. In March 1789 he was elected to represent the Third Estate at the Estates-General. When the Third Estate formed as the National Assembly on June 17th, Sieyès personally introduced the motions to pledge this change. The rest of Sieyès’ political career never reached the heights of early 1789. He served in both the National Constituent Assembly and the National Convention, participating in constitutional discussions and drafting. In the end, however, Sieyès was not extreme enough for the revolution that he had helped unleash. He desired a constitutional monarchy and a bourgeois
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