1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ancien Régime

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ANCIEN RÉGIME, The, a French phrase commonly used, even by English writers, to denote the social and political system established in France under the old monarchy, which was swept away by the Revolution of 1789. The phrase is generally applicable only to France, for in no other country, with perhaps the exception of Japan, has there been in modern times so clearly marked a division between “the old order” and the new.