The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France, 1789–1907/15
15. Constitution of 1791.
September 3, 1791. Duvergier, Lois, III, 239–255.
This constitution represents a large part of the labors of the Constituent Assembly. Many of its provisions had already been put into operation by separate decrees. It was given its final shape during the ten weeks following the return of the king to Paris and shows many traces of the conservative reaction of that period. A careful study of it will throw light upon many features of the revolution.
References. Lavisse and Rambaud, Histoire générale, VIII, 73–79; Cambridge Modern History, VIII, 176–183, 186–189, 200–210. Of contemporary estimates the most famous are Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (a strongly adverse view), and Mackintosh's reply, Vindiciae Gallicae, or Defence of the French Revolution.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
The representatives of the French people, organized in National Assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt of the rights of man, are the sole causes of the public miseries and of the corruption of governments, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being ever present to all the members of the social body, may unceasingly remind them of their rights and their duties in order that the acts of the legislative power and those of the executive power may be each moment compared with the aim of every political institution and thereby may be more respected; and in order that the demands of the citizens, grounded henceforth upon simple and incontestable principles, may always take the direction of maintaining the constitution and the welfare of all.
In consequence, the National Assembly recognizes and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and citizen.
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be based only upon public utility.
2. The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
3. The source of all sovereignity is essentially in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority that does not proceed from it in plain terms.
4. Liberty consists in the power to do anything that does not injure others; accordingly, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those that secure to the other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits can be determined only by law.
5. The law has the right to forbid only such actions as are injurious to society. Nothing can be forbidden that is not interdicted by the law, and no one can be constrained to do that which it does not order.
6. Law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to take part personally, or by their representatives, in its formation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens being equal in its eyes, are equally eligible to all public dignities, places, and employments, according to their capacities, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and their talents.
7. No man can be accused, arrested, or detained, except in the cases determined by the law and according to the forms that it has prescribed. Those who procure, expedite, execute, or cause to be executed arbitrary orders ought to be punished but every citizen summoned or seized in virtue of the law ought to render instant obedience; he makes himself guilty by resistance.
8. The law ought to establish only penalties that are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one can be punished except in virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offence and legally applied.
9. Every man being presumed innocent until he has been pronounced guilty, if it is thought indispensable to arrest him, all severity that may not be necessary to secure his person ought to be strictly suppressed by law. Article 10. No one should be disturbed on account of his opinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does not derange the public order established by law.
11. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man; every citizen then can freely speak, write, and print, subject to responsibility for the abuse of this freedom in the cases determined by law.
12. The guarantee of the rights of man and citizen requires a public force; this force then is instituted for the advantage of all and not for the personal benefit of those to whom it is entrusted.
13. For the maintenance of the public force and for the expenses of administration a general tax is indispensable; it ought to be equally apportioned among all the citizens according to their means.
14. All the citizens have the right to ascertain, by themselves or by their representatives, the necessity of the public tax. to consent to it freely, to follow the employment of it, and to determine the quota, the assessment, the collection, and the duration of it.
15. Society has the right to call for an account of his administration from every public agent.
16. Any society in which the guarantee of the rights is not secured, or the separation of powers not determined, has no constitution at all.
17. Property being a sacred and inviolable right, no one can be deprived of it, unless a legally established public necessity evidently demands it, under the condition of a just and prior indemnity.
The National Assembly, wishing to establish the French constitution upon the principles which it has just recognized and declared, abolishes irrevocably the institutions that have injured liberty and the equality of rights.
There is no longer nobility, nor peerage, nor hereditary distinctions, nor distinctions of orders, nor feudal régime, nor patrimonial jurisdictions, nor any titles, denominations, or prerogatives derived therefrom, nor any order of chivalry, nor any corporations or decorations which demanded proofs of nobility or that were grounded upon distinctions of birth, nor any superiority other than that of public officials in the exercise of their functions.
There is no longer either sale or inheritance of any public office.
There is no longer for any part of the nation nor for any individual any privilege or exception to the law that is common to all Frenchmen.
There are no longer jurandes, nor corporations of professions, arts, and crafts.
The law no longer recognizes religious vows, nor any other obligation which may be contrary to natural rights or to the constitution.
Title I. Fundamental Provisions Recognized by the Constitution.
The constitution guarantees as natural and civil rights:
1. That all the citizens are eligible to offices and employments, without any other distinction than that of virtue and talent;
2. That all the taxes shall be equally apportioned among all the citizens in proportion to their means;
3. That like offences shall be punished by like penalties, without any distinction of persons.
The constitution likewise guarantees as natural and civil rights:
Liberty to every man to move about, to remain, and to depart without liability to arrest or detention, except according to the forms determined by the constitution;
Liberty to every man to speak, to write, to print and publish his ideas without having his writings subjected to any censorship or inspection before their publication, and to follow the religious worship to which he is attached;
Liberty to the citizens to meet peaceably and without arms, in obedience to the police laws;
Liberty to address individually signed petitions to the constituted authorities.
The legislative power cannot make any law that attacks and impedes the exercise of the natural and civil rights contained in the present title and guaranteed by the constitution but as liberty consists only in the power to do anything that is not injurious to the rights of others or to the public security, the law can establish penalties against acts which, in attacking the public security or the rights of others, may be injurious to society.
The constitution guarantees the inviolability of property or a just and prior indemnity for that of which a legally established public necessity may demand the sacrifice.
Property intended for the expenses of worship and for all services of public utility belongs to the nation and is at all times at its disposal.
The constitution guarantees the alienations that have been or that shall be made under the forms established by law.
The citizens have the right to elect or choose the ministers of their religious sects.
There shall be created and organized a general establishment of public relief in order to bring up abandoned children, relieve infirm paupers, and provide work for the able-bodied poor who may not have been able to obtain it for themselves.
There shall be created and organized a system of public instruction, common to all citizens, gratuitous as regards the parts of education indispensable for all men, and whose establishments shall be gradually distributed in accordance with the division of the kingdom.
There shall be established national fêtes to preserve the memory of the French revolution, to maintain fraternity among the citizens, and to attach them to the constitution, the fatherland, and the laws.
A code of civil laws common to all the kingdom shall be made.
Title II. Of the Division of the Kingdom and of the Condition of the Citizens.
1. The kingdom is one and indivisible; its territory is divided into eighty-three departments, each department into districts, each district into cantons.
2. French citizens are:
Those who are born in France of a French father;
Those who, born in France of a foreign father, have fixed their residence in the kingdom;
Those who, born in a foreign country of a French father, have become established in France and have taken the civic oath;
Lastly, those who, born in a foreign country and descended in any degree whatsoever from a French man or a French woman expatriated on account of religion, may come to live in France and take the civic oath.
3. Those residing in France, who were born outside of the kingdom from foreign parents, become French citizens after five years of continued domicile in the kingdom, if they have in addition acquired real estate, or married a French woman, or formed an agricultural or commercial establishment, and have taken the civic oath.
4. The legislative power shall be able, for important considerations, to give to a foreigner a certificate of naturalization, without other conditions than the fixing of his domicile in France and the taking of the civic oath.
5. The civic oath is: I swear to be faithful to the nation, the law, and the king, and to maintain with all my power the constitution of the kingdom decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in the years 1789, 1790, and 1791.
6. The title to French citizenship is lost:
1st. By naturalization in a foreign country;
2d. By condemnation to the penalties which involve civic degradation, as long as the condemned is not rehabilitated;
3d. By a judgment of contempt of court, as long as the judgment is not annulled;
4th. By affiliation with any foreign order of knighthood, or with any foreign organization which would imply proofs of nobility or distinctions of birth, or which would demand religious vows.
7. The law considers marriage as only a civil contract.
The legislative power shall establish for all inhabitants, without distinction, the manner in which births, marriages, and deaths shall be recorded, and it shall designate the public officers who shall receive and preserve the records therof.
8. French citizens, considered in their local relations arising from their union into cities and into certain districts of rural territory, form communes.
The legislative power shall fix the extent of the district of each commune.
9. The citizens who compose each commune have the right to elect at stated times and according to the forms fixed by law those among themselves, who, under the title of municipal officers, are charged with carrying on the particular affairs of the commune.
Some functions related to the interests of the state may be delegated to the municipal officers.
10. The regulations which the municipal officers shall be required to follow in the exercise of their municipal functions, as well as those which have been delegated to them for the general interest, shall be fixed by the laws.
Title III. Of the Public Powers.
1. Sovereignty is one, indivisible, inalienable, and imprescriptible: it belongs to the nation: no section of the people nor any individual can attribute to himself the exercise thereof.
2. The nation, from which alone emanates all the powers, can exercise them only by delegation. The French constitution is representative; the representa- tives are the legislative body and the king.
3. The legislative power is delegated to one National Assembly, composed of temporary representatives freely elected by the people, in order to be exercised by it with the sanction of the king in the manner which shall be determined hereinafter.
4. The government is monarchical : the executive power is delegated to the king, in order to be exercised under his authority by ministers and other responsible agents, in the manner which shall be determined hereinafter.
5. The judicial power is delegated to judges elected at stated times by the people.
Chapter I. Of the National Legislative Assembly.
1. The National Assembly, forming the legislative body, is permanent and is composed of only one chamber.
2. It shall be formed every two years by new elections. Each period of two years shall constitute a legislature.
3. The provisions of the preceding article shall not operate with respect to the next legislative body, whose powers shall cease the last day of April, 1793.
4. The renewal of the legislative body takes place ipso facto.
5. The legislative body shall not be dissolved by the king.
Section I. Number of the representatives.—Basis of representation.
1. The number of representatives in the legislative body is seven hundred and forty-five, by reason of the eighty-three departments of which the kingdom is composed, and apart from those which may be granted to the colonies.
2. The representatives shall be distributed among the eighty-three departments, according to the three proportions of territory, population, and direct tax.
3. Of the seven hundred and forty-five representatives, two hundred and forty-seven are accredited for territory.
Each department shall select three of these, with the exception of the department of Paris which shall select but one.
4. Two hundred and forty-nine are accredited for population.
The total mass of the population of the kingdom is divided into two hundred and forty-nine parts, and each department selects as many deputies as it has parts of population.
5. Two hundred and forty-nine representatives are accredited for the direct tax.
The sum total of the direct tax of the kingdom is likewise The sum total of the direct tax of the kingdom is likewise divided into two hundred and forty-nine parts, and each department selects as many deputies as it pays parts of the tax.
Section II. Primary assemblies.—Selection of the electors.
1. In order to form the National Legislative Assembly the active citizens shall meet every two years in primary as assemblies in the cities and cantons.
The primary assemblies shall constitute themselves ipso facto on the second Sunday of March, if they have not been convoked earlier by the public functionaries designated by the law.
2. In order to be an active citizen, it is necessary:
To be born or to become a Frenchman;
To be fully twenty-five years of age;
To be domiciled in the city or in the canton for the time fixed by the law;
To pay in some place within the kingdom a direct tax at the least equal to the value of three days of labor, and to present the receipt therefor;
Not to be in a state of domestic service, that is to say, not to be a servant for wages;
To be registered upon the roll of the national guards in the municipality of his domicile;
To have taken the civic oath.
3. Every six years the legislative body shall fix the minimum and maximum of the value of a day's labor, and the department administrators shall make the local determination thereof for each department.
4. No one may exercise the rights of an active citizen in more than one place, nor cause himself to be represented by another.
5. The following are excluded from the exercise of the rights of active citizenship:
Those who are under indictment;
Those who, after having been declared to be in a state of bankruptcy or insolvency, proven by authentic documents, do not procure a general discharge from their creditors.
6. The primary assemblies shall select electors in proportion to the number of active citizens domiciled in the city or canton.
There shall be one elector selected at the rate of one hundred active citizens, whether present at the assembly or not.
There shall be two selected for one hundred and fifty-one up to two hundred, and so on.
7. No one can be chosen an elector if he does not unite with the conditions necessary to be an active citizen, the following:
In the cities over six thousand souls, that of being proprietor or usufructuary of an estate valued upon the tax rolls at a revenue equal to the local value of two hundred days of labor, or of being the occupant of a habitation valued upon the same rolls at a revenue equal to the value of a hundred and fifty days of labor;
In cities under six thousand souls that of being proprietor or usufructuary of an estate valued upon the tax rolls at a revenue equal to the local value of a hundred and fifty days of labor, or of being the occupant of a habitation valued upon the same rolls at a revenue equal to the value of a hundred days of labor
And in the country, that of being the proprietor or usufructuary of an estate valued upon the tax rolls at a revenue equal to the local value of one hundred and fifty days of labor, or that of being the farmer or métayer of estates valued upon the same rolls at the value of four hundred days of labor.
With respect to those who shall at the same time be proprietors or usufructuaries for one part and occupants, farmers or métayers for another, their means by these different titles shall be cumulated up to the amount necessary to establish their eligibility.
Section III. Electoral assemblies.—Selection of representatives.
1. The electors chosen in each department shall assemble in order to elect the number of representatives whose selection shall be assigned to their department and a number of substitutes equal to a third of that of the representatives.
The electoral assemblies shall constitute themselves ipso facto on the last Sunday in March, if they have not been convoked earlier by the public functionaries designated by the law.
2. The representatives and the substitutes shall be elected by majority of the votes, and they shall be chosen only from among the active citizens of the department.
3. All active citizens, whatever their condition, profession, or tax, can be elected representatives of the nation.
4. Nevertheless, the ministers and other agents of the executive power removable at pleasure, the commissioners of the national treasury, the collectors and receivers of the direct taxes, the overseers of the collection and administration of the indirect taxes and national domains, and those who, under any denomination whatsoever, are attached to the military and civil household of the king, shall be obliged to choose [between their offices and that of representative].
The administrators, sub-administrators, municipal officers, and commandants of the national guards shall likewise be required to choose [between their offices and that of representative].
5. The exercise of judicial functions shall be incompatible with that of representative of the nation, for the entire duration of the legislature.
The judges shall be replaced by their substitutes, and the king shall provide by commissionary warrants for the replacing of his commissioners before the tribunals.
6. The members of the legislative body can be re-elected to the following legislature, and they can be elected thereafter only after the interval of one legislature.
7. The representatives selected in the department shall not be the representatives of one particular department, but of the entire nation, and no instructions can be given them.
Section IV. Meeting and government of the primary electoral assemblies.
1. The functions of the primary and electoral assemblies are confined to election; they shall separate immediately after the elections have taken place and they shall not form themselves again unless they shall be convoked, except in the case of the 1st article of section II and of the 1st article of section III above.
2. No active citizen can enter or cast his vote in an assembly, if he is armed.
3. The armed force shall not be introduced into its midst without the express wish of the assembly, unless violence is committed there; in that case the order of the president shall suffice to summon the public force.
4. Every two years there shall be drawn up in each district lists by cantons of the active citizens, and the list of each canton shall be published and posted there two months before the date of the primary assembly.
The complaints which shall arise, either to contest the qualifications of the citizens placed upon the list or on the part of those who shall allege that they are unjustly omitted, shall be brought before the tribunals in order to be passed upon there summarily.
The list shall serve as the rule for the admission of the citizens in the next primary assembly in everything that shall not have been rectified by the judgments rendered before the holding of the assembly.
5. The electoral assemblies have the right to verify the title and the credentials of those who shall present themselves there, and their decisions, shall be carried out provisionally, saving the judgment of the legislative body at the time of the verification of the credentials of the deputies.
6. In no case and under no circumstances shall the king or any of the agents appointed by him assume jurisdiction over questions relative to the regularity of the convocations, the holding of the assemblies, the form of the elections, or the political rights of the citizens, without prejudice to the functions of the commissioners of the king in the cases determined by the law where questions relative to the political rights of citizens must be brought before the tribunals.
Section V. Meeting of the representatives in National Legislative Assembly.
1. The representatives shall meet on the first Monday of the month of May in the place of the sittings of the last legislature.
2. They shall form themselves provisionally in assembly under the presidency of the oldest member in point of age, in order to verify the credentials of the representatives present.
3. As soon as there shall be verified members to the number of three hundred and seventy-three, they shall constitute themselves under the title of National Legislative Assembly; it shall name a president, a vice-president, and secretaries, and shall begin the exercise of its functions.
4. During the entire course of the month of May, if the number of the representatives present is under three hundred and seventy-three, the assembly shall not be able to perform any legislative act.
It can pass an order requiring the absent members to re- pair to their duties within the period of fifteen days at the latest, upon penalty of 3,000 livres fine, if they do not present an excuse which shall be pronounced legitimate by the assembly.
5. On the last day of May, whatever may be the number of the members present, they shall constitute themselves into National Legislative Assembly.
6. The representatives shall pronounce in unison, in the name of the French people, the oath to live free or to die.
They shall afterwards individually take the oath to maintain with all their power the constitution of the kingdom, decreed by the National Constituent Assembly, in the years 1789, 1790, and 1791; and not to propose nor to consent within the course of the legislature to anything which may injure it, and to be in everything faithful to the nation, the law, and the king.
7. The representatives of the nation are inviolable; they cannot be questioned, accused, nor tried at any time for what they have said, written, or done in the exercise of their functions as representatives.
8. They can, for criminal acts, be seized in the very act or in virtue of a warrant of arrest; but notice shall be given thereof without delay to the legislative body; and the prosecution can be continued only after the legislative body shall have decided that there is occasion for accusation.
Chapter II. Of the Royalty, the Regency, and the Ministers.
Section I. Of the royalty and the king.
1. Royalty is indivisible and is delegated hereditarily to the ruling family, from male to male, by order of primogeniture, to the perpetual exclusion of females and their descendants.
(Nothing is presumed about the effect of renunciations in the actually ruling family.)
2. The person of the king is inviolable and sacred: his only title is King of the French.
3. There is no authority in France superior to that of the law; the king reigns only by it and it is only in the name of the law that he can demand obedience.
4. The king, upon his accession to the throne or as soon as he shall have attained his majority, shall take to the nation, in the presence of the legislative body, the oath to be faithful to the nation and the law, to employ all the power which is delegated to him to maintain the constitution decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in the years 1789, 1790, and 1791, and to cause the laws to be executed.
If the legislative body is not assembled, the king shall cause a proclamation to be published, in which shall be set forth this oath and the promise to reiterate it as soon as the legislative body shall assemble.
5. If, one month after the invitation of the legislative body, the king shall not have taken this oath, or if, after having taken it, he retracts it, he shall be considered to have abdicated the throne.
6. If the King puts himself at the head of an army and directs the forces thereof against the nation, or if he does not by a formal instrument place himself in opposition to any such enterprise which may be conducted in his name, he shall be considered to have abdicated the throne.
7. If the king, having left the kingdom, should not return after the invitation which shall be made to him for that purpose by the legislative body and within the period which shall be fixed by the proclamation, which shall not be less than two months, he shall be considered to have abdicated the throne.
The period shall begin to run from the day when the proclamation of the legislative body shall have been published in the place of its sittings; and the ministers shall be required under their responsibility to perform all the acts of the executive power, whose exercise shall be suspended in the hands of the absent king.
8. After the express or legal abdication, the king shall be in the class of citizens and can be accused and tried like them for acts subsequent to his abdication.
9. The individual estates which the king possesses upon his accession to the throne are irrevocably united to the domain of the nation: he has the disposal of those which he acquires by personal title; if he does not dispose of them they are likewise united at the end of the reign.
10. The nation provides for the splendor of the throne by a civil list, of which the legislative body shall determine the sum at each change of reign for the entire duration of the reign.
11. The king shall appoint an administrator of the civil list, who shall conduct the judicial actions of the king, and against whom all the actions against the king shall be direct- ed and judgments pronounced. The judgments obtained by the creditors of the civil list shall be executable against the administrator personally and upon his own estates.
12. The king shall have, apart from the guard of honor which shall be furnished him by the citizen national guards of the place of his residence, a guard paid out of the funds of the civil list; it shall not exceed the number of twelve hundred infantrymen and six hundred cavalrymen.
The grades and the regulations for promotion in it shall be the same as in the troops of the line; but those who shall compose the guard of the king shall advance for all the grades exclusively among themselves, and they cannot obtain any of those in the army of the line.
The king can choose the men of his guard only from among those who are actually in active service in the troops of the line, or from among the citizens who for a year past have done service as national guards, provided they be residents of the kingdom and have previously taken the civic oath.
The guard of the king cannot be ordered or requisitioned for any other public service.
Section II. Of the regency.
1. The king is a minor until he is fully eighteen years old; and during his minority there is a regent of the kingdom.
2. The regency belongs to the kinsman of the king nearest in degree, according to the order of inheritance to the throne, and fully twenty-five years of age, provided that he be French and native born, that he be not heir presumptive of another crown, and that he has previously taken the civic oath.
Women are excluded from the regency.
3. If a minor king has no kinsman uniting the qualifications above set forth, the regent of the kingdom shall be elected as provided in the following articles.
4. The legislative body cannot elect the regent.
5. The electors of each district shall meet at the headtown of the district, according to the proclamation which shall be made in the first week of the new reign by the legislative body, if it is assembled; and if it is separated, the minister of justice shall be required to issue this proclamation within the same week.
6. The electors in each district shall appoint, by individual ballot and majority of the votes, an eligible citizen domiciled within the district, to whom they shall give, by the minutes of the election, a special mandate limited to the single function of electing the citizen whom he shall judge, upon his soul and his conscience, the most worthy to be elected regent of the realm.
7. The mandatory citizens appointed by the districts shall be required to meet in the city where the legislative body is to hold its sitting, on the fortieth day at the latest from the accession of the minor king to the throne, and they shall form the electoral assembly which shall proceed to appointment of the regent.
8. The election of the regent shall be made by individual ballot and by majority of the votes.
9. The electoral assembly shall be able to occupy itself only with the election and shall separate as soon as the election shall be concluded; any other act which it may undertake to do is declared unconstitutional and void.
10. The electoral assembly shall cause the minutes of the election to be presented by its president to the legislative body, which, after having verified the regularity of the election, shall cause it to be published in all the kingdom by a proclamation.
11. The regent exercises, until the majority of the king, all the functions of royalty, and he is not personally responsible for acts of his administration.
12. The regent can begin the exercise of his functions only after having taken to the nation, in the presence of the legisllative body, the oath to be faithful to the nation, the law, and the king; to employ all the power delegated to the king, and the exercise of which is confided to him during the minority of the king, to maintain the constitution decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in the years 1789, 1790, and 1791, and to cause the laws to be executed.
If the legislative body is not assembled, the regent shall cause a proclamation to be published in which shall be ex- pressed his oath and the promise to repeat it as soon as the legislative body shall be assembled.
13. As long as the regent has not entered upon the exercise of his functions, the sanction of the laws remains suspended; the ministers continue to perform under their responsibility all the acts of the executive power.
14. As soon as the regent shall have taken the oath, the legislative body shall determine his stipend, which cannot be changed during the continuance of the regency.
15. If, on account of the minority of the kinsman summoned to the regency, it shall have devolved upon a more remote kinsman, or shall have been bestowed by election, the regent who shall have entered upon the exercise of it shall continue his functions until the majority of the king.
16. The regency of the kingdom does not confer any right over the person of the minor king.
17. The custody of the minor king shall be confided to his mother; and if he has no mother, or if she has been married again at the time of the accession of her son to the throne, or if she marries again during the minority, the custody shall be bestowed by the legislative body.
Neither the regent and his descendants, nor women, can be elected to the guardianship of the minor king.
18. In case of notoriously recognized insanity of the king. legally established and declared by the legislative body after three deliberations taken successively from month to month, there shall be occasion for a regency as long as the insanity lasts.
Section III. Of the family of the king.
1. The heir presumptive shall bear the name of Prince Royal.
He cannot leave the Kingdom without a decree of the legislative body and the consent of the king.
If he does leave it, and if, having reached the age of eighteen years, he does not return to France after having been required to do so by a proclamation of the legislative body, he is considered to have abdicated the right of succession to the throne.
2. If the heir presumptive is a minor, the kinsman of full age first summoned to the regency is required to reside within the kingdom.
In case he may have left it and should not return upon the requisition of the legislative body, he shall be considered to have abdicated his right to the regency.
3. The mother of the minor king, having his custody, or the elected guardian, if they leave the kingdom, are deprived of the custody.
If the mother of the minor heir presumptive should leave the realm, she cannot, even after her return, have the custody of her minor son who has become king, except by a decree of the legislative body.
4. A law shall be made to govern the education of the minor king and that of the heir presumptive.
5. The members of the family of the king entitled to the eventual succession to the throne enjoy the rights of active citizenship, but they are not eligible to any of the places, employments, or functions which are at the disposal of the people.
With the exception of the departments of the ministry, they are eligible to the places and employments at the disposal of the king; nevertheless, they shall not command in chief any military or naval forces, nor fulfill the functions of ambassadors, except with the consent of the legislative body, granted upon the proposal of the king.
6. The members of the family of the king entitled to eventual succession to the throne shall add the denomination of French Prince to the name which shall have been given them in the civil certificate attesting their birth, and this name cannot be patronymical nor formed from any of the titles abolished by the present constitution.
The denomination of prince shall not be given to any other person and it shall not bestow any privileges nor any exception to the rights common to all Frenchmen.
7. The certificates by which shall be attested the births, marriages, and deaths of the French princes shall be presented to the legislative body, which shall order the deposit of them in its archives.
8. No real estate appanage shall be granted to members of the family of the king.
The younger sons of the king shall receive at the age of twenty-one years, or at the time of their marriage, an appanaged income which shall be fixed by the legislative body and shall terminate with the extinction of their masculine posterity.
Section IV. Of the ministers.
1. The choice and dismissal of the ministers shall belong to the king alone.
2. The members of the present National Assembly and of the legislatures following, the members of the tribunal of cassation, and those who shall serve on the high jury, cannot be promoted to the ministry, nor receive any place, gift, pension, stipend, or commission from the executive power or from its agents, during the continuance of their functions, nor for two years after having ceased the exercise of them.
It shall be the same with those who are only enrolled upon the list of the high jury, during the time that their enrollment shall continue.
3. No one can enter upon the exercise of any employment either m the offices of the ministry or in those of the management or administration of the public revenues, nor in general any employment at the nomination of the executive power, without taking the civic oath, or without proving that he has taken it.
4. No order of the king can be executed unless it is signed by him and countersigned by the minister or administrator of the department.
5. The ministers are responsible for all the offences committed by themselves against the national security and the constitution;
For every attack upon property and personal liberty;
For all waste of monies appropriated for the expenses of their departments.
6. In no case can the order of the king, verbal or in writing, shield a minister from his responsibility.
7. The ministers are required to present each year to the legislative body at the opening of the session an estimate of the expenditures to be made in their departments, to render account of the employment of the sums which were appropriated for them, and to indicate the abuses which may have been able to introduce themselves into the different parts of the government.
8. No minister, in office or out of office, can be prosecuted for any acts of his administration, without a decree of the legislative body.
Chapter III. Of the Exercise of the Legislative Power.
Section I. Powers and functions of the National Legislative Assembly.
1. The constitution delegates exclusively to the legislative body the following powers and functions
1st. To propose and enact the laws; the king can only invite the legislative body to take the matter under consideration;
2d. To fix the public expenditures;
3d. To establish the public taxes, to determine the nature of them, the quota, the duration, and the mode of collection;
4th. To make the apportionment of the direct tax among the departments of the kingdom, to supervise the employment of all the public revenues, and to cause an account of them to be rendered;
5th. To decree the creation or suppression of public offices;
6th. To determine the title, weight, stamp, and denomination of the monies;
7th. To permit or forbid the introduction of foreign troops upon French soil and foreign naval forces in the ports of the kingdom;
8th. To determine annually, after the proposal of the king, the number of men and vessels of which the land and naval forces shall be composed; the pay and the number of persons of each grade; the rules for admission and promotion, the forms of enrollment and discharge, the formation of ship crews; the admission of troops or foreign forces into the service of France, and the treatment of troops in case of disbandment
9th. To determine upon the administration and to order the alienation of the national lands;
10th. To institute before the High National Court legal proceedings for securing the responsibility of the ministers and the principal agents of the executive power;
To accuse and to prosecute before the same court those who shall be charged with attacks and conspiracies against the general security of the state or against the constitution
11th. To establish laws according to which purely personal marks of honor or decorations shall be granted to those who have rendered services to the state
12th. The legislative body alone has the right to award public honors to the memory of great men.
2. War can be declared only by a decree of the legislative body, rendered upon the formal and indispensable proposal of the king, and sanctioned by him.
In case hostilities are imminent or already begun, or in case of an alliance to sustain or a right to preserve by force of arms, the king shall give notification of it without delay to the legislative body and shall make known the causes thereof. If the legislative body is in recess the king shall convoke it immediately.
If the legislative body decides that war ought not to be made, the king shall take measures immediately to cause the cessation or prevention of all hostilities, the ministers remaining responsible for delays.
If the legislative body finds the hostilities already commenced to be a culpable aggression on the part of the ministers or of any other agent of the executive power, the author of the aggression shall be prosecuted criminally.
During the entire course of the war the legislative body can require the king to negotiate for peace; and the king is required to yield to this requisition.
As soon as the war shall have ceased the legislative body shall fix the period within which the troops raised in excess of the peace footing shall be discharged and the army reduced to its usual condition.
3. The ratification of treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce belongs to the legislative body; and no treaty shall have effect except by this ratification.
4. The legislative body has the right to determine the place of its sittings, to continue them as long as it shall judge necessary, and to adjourn. At the beginning of each reign, if it is not in session, it shall be required to reassemble without delay.
It has the right of police over the place of its sittings, and over the environs which it shall have determined.
It has the right of discipline over its members; but it cannot impose punishment more severe than censure, arrest for eight days, or imprisonment for three days.
It has the right, for its security and for the maintenance of the respect that is due to it, to dispose of the forces, which with its own consent shall be established in the city where it shall hold its sittings.
5. The executive power cannot cause any body of troops of the line to pass or sojourn within thirty thousand toises of the legislative body, except upon its requisition or with its authorisation.
Section II. Holding of the meetings and the form of deliberation.
1. The deliberations of the legislative body shall be public and the minutes of its sittings shall be printed.
2. The legislative body, nevertheless, may at any time form itself into committee of the whole.
Fifty members shall have the right to require it.
During the continuance of the committee of the whole the clerks shall retire, the chair of the president shall be vacant order shall be maintained by the vice-president.
3. No legislative act shall be deliberated upon or decreed, except in the following form.
4. There shall be three readings of the project for a decree at three intervals, each of which shall not be less than eight days.
5. The discussion shall be open after each reading; nevertheless, after the first or second reading, the legislative body may declare that there is need for adjournment or that there is no need for consideration of it; but in this last case, the project for a decree can be presented again in the same session.
Every project for a decree shall be printed and distributed before the second reading of it can be given.
6. After the third reading, the president shall be required to put in deliberation and the legislative body shall decide whether it finds itself in condition to render a definitive decree or whether it wishes to postpone the decision to another time in order to receive more ample enlightenment.
7. The legislative body cannot deliberate unless the sitting is composed of at least two hundred members, and no decree shall be passed except by a majority of the votes.
8. No project of law which, submitted to discussion, shall have been rejected after the third reading can be presented again in the same session.
9. The preamble of every definitive decree shall announce expressly: 1st, the dates of the sittings at which the three readings of the project shall have occurred; 2d, the decree by which, after the third reading, it shall have been determined to decide definitively.
10. The king shall refuse his sanction to a decree whose preamble does not attest the observation of the above forms: if any of these decrees be sanctioned, the ministers shall not seal it and promulgate it, and their responsibility in this respect shall last for six years.
11. The decrees recognized and declared urgent by a prior declaration of the legislative body are excepted from the above provisions; but they can be modified or revoked in the course of the same session.
The decree by which the matter shall have been declared urgent shall set forth the motives thereof; and there shall be mention made of this prior decree in the preamble of the definitive decree.
Section III. Of the royal sanction.
1. The decrees of the legislative body are presented to the king, who can refuse his consent to them.
2. In the case where the king refuses his consent, this refusal is only suspensive.
When the two legislatures following that which shall have presented the decree shall have again presented the same decree in the same terms, the king shall be considered to have given the sanction.
3. The consent of the king is expressed upon each decree by this formula signed by the king: The king consents and will cause it to be executed.
The suspensive refusal is expressed by this: The king will examine.
4. The king is required to express his consent or his refusal upon each decree within two months from the presentation.
5. No decree to which the king has refused his consent can be presented again by the same legislature.
6. The decrees sanctioned by the king and those which shall have been presented by three consecutive legislatures have the force of law, and bear the name and title of laws.
7. The following are executed as laws, without being subject to the sanctionThe acts of the legislative body concerning its constitution in deliberative assembly;
Its internal police, and that which it is allowed to exercise in the environs which it shall have determined;
The verification of the credentials of its members in attendance;
Orders to the absent members;
The convocation of the primary assemblies which are late;
The exercise of the constitutional police over the administrators and the municipal officers;
Questions either of eligibility or of the validity of elections.
In like manner, neither the acts relative to the responsibility of the ministers, nor the decrees providing that there is cause for accusation are subject to the sanction.
8. The decrees of the legislative body concerning the establishment, the promulgation, and the collection of the public taxes shall bear the name and the title of laws. They shall be promulgated and executed without being subject to the sanction, except for the provisions which establish penalties other than fines and pecuniary constraints.
These decrees cannot be rendered except in accordance with the formalities prescribed by articles 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of section II of the present chapter; and the legislative body shall not insert in them any provision foreign to their purpose.
Section IV. Relations of the Legislative Body with the King.
1. When the legislative body is definitely constituted, it sends to the king a deputation in order to inform him thereof. The king can each year open the session and can bring forward the matters which he believes ought to be taken into consideration in the course of that session, without this formality, nevertheless, being considered as necessary for the activity of the legislative body.
2. When the legislative body wishes to adjourn beyond fifteen days, it is required to notify the king thereof by a deputation, at least eight days in advance.
3. At least eight days before the end of each session, the legislative body sends to the king a deputation, in order to announce to him the day whereon it proposes to terminate its sittings. The king can come to close the session.
4. If the king thinks it important for the welfare of the state that the session be continued, or that the adjournment should not occur, or that it should occur only for a shorter time, he can send a message to that effect, upon which the legislative body is required to deliberate.
5. The king shall convoke the legislative body during the intermission of its sessions, whenever the interests of the state appear to him to require it, as well as in the cases which have been provided for and determined by the legislative body before its adjournment.
6. Whenever the king repairs to the place of the sittings of the legislative body, he shall be received and conducted by a deputation; he cannot be accompanied within the interior of the hall except by the prince royal and the ministers.
7. In no case can the president make up part of a deputation.
8. The legislative body shall cease to be a deliberative body as long as the king shall be present.
9. The documents of the correspondence of the king with the legislative body shall always be countersigned by a minister.
10. The ministers of the king shall have entrance into the National Legislative Assembly; they shall have a designated place there.
They shall be heard, whenever they shall demand it, upon matters relative to their administrations or when they shall be required to give information.
They shall likewise be heard upon matters foreign to their administrations when the National Assembly shall grant them the word.
Chapter IV. Of the Exercise of the Executive Power.
1. The supreme executive power resides exclusively in the hands of the king.
The king is the supreme head of the general administration of the kingdom; the task of looking after the maintenance of public order and tranquility is confided to him.
The king is the supreme head of the army and navy.
The task of looking after the external security of the kingdom and of maintaining its rights and possessions is delegated to the king.
2. The king appoints the ambassadors and other agents of political negotiations.
He confers the command of the armies and fleets, and the grades of marshal and admiral.
He appoints two-thirds of the rear-admirals, half of the lieutenant generals, camp-marshals, ship-captains, and colonels of the national gendarmerie.
He appoints two-thirds of the colonels and lieutenant colonels, and a sixth of the ship-lieutenants.
All of these conforming to the laws upon promotion.
He appoints in the civil administration of the navy the managers, comptrollers, treasurers of the arsenals, heads of the works, under-chiefs of civil buildings, and half of the heads of administration and under-chiefs of construction.
He appoints the commissioners before the tribunals.
He appoints the officers-in-chief for the administrations of the indirect taxes and for the administration of the national lands.
He superintends the coining of monies, and appoints the officers charged with the exercise of this surveillance in the general commission and in the mints.
The image of the king is stamped upon all the monies of the kingdom.
3. The king causes to be delivered the letters-patent, warrants, and commissions, to public functionaries or others, who ought to receive them.
4. The king causes to be drawn up the list of the pensions and gratuities, in order to be presented to the legislative body at each of its sessions and to be decreed, if there is need thereof.
Section I. Of the promulgation of the laws.
1. The executive power is charged to cause the laws to be sealed with the seal of the state and to cause them to be promulgated.
It is likewise charged to cause to be promulgated and to be executed the acts of the legislative body which do not need the sanction of the king.
2. There shall be made two original copies of each law, both signed by the king, countersigned by the minister of justice, and sealed with the seal of the state.
One shall remain on deposit in the archives of the seal, and the other shall be placed in the archives of the legislative body.
3. The promulgation shall be thus expressed:
“N. (the name of the king), by the grace of God, and by the constitutional law of the state, King of the French, to all present and to come, greeting. The National Assembly has decreed, and we wish and order as follows:”
(A literal copy of the decree shall be inserted without any change.)
“We command and order to all the administrative bodies and the tribunals that they cause these presents to be recorded in their registers, read, published, and posted in their respective departments and jurisdictions, and executed as law of the kingdom. In testimony whereof we have signed these presents, to which we have caused to be affixed the seal of the state.”
4. If the king is a minor, the laws, proclamations, and other documents emanating from the royal authority during the regency shall be expressed as follows:
“N. (the name of the regent), regent of the kingdom, in the name of N. (the name of the king), by the grace of God and by the constitutional law of the state, King of the French, etc., etc.”
5. The executive power is required to send the laws to the administrative bodies and the tribunals, to cause the transmission to be certified, and to give proof thereof to the legislative body.
6. The executive power cannot make any law, even provisionally, but only proclamations in conformity with the laws to order or call to mind the execution of them.
Section II. Of the internal administration.
1. In each department there is a superior administration, and in each district a subordinate administration.
2. The administrators do not have any representative character.
They are agents elected at stated times by the people to exercise, under the surveillance and authority of the king, the administrative functions.
3. They cannot interfere in the exercise of the legislative power, nor suspend the execution of the laws, nor encroach in any manner upon the judiciary, nor upon the military arrangements or operations.
4. The administrators are essentially charged with the apportionment of the direct taxes and the surveillance of the monies arising from all the public taxes and revenues in their territory.
It belongs to the legislative power to determine the regulations and the mode of their functions, upon the matters above expressed as well as upon all the other parts of the internal administration.
5. The king has the right to annul the acts of the department administrators which are contrary to the laws or to the orders which shall have been addressed to them.
He can suspend them from their functions, in case of persistent disobedience, or if they compromise by their acts the public security or tranquility.
6. The department administrators, likewise, have the right to annul the acts of the district sub-administrators which are contrary to the laws, or to the decisions of the department administrators, or to the orders which these latter shall have given or transmitted. They can, likewise, suspend them from their functions in case of persistent disobedience, or if these latter compromise by their acts the public security or tranquility, provided that notification thereof be given to the king who can remove or confirm the suspension.
7. When the department administrators shall not have used the power which is delegated to them in the article above, the king can annul directly the acts of the sub-administrators and suspend them in the same cases.
8. Whenever the king shall have pronounced or confirmed the suspension of administrators or sub-administrators, he shall give notice thereof to the legislative body.
This [body] may remove the suspension or confirm it, or even dissolve the guilty administration and, if there is need, send all the administrators or any of them to the criminal tribunals, or bring against them the decree of accusation.
Section III. Of the external relations.
1. The king alone can enter upon political relations abroad, conduct negotiations, make preparations for war proportioned to those of the neighboring states, distribute the forces of the army and the navy as he shall deem suitable and control the direction thereof in case of war.
2. Every declaration of war shall be made in these terms: On the part of the King of the French, in the name of the nation.
3. It belongs to the king to conclude and sign with all foreign powers all treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce. and all other conventions which he shall deem necessary for the welfare of the state, subject to the ratification of the legislative body.
Chapter V. Of the Judicial Power.
1. The judicial power cannot in any case be exercised by the legislative body nor by the king.
2. Justice shall be rendered gratuitously by judges elected at stated times by the people and instituted by letters patent of the king, who cannot refuse them.
They cannot be removed except for duly pronounced forfeiture, nor suspended save by an accepted accusation.
The public accuser shall be chosen by the people.
3. The tribunals cannot interfere in the exercise of the legislative power, nor suspend the execution of the laws, nor encroach upon the administrative functions, nor cite before them the administrators on account of their functions.
4. Citizens cannot be deprived of the judges whom the law assigns to them by any commission, nor by other attributions and evocations than those determined by the laws.
5. The right of citizens to terminate definitively their controversies by means of arbitration cannot' be impaired by the acts of the legislative power.
6. The ordinary tribunals cannot entertain any civil action unless it should be shown to them that the parties have appeared, or that the plaintiff has cited the adverse party before mediators, in order to obtain a conciliation.
7. There shall be one or several justices of the peace in the cantons and cities ; the number thereof shall be determined by the legislative power.
8. It belongs to the legislative power to regulate the number and the districts of the tribunals, and the number of the judges of which each tribunal shall be composed.
9. In criminal matters no citizen can be tried except upon an accusation received by the jurors or decreed by the legislative body, in the cases where the preferring of the accusation belongs to it.
After the accusation has been accepted, the facts shall be recognized and declared by the jurors.
The accused shall have the right to reject up to twenty of these without giving reasons.
The jurors who shall declare the facts shall not be less than twelve in number.
The application of the law shall be made by the judges.
The proceedings shall be public and the assistance of counsel shall not be refused to the accused.
No man acquitted by a legal jury can be taken again or accused on account of the same act.
10. No man can be seized except in order to be brought before the police officer; and no man can be put under arrest or detained, except in virtue of a warrant from police officers. an order of arrest from a tribunal, a decree of accusation of the legislative body, in case the decision belongs to it, or of a sentence of condemnation to prison or correctional detention.
11. Every man seized and brought before the police officers shall be examined immediately, or at the latest within twenty-four hours.
If the examination shows that there is no ground for incrimination, he shall be set at liberty immediately; or if there is occasion for sending him to jail, he shall be taken there within the briefest possible interval, which in any case shall not exceed three days.
12. No arrested man can be kept in confinement in any case in which the law permits remaining free under bail, if he gives sufficient bail.
13. No man, in a case in which his detention is authorised by law, can be brought to or confined anywhere except in the places legally and publicly designated to serve as jail, court house, or prison.
14. No custodian nor jailer can receive or confine any man, except in virtue of a warrant or order of arrest, decree of accusation or sentence mentioned in article 10 above, and unless the transcript thereof has been made upon his register.
15. Every custodian or jailer is required, without any order being able to dispense therewith, to present the person of the prisoner to the civil officer having the police of the jail, whenever it shall be required by him.
In like manner the presentation of the person of the prisoner cannot be refused to his kinsmen and friends bearing the order of the civil officer, who shall always be required to grant it, unless the custodian or jailer presents an order of the judge, transcribed upon his register, to keep the accused in secret.
16. Any man, whatever may be his place or his employment, other than those to whom the law gives the right of arrest, who shall give, sign, execute or cause to be executed an order or arrest for a citizen, or anyone, who, even in the case of arrest authorised by law, shall conduct, receive, or retain a citizen in a place of detention not publicly and legally designated, and any custodian or jailer who shall contravene the provisions of articles 14 and 15 above, shall be guilty of the crime of arbitrary imprisonment.
17. No man can be questioned or prosecuted on account of writings which he shall have caused to be printed or published upon any matter whatsoever, unless he has intentionally instigated disobedience to the law, contempt for the constituted authorities, resistance to their acts, or any of the acts declared crimes or offences by the law.
Criticism upon the acts of the constituted authorities is permitted; but wilful calumnies against the probity of the public functionaries and the rectitude of their intentions in the exercise of their functions can be prosecuted by those who are the object of them.
Calumnies and injuries against any persons whatsoever relative to acts of their private life shall be punished upon their prosecutions.
18. No one can be tried either by civil or criminal process for written, printed, or published facts, unless it has been recognized and declared by a jury: 1st, whether there is an offence in the writing denounced; 2d, whether the prosecuted person is guilty.
19. There shall be for all the kingdom a single tribunal of cassation, established near the legislative body. Its functions shall be to pronounce
Upon petitions in cassation against the judgments rendered in the last resort by the tribunals
Upon petitions for transfer from one tribunal to another, on account of legitimate suspicion
Upon orders of judges and the charges of prejudice against an entire tribunal.
20. In matters of cassation the tribunal of cassation shall never be able to take jurisdiction over the facts of suits; but after having quashed the judgment rendered upon a proceeding in which the forms shall have been violated, or which shall contain an express contravention of the law, it shall remand the facts of the trial to the tribunal which ought to have jurisdiction therein.
21. When after two cassations, the judgment of the third tribunal shall be attacked by the same means as the first two, the question shall not be further discussed in the tribunal of cassation without having been submitted to the legislative body, which shall pass a decree declaratory of the law, to which the tribunal of cassation shall be required to conform.
22. Each year the tribunal of cassation shall be required to send to the bar of the legislative body a deputation of eight of its members, who shall present to it the list of the judgments rendered, along with each of which shall be a condensed account of the suit and the text of the law which shall have determined the decision.
23. A high national court, formed of members of the tribunal of cassation and of high jurors, shall have jurisdiction over the offences of the ministers and principal agents of the executive power, and over crimes which shall assail the general security of the state, when the legislative body shall have rendered a decree of accusation.
It shall not assemble except upon the decree of the legislative body, and only at a distance of at least thirty thousand toises from the place where the legislative body shall hold its sittings.
24. The writs of execution of the tribunals shall be expressed as follows:
“N. (the name of the king), by the grace of God and by the constitutional law of the state. King of the French, to all present and to come, greeting. The tribunal of. . . . . .has rendered the following judgment:
(Here shall be copied the judgment, in which mention shall he made of the names of the judges.)
“We command and order to all bailiffs, upon this requisition, to put the said judgment into execution; to our commissioners before the tribunals, to support them; and to all commandants and officers of the public forces, to lend assistance, when they shall be legally summoned thereto. In testimony of which, the present judgment has been signed by the president of the tribunal and the clerk.”
25. The functions of the commissioners of the king before the tribunals shall be to require the observation of the laws in the judgments rendered, and to cause the judgments rendered to be executed.
They shall not be public accusers, but they shall be heard upon all accusations and shall make demand for the regularity of the forms, during the course of the proceedings, and for the application of the law before the sentence.
26. The commissioners of the king before the tribunals shall denounce to the foreman of the jury, either ex-officio or in consequence of the orders which shall be given them by the king:
Attacks upon the personal liberty of the citizens, against the free circulation of provisions and other articles of commerce, and against the collection of the taxes;
Offences by which the execution of the orders given by the king in the exercise of the functions which are delegated to him may be disturbed or interfered with;
Attacks upon international law;
And revolts against the execution of the judgments and of all the executory acts emanating from the constituted authorities.
27. The minister of justice shall denounce to the tribunal of cassation, by means of the commissioner of the king, and without prejudice to the rights of the interested parties, the acts in which the judges may have exceeded the limits of their power.
The tribunal shall annul them; and, if they give occasion for forfeiture, the fact shall be denounced to the legislative body, which shall render the decree of accusation, if there is need, and shall send the accused before the high national court.
Title IV. Of the Public Force
1. The public force is instituted in order to defend the state against enemies from abroad, and to assure within the maintenance of order and the execution of the laws.
2. It is composed of the army and the navy, of the troops especially intended for internal service, and subsidiary of the active citizens and their children, in condition to bear arms, registered upon the roll of the national guard.
3. The national guards form neither a military body nor an institution within the state; they are the citizens themselves summoned to service in the public force.
4. The citizens shall never take the form nor act as national guards, except in virtue of a requisition or of a legal authorisation.
5. They are subject in this capacity to an organization determined by the law.
They can have but one common discipline and one common uniform in the whole kingdom.
The distinctions of rank and subordination exist only in relation to the service and during its continuance.
6. The officers are elected at stated times and they can be re-elected only after an interval of service as soldiers.
No one shall command the national guard of more than one district.
7. All parts of the public force employed for the security of the state against enemies from abroad shall act under the orders of the king.
8. No corps nor detachment of troops of the line can act in the interior of the kingdom without a legal requisition.
9. No agent of the public force can enter into the house of a citizen, except for the execution of the warrants of police and justice, or in the cases expressly provided for by law.
10. The requisition of the public force within the interior of the realm belongs to the civil officers, according to the regulations determined by the legislative power.
11. If disorders disturb an entire department, the king, under the responsibility of his ministers, shall give the necessary orders for the execution of the laws and for the re-establishment of order, but subject to informing the legislative body thereof, if it is assembled, and of convoking it, if it is in recess.
12. The public force is essentially, obedient; no armed body can deliberate.
13. The army and navy and the troops designed for the internal security are subject to special laws, in the matter of military offences, both for the maintenance of discipline and for the form of the trials and the nature of the penalties.
Title V. Of the Public Taxes
1. The public taxes are considered and fixed each year by the legislative body and they shall not remain in force beyond the last day of the following session, unless they have been expressly renewed.
2. Under no pretext shall the funds necessary for the discharge of the national debt and the payment of the civil list be refused or suspended.
The compensation of the ministers of the Catholic worship, pensioned, maintained, elected, or appointed in virtue of the decrees of the National Assembly, makes part of the national debt.
The legislative body shall not in any case charge the nation with the payment of the debts of any person.
3. The detailed accounts of the expenditure of the ministerial departments, signed and certified by the ministers or ordainers-general, shall be made public by being printed at the beginning of the sessions of each legislature.
Likewise there shall be lists of the receipts from the differ- ent taxes and of all the public revenues.
The lists of these expenses and receipts shall be distinguished according to their nature, and shall show the sums received and expended year by year in each district.
The particular expenses of each department relative to the tribunals, the administrative bodies and other establishments, shall likewise be made public.
4. The department administrators and sub-administrators shall not establish any public tax, nor make any apportionment beyond the time and sums fixed by the legislative body, nor consider or permit, without being authorised by it, any local loan at the expense of the citizens of the department.
5. The executive department directs and supervises the collection and disbursement of the taxes and gives all the necessary orders for that purpose.
Title VI. Of the Relation of the French Nation with Foreign Nations
The French nation renounces the undertaking of any war with a view to making conquests, and will never employ its forces against the liberty of any people.
The constitution does not admit the right of aubaine.
Foreigners, established m France or not, inherit from their French or foreign kinsmen.
They can contract for, acquire, and receive estates situated in France and dispose of them just as any French citizen by all the methods authorised by the laws.
Foreigners who chance to be in France are subject to the same criminal and police laws as the French citizens, saving the conventions arranged with the foreign powers; their persons, their estates, their business, their religion, are likewise protected by the law.
Title VII. Of the Revision of the Constitutional Decrees
1. The National Constituent Assembly declares that the nation has the imprescriptible right to change its constitution: nevertheless, considering that it is more conformable to the national interests to make use of the right only to reform, by the means provided in the constitution itself, the articles of which experience shall have made the inconveniences felt, decrees that it shall proceed by an assembly of revision in the following form.
2. When three consecutive legislatures shall have expressed a uniform wish for the amendment of some constitutional article, the revision demanded shall take place.
3. The next legislature and the one following shall not propose the alteration of any constitutional article.
4. Of the three legislatures which may one after another propose any changes, the first two shall occupy themselves with that matter only in the last two months of their last session and the third only at the end of its first session or at the beginning of the second.
Their deliberations upon this matter shall be subject to the the same forms as the legislative acts; but the decrees by which they shall have expressed their wish shall not be subject to the sanction of the king.
5. The fourth legislature, augmented by two hundred and forty-nine members elected in each department by doubling the usual number which it furnishes for its population, shall form the assembly of revision.
These two hundred and forty-nine members shall be elected after the selection of the representatives of the legislative body shall have been concluded and there shall be a separate record made of it.
The assembly of revision shall be composed of only one chamber.
6. The members of the third legislature which shall have requested the alteration cannot be elected to the assembly of revision.
7. The members of the assembly of revision, after having pronounced in unison the oath to live free or to die, shall take individually that “to confine themselves to pass upon the matters which shall have been submitted to them by the uniform wish of the three preceding legislatures; to maintain, besides, with all their power the constitution of the kingdom, decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in the years 1789, 1790, and 1791, and in everything to be faithful to the nation, the law, and the king.”
8. The assembly of revision shall be required to occupy itself afterwards and without delay with the matters which shall have been submitted to its examination : as soon as its work shall be concluded, the two hundred forty-nine members in augmentation shall retire, without power to take part in any case in legislative acts.
The French colonies and possessions in Asia, Africa, and America, although they form part of the French dominion, are not included in the present constitution.
None of the authorities instituted by the constitution has the right to change it in its entirety or in its parts, saving the alterations which may be made in it by way of revision in conformity with the provisions of title vii above.
The National Constituent Assembly delivers it as a trust to the fidelity of the legislative body, the king, and the judges, to the vigilance of the fathers of families, to the wives and the mothers, to the affection of the young citizens, to the courage of all the French.
The decrees rendered by the National Constituent Assembly which are not included in the constitutional act, shall be executed as laws, and the prior laws which have not been abrogated shall likewise be observed, in so far as the one or the other have not been revoked or modified by the legislative power.
The National Assembly having heard the reading of the above constitutional act, and after having approved it, declares that the constitution is completed and that it cannot be further changed.
There shall be appointed immediately a deputation of sixty members to offer, within the day, the constitutional act to the king.