Nevertheless, he had already concluded that the executive must be strengthened at the expense of the legislative bodies. Despite his passion for these secular philosophies, Sieyes entered the Church. What has it been heretofore in the political order? He became aware of how easy it was for nobles to advance in ecclesiastical offices compared to commoners. Sieyès became, with Bonaparte and Roger Ducos, one of the three Consuls who were to exercise powers pending the framing of a new Constitution. Quickly after that he moved up to secretary to the Bishop of Treguier, thanks to connections who knew the Bishop of Fréjus. Is it not understood that every employment from which free competition is removed, becomes dear and less effective? In 1780, the bishop of Tréguier was transferred to the bishopric of Chartres. The first page of Qu'est-ce que le Tiers Etat? What is the Third Estate? During the Reign of Terror and installation of the Cult of Reason, the cleric Sieyès even denied his faith, later declaring he did so to survive.
Without hurry, without rest, the human spirit goes forth from the beginning to embody every faculty, every thought, every emotion, which belongs to it in appropriate events. But it will be admitted that he less there are of these abuses, the better it will be for the State. All this inspired Sieyès to put pen to paper. What is the Third Estate? Abbé Sieyès' pamphlet begins:- The plan of this book is fairly simple. Meanwhile they have dared to impose a prohibition upon the order of the Third Estate. The pamphlet argued for a drastic change in political power in the French legislative system.
The power should be given to the people, and the majority of them. A man is the whole encyclopaedia of facts. Nicholas Snead Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013 , 350-351. . In May 1799 the relatively radical leanings of the French legislature led to the forced resignation of three Directors.
I was not familiar with who Abbé Sieyès was, but it was great to be able to find out a little about him. It is very nice to have people like Sieyes in the world. Between production and consumption, as well as between the various stages of production, a group of intermediary agents establish themselves, useful both to producers and consumer; these are the merchants and brokers: the brokers who, comparing incessantly the demands of time and place, speculate upon the profit of retention and transportation; merchants who are charged with distribution, in the last analysis, either at wholesale or at retail. He participated in the writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and the constitution of 1791. Everything, but an everything free and flourishing. John Harold Clapham, The Abbe Sieyès: An Essay on the Politics of the French Revolution 1912 , is by a distinguished economic historian.
Appointment as a canon in the cathedral chapter of Tréguier 1775 brought him the appellation of Abbé used in France not only for abbots but also for churchmen without a parish , and by the eve of the French Revolution he had been promoted to vicar general of the bishop of Chartres. It challenged the inequality of power in the Estates-General and questioned why the largest and most hardworking part of society had the least amount of power, and why they had only one vote compared to the combined votes of the clergy and nobility, who made up only three percent of the entire French population. This fourth class embraces all those who stand between the most distinguished and liberal professions and the less esteemed services of domestics. Its it not to be remarked that since the government has become the patrimony of a particular class, it has been distended beyond all measure; places have been created not on account of the necessities of the governed, but in the interests of the governing, etc. The clergy also ran schools, kept records, and supported the poor. The pamphlet was Sieyès' response to finance minister 's invitation for writers to state how they thought the should be organized.
This pamphlet, published in early 1789, attacked noble and clerical privileges and was hugely popular throughout France amongst the many persons who hoped for reform. He argued that the current division of society based on estate privileges was not conducive to a well-functioning society. When the Third Estate formed as the National Assembly on June 17th, Sieyès personally introduced the motions to initiate this change. Sieyès was opposed to a return to power by those of radical or Jacobin leanings and looked for a way in which such radicalism could be contained. The higher clergy consisted of nobles, while the lower clergy were basically commoners, and were parish priests.
No permission is granted for commercial use of the Sourcebook. The Third Estate embraces then all that which belongs to the nation; and all that which is not the Third Estate, cannot be regarded as being of the nation. He stood up and did the right thing even though everyone else in the first and second estates went along with unfair taxation. He remained a senator and was nominated grand officer of the 1804 and count of the empire 1808. Further events showed Sieyès to be a moderate within the Revolutionary movement. Sieyès hoped that a Constitution of his own devising would be accepted after the intrigues he had entered into with Bonaparte had achieved a successful coup d'état.
The ideas contained in What is the Third Estate? As a clergyman, he was very popular and moved up its career ladder quite quickly. More importantly, What is the Third Estate? What is the Third Estate? Sieyès did not think that the nobility deserved to have special privileges because it did nothing to earn them. He was involved in a diplomatic mission to Prussia 1798 and elected as a Director in May 1799. Outside of these three classes of productive and useful citizens, who are occupied with real objects of consumption and use, there is also need in a society of a series of efforts and pains, whose objects are directly useful or agreeable to the individual. While he was there, he broadened his knowledge and started learning about things that would become his passion later on in life.