June 20th - Anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath, Versailles
Mar 5, 2010, 20:04 PST

2009 marks the 220th anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath at Versailles: June 20, 1789. The Tennis Court Oath was a pivotal event during the French Revolution. The Oath was a pledge signed by members of the First and Third Estates during a meeting in a handball court near the Palace of Versailles. This group began to call themselves the National Assembly, which became the name of the primary French legislative body. This anniversary is the perfect opportunity to discover or rediscover the Chateau and city of Versailles.

The Assembly's decree and oath

The Assembly quickly decrees the following:
    The National Assembly, considering that it has been called to establish the constitution of the realm, to bring about the regeneration of public order, and to maintain the true principles of monarchy; nothing may prevent it from continuing its deliberations in any place it is forced to establish itself; and, finally, the National Assembly exists wherever its members are gathered.

    Decrees that all members of this assembly immediately take an oath never to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the realm is established and fixed upon solid foundations; and that said oath having been sworn, all members and each one individually confirm this unwavering resolution with his signature.

The text of the oath was:
We swear never to separate ourselves from the National Assembly, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the realm is drawn up and fixed upon solid foundations.

Lesson Plans for the Tennis Court Oath

The Tennis Court Oath from the Web Chronology Project
Source: David W. Koeller

The tennis court oath, Versailles, 1789
Source: The British Library

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