Constitutional Cabinet of Louis XVI

The Kingdom of France (the remnant of the preceding absolutist Kingdom of France) was a constitutional monarchy that governed France from 3 September 1791 until 21 September 1792, when this constitutional monarchy was succeeded by the First Republic.

Kingdom of France

Royaume de France (French)
State Coat of arms
Motto: La Nation, la Loi, le Roi
"The Nation, the Law, the King"
Anthem: Marche Henri IV (1590–1830)
"March of Henry IV"
Kingdom of France, September 1791 – September 1792
Common languagesFrench
Roman Catholicism
(state religion)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
King of the French 
Louis XVI
LegislatureLegislative Assembly
 Flight to Varennes
20–21 June 1791
 Constitution adopted
3 September 1791
 Storming of the Tuileries
10 August 1792
 Republic proclaimed
21 September 1792
ISO 3166 codeFR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of France
French First Republic
Constitutional Cabinet of Louis XVI

Cabinet of Kingdom of France
Date formed3 September 1791 (1791-09-03)
Date dissolved21 September 1792 (1792-09-21)
People and organisations
Head of stateKing Louis XVI
Head of governmentKing Louis XVI
No. of ministers5
Total no. of members24
Member partyIndependents, Feuillants, Moderate Jacobins (1792)
Status in legislatureLegislative Assembly
Opposition partyJacobins
Opposition leaderGeorges Couthon, Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud and others
Legislature term(s)6 September 1791 – 2 September 1792
SuccessorGovernment of the National Convention

On 3 September 1791, the National Constituent Assembly forced king Louis XVI to accept the French Constitution of 1791, thus turning the absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy.

After the 10 August 1792 Storming of the Tuileries Palace, the Legislative Assembly on 11 August 1792 suspended this constitutional monarchy.[1] The freshly elected National Convention abolished the monarchy on 21 September 1792, ending 203 years of consecutive Bourbon rule over France.


France had been undergoing a revolution in its government and social orders. A National Assembly declared itself into being and promulgated their intention to provide France with a fair and liberal constitution.[2] Louis XVI moved to Paris in October of that year but grew to detest Paris and organised an escape plot in 1791. The escape plot known as the Flight to Varennes ultimately failed to materialise and destroyed any positive public opinion for the monarchy.[3] Louis XVI's brothers-in-exile in Coblenz rallied for an invasion of France. Austria and Prussia responded to the royal brothers' cries and released the Declaration of Pillnitz in August. The declaration stated that Prussia and Austria wished to restore Louis XVI to absolute power but would only attempt to do so with the assistance of the other European powers.[4]


Louis XVI was forced to adopt the Constitution of 1791 by the National Assembly in the aftermath of his Flight to Varennes in the Austrian Netherlands.[5] The Constitution of 1791, which established the Kingdom of the French, was revolutionary in its content. It abolished the nobility of France and created all men equal before the law. Louis XVI had the ability to veto legislation that he did not approve of, as the legislation still needed Royal Assent to come into force.[6]


Louis XVI reluctantly declared war on Austria on 20 April 1792 bowing to the assembly's wishes. Prussia allied with Austria and therefore France was at war with Prussia as well.[7] The Brunswick Manifesto of August 1792 issued by the Duke of Brunswick, Commander of the Austrian and Prussian military brought about the Storming of the Tuileries on 10 August 1792. The manifesto explicitly threatened the people of Paris with dire repercussions if they in any way harmed Louis XVI or his family.[8] The Legislative Assembly was inundated with requests for the monarchy's demise. The President of the National Assembly responded by suspending the monarchy on 11 August pending the outcome of elections for another assembly.[1] The newly elected National Convention elected under universal male suffrage abolished the monarchy on 21 September 1792. The convention proclaimed a republic.[9]

Government composition

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
King of the French Louis XVI6 September 17912 September 1792N/A
Minister of Finances Louis Hardouin Tarbé29 May 179124 March 1792Feuillant
 Étienne Clavière24 March 179213 June 1792Girondins
 Antoine Duranton13 June 179218 June 1792Girondins
 Jules de Beaulieu18 June 179229 July 1792Independent
 René Delaville-Leroulx29 July 179210 August 1792Independent
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Claude Antoine de Valdec de Lessart29 November 179115 March 1792Feuillant
 Charles-François Dumouriez15 March 179213 June 1792Girondins
 Pierre Paul de Méredieu13 June 179218 June 1792Independent
 Victor de La Garde de Chambonas18 June 179223 July 1792Girondins
 François Joseph de Gratet23 July 17921 August 1792Feuillant
Secretary of State for War Louis de Narbonne-Lara7 December 17919 March 1792Feuillant
 Pierre Marie de Grave9 March 17929 May 1792Feuillant
 Joseph Servan9 May 179213 June 1792Girondins
 Charles-François Dumouriez13 June 179218 June 1792Girondins
 Pierre August Lajard18 June 179223 July 1792Feuillant
 Charles d'Abancour23 July 179210 August 1792Feuillant
Secretary of State of the Navy Claude Antoine de Valdec18 September 17917 October 1791Feuillant
 Bertrand de Molleville7 October 179116 March 1792Feuillant
 Jean de Lacoste16 March 179221 July 1792Independent
 François Joseph de Gratet21 July 179210 August 1792Feuillant
Keeper of the Seals François Duport-Dutertre21 November 179023 March 1792Feuillant
 Jean-Marie Roland16 March 179214 April 1792Girondins
 Antoine Duranton14 April 17924 July 1792Girondins
 Étienne Dejoly4 July 179210 August 1792Feuillant

See also

  • Louis XVI and the Legislative Assembly


  1. Fraser, 454
  2. Hibbert, 63
  3. Hibbert, 130
  4. Hibbert, 143
  5. Jones, 426
  6. The Constitution of 1791 Archived 17 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Hibbert, 145
  8. Jones, 459
  9. Jones, 462


  • Fraser, Antonia: "Marie Antoinette: the Journey", Orion Books, London, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7538-1305-8
  • Hibbert, Christopher: "The French Revolution", Penguin Books, Great Britain, 1982, ISBN 978-0-14-004945-9
  • Jones, Colin: "The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon", Columbia University Press, New York, 2002, ISBN 0-231-12882-7

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