Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX I.: PLAN OF A GENERAL COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT. * - The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2
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APPENDIX I.: PLAN OF A GENERAL COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT. * - Augustin Thierry, The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2 
The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France, translated from the French by the Rev. Francis B. Wells, Two volumes in One (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1859).
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PLAN OF A GENERAL COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED MEMORIALS OF THE HISTORY OF THE TIERS ÉTAT.*
The idea of throwing light upon the sources and history of the Tiers Etat, by the publication of a large collection of original documents, belongs to M. Guizot, Minister of Public Instruction. It was he who intrusted me, in 1836, with the execution of this task, which, though zealously undertaken, has been too long delayed, in spite of my wishes, by unforeseen difficulties and the sad state of my health. It was intended to do, in respect of the third of the ancient orders of the nation, what French learning had already done more than two centuries ago in respect of the nobility and the clergy. Above all, I asked myself what a collection of the memorials of the history of the Tiers Etat, or of the plebeian classes in France, ought to be, and what materials of various kind it would be necessary to introduce. These materials, different according to the relation which they bear to the private or public character of individuals, to their position in the family, the corporation, or the commune, in the province or the state, appeared to me to fall naturally under four heads, requiring as many separate collections, of which I here give the summary:—
1. A Collection of Documents relative to the Personal Condition of the Plebeian Classes, whether that of the Serf or the Freeman.—Acts indicating the progressive modification of the ancient form of slavery to that of serfdom on the estate, and the commencement of property in the hands of servile families.—Enfranchisements of families or individuals with or without condition.—Privileges other than those of nobility granted to certain persons and families.—Grants of the title of bourgeois of the king.—Royal or seigneurial privileges obtained by peasants who were not united in a municipal community.—Petitions addressed to the supreme courts of the provinces and the parliament of Paris, for the enjoyment of the right of immunity both of person and property.—Judgments pronounced in favour of these demands or against them.
2. A Collection of Documents relative to the Condition of the Bourgeoisie, considered in its various Corporations.—Constitutive statutes of the ancient companies of arts and trades.—Acts and regulations relative to the freedom and wardenship of corporations to the councils of prud’ hommes and consulates of commerce.—Royal or municipal ordinances concerning the practice of the law, the bar, medicine, and surgery, the exercise of all the learned or unlearned, the liberal or industrial professions.
3. A Collection of Documents relative to the Ancient Condition of Cities, Boroughs, and Parishes of France.—Acts indicating the continuance of the Roman municipal system, and the condition of the inhabitants of cities prior to the twelfth century.—Charters of communes granted by the kings or the seigneurs.—Municipal statutes of the cities.—Municipal deliberations and regulations of urban police.—Ordinances delivered to increase, modify, or abolish, in such or such a locality, the communal rights and privileges.—Grants of fairs and markets.—Royal or seigneurial acts for the redress of grievances, or the grant of any kind of immunities in favour of cities, boroughs, or villages.
4. Collection of Documents relative to the Part played by the Tiers Etat in the Assemblies of the General or Provincial States.—Acts indicating the mode of election of deputies of the Tiers Etat for the cities and country districts.—Lists of deputies of the Tiers Etat to the assemblies, both national and provincial.—Recorded proceedings of the deliberations of the Tiers Etat.—Its preparatory or definitive cahiers.—Its proposals not contained in cahiers and speeches of its prolocutors.
When these classifications were established, and the course thus cleared in some measure, I gave up the ideal plan of a complete body of all the documents of the civil and political history of the Tiers Etat, to fall back in the execution of my design upon another less logical, less regular, but more easy and practicable. I cut off the last class—that of acts concerning the states-general or particular—in consequence of the difficulty of isolating on all points that which relates to the Tiers Etat from that which concerns the two other orders in the frequently-intermingled mass of those acts. Besides, it will be an advantage for the history of the ancient assemblies, whether national or provincial, which are the roots of our representative system, to be the object of a special collection, undertaken on its own account, with a view to the collective part taken by the three orders, and not to the particular part of one amongst them. I joined the second and third classes in one collection—that of the municipal statutes and acts, and that of the statutes and rules of the companies of arts and trades. In my opinion, this fusion is rendered necessary by the intimate relations of the municipal and industrial life in the middle ages. Lastly, I deferred indefinitely and kept back, as a second series of the collection of the memorials of the history of the Tiers Etat, the collection of acts relative to the condition of the plebeian families,—a collection of less importance and of a nature less defined, and which, besides its special character, would serve as a supplement to the first.*
Thus the present Work will be a complete collection of the documents relative to the municipal history, and to that of the companies of arts and trades in the cities of France. The paper placed at the head of the first volume, as an introduction, is more general in its object. I composed it as if my plan of publication had embraced the four series of documents which I have enumerated above; it is, in a summary sketch, a history of the formation and progress of the Tiers Etat.
Three things I have still to hope for. Firstly, that the materials of the second series of this collection—a series deferred by me—may become in the hands of some other person the object of researches in libraries and archives, and that the result may be a publication capable of being annexed to this one. Secondly, that the request recently addressed to the Minister of Public Instruction, for a complete edition of the documents relative to the States-General, be entertained.* Lastly, that the local states may have a collection made of records on account of each province, and that in all parts of France a work so desirable may attract the zealous co-operation of all studious men, who are warmed at once by the love of historical knowledge and the love of their native land.
Paris, February 20, 1850.
[* ]This paper is the Preface to the first vol. of the Recueil des Monuments inédits du Tiers Etat.
[* ]For example, in regard to the insertion of general rules of industry and commerce, which, made for the whole kingdom, could not be classed under the name of any city in particular.
[* ]This request was made by M. Auguste Bernard, member of the Society of Antiquaries in France.