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Tennis Court Oath, French Serment du Jeu de Paume, (June 20, 1789), dramatic act of defiance by representatives of the nonprivileged classes of the French nation (the Third Estate) during the meeting of the Estates-General (traditional assembly) at the beginning of the French Revolution. The deputies of the Third Estate, realizing that in any attempt at reform they would be outvoted by the two privileged orders, the clergy and the nobility, had formed, on June 17, a National Assembly.
The Tennis Court Oath (20 June 1789) preceded the abolition of feudalism (4 August 1789) and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (26 August 1789) as the National Assembly became increasingly radical. Following the 100 year celebration of the oath in 1889, what had been the Royal Tennis Court was again forgotten and deteriorated.
FRANCE - MAY 14: Tennis court or ball game oath, by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), drawing. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Versailles, Château De Versailles. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
1. The Tennis Court Oath was a pledge taken by Third Estate deputies to the Estates-General. It was sworn in a Versailles tennis court on June 20th 1789. 2. After days of disputes over voting procedures, the king scheduled a séance royale for June 23rd. When the Third Estate gathered to meet on June 20th, they found the doors to their meeting hall locked and guarded.
The Tennis Court Oath was a pledge that was signed in the early days of the French Revolution and was an important revolutionary act that displayed the belief that political authority came from the nation’s people and not from the monarchy. Why the Peculiar Name? The pledge thanks its name to the place where it was signed.
Third Estate makes Tennis Court Oath. In Versailles, France, the deputies of the Third Estate, which represent commoners and the lower clergy, meet on the Jeu de Paume, an indoor tennis court, in ...