national assembly

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national assembly

national assembly, name of a number of past and present constituent or legislative bodies. In France, under the constitutions of the Fourth and Fifth republics, the lower house of parliament has been called the national assembly. Usually, however, the name national assembly has been applied to provisional bodies. Often in times of crisis, when the old order dissolves through decay, war, or revolution, representatives of the people meet to work out a new order. Such was the case in the French Revolution, when members of the States-General proclaimed themselves (1789) a national assembly. The Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–49 were national assemblies. At the end of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, after the downfall of Napoleon III, France again elected a national assembly, which drew up the basic constitutional laws for the Third Republic. Under the Third Republic the name national assembly applied to joint sessions of the senate and the chamber of deputies. National assemblies framed the republican Weimar constitution of Germany in 1919 and the Bonn constitution for West Germany in 1948–49. For a list of some of the chief legislative bodies of the world, see legislature.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

National Assembly

 

(1) The constituent assembly in France in 1789, 1848, and 1871 and in Germany in 1848 and 1919. The term also occurs in the history of other countries.

(2) In France under the Third Republic (1870–1940), a joint assembly of the members of both houses of parliament, convened to elect the president of the republic.

(3) In a number of countries such as France, Jordan, Libya, Laos, and Tunisia, the name for the parliament or one of its houses. In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it is the name of the supreme representative organ of power.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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