A brief description of the Estates-General
of Paris in 1595 is followed by the ekphrasis of the rugs that decorated the main room where the meeting was taking place; next, the speeches ascribed to the representatives at the meeting.
To try to sort out his finances, Louis agreed to call the Estates-General
into session in 1788.
Lawyers, experienced at appealing to the public in the name of personal freedom and rule by universal law, naturally saw the call for the Estates-General
as an opportunity to disband all corps and replace them with a democratic regime.
In an especially interesting essay on noble display, Michael Kwass considers how conspicuous expenditure was a central part of what was expected in noble dress when the Estates-General
met at Versailles in 1789.
Often seen as a supreme example of the abuse of royal power, he was also extolled at times as the defender of order, or, by quite different sources, as a champion of the common people, the Parlement de Paris, or the Estates-General
against a rapacious nobility.
Tackett's investigations into the intellectual backgrounds, pre-revolutionary careers, experiences, and behaviour of 129 deputies, or about 10 per cent of the twelve hundred elected to the Estates-General
in 1789, challenge many of the recent explanations about revolutionary origins proposed by various "revisionist" scholars.
No revisionist would deny that a real power struggle took place after the convocation of the Estates-General