In 1788 he published Deputation aux Etats generaux, a pamphlet remarkable for its bold exposition of liberal principles, and partly on the strength of this he was elected deputy to the states-general by the Third Estate of the bailliage of Metz.
The present article deals with the progress of the Revolution itself from the convocation of the states-general to the coup d'etat of the 18th Brumaire which placed Napoleon Bonaparte in power.
The leading burghers were, however, soon alienated by his violent and despotic methods, by his defence of Kieft, and by his devotion to the interests of the company; the nine men became (as early as 1649, when they sent the famous Vertoogh, or Remonstrance, to the states-general asking for burgher government and other reforms) the centre of municipal discontent; and a bitter quarrel ensued.
He was president (bdtonnier) of the order of avocats in Colmar, and in 1789 was elected deputy to the States-General by the Third Estate of the bailliage of Colmar-Schlestadt.
They exercised large administrative powers, and commanded the land and sea forces, but it was with delegated authority given them by each state in domestic affairs, and by the states-general of the confederation in all common and foreign affairs.
Against this exaltation of their power two adversaries might have been formidable; but one, the Church, was a captive in Babylon, and the second, the people, was deprived of the communal liberties which it had abused, or humbly effaced itself in the states-general behind the declared will of the king.
The royal declaration of the 23rd of September 1788 convoked the states-general for the Ist of May 1789, and the fall of Brienne and Lamoignon followed the recall of Necker.
The States-General were but the delegates, the stadholders the servants, of a number of sovereign provinces, each of which had different historical traditions and a different form of government, and one of which - Holland - in wealth and importance outweighed the other six taken together.
He summoned the states-general of northern France (Langue d'ozl) to Paris in October 1356 to obtain men and money to carry on the war.
Detested the states-general and never convoked them, and the parlements were definitely reduced to silence in 1673; he completed the destruction of municipal liberties, under pretext of bad financial administration.; suffered no public, still less private criticism; was ruthless when his exasperated subjects had recourse to force; and made the police the chief bulwark of his government.