|4 August Decrees (1789)|
[Article] 1. The National
Assembly abolishes the feudal system entirely. They declare that among
feudal and taxable rights and duties, the ones concerned with real or
personal succession right and personal servitude and the ones that
represent them are abolished with no compensation. All the others are
declared redeemable, and the price and the method of buying them back
will be set by the National Assembly. The rights that will not be
suppressed by this decree will continue to be collected until they are
entirely paid back.
2. The exclusive right of fuies [allowing birds to graze] and dovecotes is abolished. The pigeons will be locked up during times determined by the communities. During these periods, they will be considered prey, and anyone will be allowed to kill them on their properties.
3. The exclusive right of hunting is also abolished. Any landlord has the right to destroy or have someone destroy any kind of prey, but only on the land he owns. All administrative districts, even royal, that are hunting preserves, under any denomination, are also abolished. The preservation of the King's personal pleasures will be provided—as long as properties and freedom are respected.
4. All seigneurial justices are abolished with no compensation. Nevertheless the officers of these justices will go on with their duties until the National Assembly decides on a new judicial order.
5. Any kind of tithes and fees, under any denomination that they are known or collected . . . are abolished. . .
Other tithes, whatever they are, can be bought back. . . .
6. All perpetual loans . . . can be bought back. Any kind of harvest share can also be bought back.
7. Venality of judicial fees and municipal offices is abolished. Justice will be dispensed at no cost. And nevertheless officers holding these offices shall fulfill their duties and be paid until the assembly finds a way to reimburse them.
8. County priests' casual offerings are abolished and the priests will not be paid anymore.
9. Financial, personal, or real privileges are abolished forever. Every citizen will pay the same taxes on everything.
10. . . . Every specific privilege of provinces, principalities, regions, districts, cities and communities of inhabitants, either in the form of money or otherwise, are abolished.
11. Every citizen, whatever their origins are, can hold any ecclesiastic, civilian, or military job.
Mavidal and E. Laurent, eds., Archives parlementaires, 1st ser.,
82 vols. (Paris, 1862–96), 8:378.
Translated by Exploring the French Revolution project staff from original documents in French
found in J.M. Roberts, French Revolution Documents, vol. 1 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1966), 151–53.