Class 9 History

Constitutional Monarchy

The draft of the constitution was completed in 1791. Power was divided among legislative, executive and judiciary instead of the king. Thus France became a constitutional monarchy.

According to the constitution there were two types of citizens, viz., active and passive citizens.

Active Citizens

Persons who paid the tax at least equal to wages of 3 days of a labor were categorized as active citizens and others were categorized as passive citizens.

Only active citizens above the age of 25 had right to vote. Women were not given the right to vote.


Active citizens had to elect electors. Electors had to elect National Assembly and Judiciary from among them. National Assembly had control over king and group of ministers. But king still had the power of royal veto and the ability to select ministers. A person from the category of highest taxpayers and above the age of 25 was eligible to be chosen as elector and member of National Assembly.

Declaration of Rights

Right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law, were declared as natural and inalienable rights. Every citizen had these rights by birth and no one could be deprived of them. State had duty to protect natural and inalienable rights. Majority of people were illiterate. So, symbols were frequently used to explain the constitutional rights to most of the people.