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In politics, a national assembly is either a
unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by ...
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, the
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apache County *Chambers, Nebraska *Chambers, We ...
of a
bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
legislature, or both houses of a bicameral legislature together. In the English language it generally means "an assembly composed of the representatives of the nation." The population base represented by this name is manifestly the nation as a whole, as opposed to a geographically select population, such as that represented by a provincial assembly. The powers of a National Assembly vary according to the type of government. It may possess all the powers of government, generally governing by committee, or it may function solely within the legislative branch of the government. The name also must be distinguished from the concept. Conceptually such an institution may appear under variety of names, especially if "national assembly" is being used to translate foreign names of the same concept into English. Also, the degree to which the National Assembly speaks for the nation is a variable. To achieve a quorum, the ancient Athenian Assembly employed Scythian police to arrest citizens at random from the street. On the other hand, the early Parliaments of Europe were mainly of an aristocratic composition. The word had its origins and inspirations from the National Assembly that was responsible for drafting a constitution during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
. The exact words, "national assembly," have been used prolifically in the international community of nations since the 18th and 19th centuries, considered the
Age of Revolution The Age of Revolution is a period from the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries in which a number of significant revolutionary movements occurred in most of Europe and the Americas. The period is noted for the change from Absolutism (European h ...
in western Europe. Nations that formed republics in this age subsequently formed empires. Extensive cross-cultural influences brought much of their language and institutions to the provinces. When these empires collapsed finally, the emancipated countries formed states and other institutions on the model of the former imperial nations. Some examples of international influences are as follows: In
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, a Nationalversammlung was elected following the revolutions of 1848–1849 and 1918–1919, to be replaced by a permanent
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

parliament
(
Reichstag is a German word generally meaning parliament, more directly translated as ''Diet (assembly), Diet of the Realm'' or ''National diet'', or more loosely as ''Imperial Diet''. It may refer to: Buildings and places is the god specific German word ...
) later. The legislature of the Estado Novo regime in
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
was known as the National Assembly. The national assembly was also defined in the Republic of China constitution. This is different from the
Legislative Yuan The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliament'' or ''unicam ...
by the ROC constitution. In 2005, Taiwan revised the constitution and the national assembly was abolished. Examples have multiplied greatly under the policy of self-determination adopted by the western nations. Many more are to be found in the articles listed below.


Origin of the expression

Perhaps the best known National Assembly was that established during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
in 1789, known as the '' Assemblée nationale''. Consequently, the name is particularly common in
Francophone This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the ...
countries. It was also the name of the legislature during
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
's First Republic and the
Consulate A consulate is the office of a consul (representative), consul. A type of diplomatic mission, it is usually subordinate to the state's main representation in the capital of that foreign country (host state), usually an ''embassy'' or – betw ...
, and since 1946 has been the
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apache County *Chambers, Nebraska *Chambers, We ...
of the French
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

parliament
, first under the Fourth Republic, and from 1958, the Fifth Republic. The expression, however, did not originate in 1789. It was already in use in the French language of the times.
Louis XIII of France Louis XIII (; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was List of French monarchs, King of France from 1610 until his death in 1643 and List of Navarrese monarchs, King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when t ...
(1601–1643), ''par la grace de Dieu Roy de France & de Navarre'', in a ''Declaration'' of April 14, 1627, concerning the sovereignty of his kingdom, prohibits ministers of foreign countries from any jurisdiction in France, citing, as precedent, his ''Lettres de Declaration'' of April 17, 1623, forbidding religious officials from treating with foreign countries. He describes his ''Declaration'' as ''ordonné qu'en Assemblées Provinciales & Nationales des nosdites sujets''. This was the "registration" that the
Parlement A ''parlement'' (), under the French Ancien Régime The '' Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rul ...

Parlement
of Paris refused to perform for
Louis XVI of France Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) w ...

Louis XVI of France
in 1787–1788. When the
Estates-General of 1789 350px, ''Opening session of the General Assembly, 5 May 1789'', by Auguste Couder (1839) shows the inauguration of the Estates-General in Versailles The Estates General of 1789 was a general assembly representing the French estates of the realm ...
formed the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
of 1789, they did not believe they were instituting anything new. In the
Assembly of Notables Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural l ...
of 1787,
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States as Lafayette (, ), was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War ...

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
had used National Assembly and Estates General synonymously when he suggested that France needed a national assembly to solve its financial problems. National Assembly is also found in some
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries. Its use there is not a translation of ''Assemblée nationale'', as the phrase is equally embedded in the English language. For example, at the end of the
First English Civil War The First English Civil War was fought in and , from August 1642 to June 1646. It forms one of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 , which also took place in and . These include the 1638 to 1640 , the , the , the , and th ...
, an Act of Parliament, 1648, "Concerning the Members of the Classical and Congregational Presbyteries, in the several counties of the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales," establishes a national congregational church in England and Wales, corresponding to the presbyteries of Scotland. The language is: "The National Assembly shall be constituted of members chosen by and sent from the several Provincial Assemblies." This National Assembly appears to have no direct link to any French words, although the concept is the same.


Unicameral national legislatures


Lower house of bicameral national legislature


Upper house of bicameral national legislature


Entire bicameral legislature


Historical


Other historical


Other


See also

*
List of national legislatures This is a list of legislatures by country. A "legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationship ...


Notes


References

{{reflist Legislatures