As violence continued to spread throughout the countryside, members of the third estate demanded equality for all citizens of France. Members of the first and second estates held out, refusing to grant equal rights and refusing to give up the special privileges that they had enjoyed for so many centuries.
The continued escalation of violence finally convinced them that they had no choice but to give up and submit to the will of the much larger third estate. On August 4, 1789, the National Assembly passed a number of important reforms that abolished feudal dues and established taxes on members of the first and second estates.
The National Assembly then turned their attention towards creating a bill of rights for their people. This Declaration of Rights included the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the freedom of religion. It also protected citizens from being falsely arrested. This Declaration of Rights remains in the French Constitution to this day.
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