Speech from the Third Estate
(Tennis Court Oath)

You take away our money, you take away our freedom and now you take away our dignity!
Yes, the nobility agree to pay taxes, but for how long!? Is their word truly their bond? When will they revert back to their old and comfortable ways where they remain privileged and we, as the majority and the backbone of this society, are looked down upon and underprivileged? Look at how we are still marginalised in a simple matter of ‘how to vote’ - their deliberate stubbornness has delayed any action from being taken.
Remember what we have achieved without the other estates so far, we have set the precedent that our government had failed to do; to run this nation for the nation. Our deputies have all joined together, and now we are undoubtedly the biggest council, representing the biggest majority of people, and as the ‘National Assembly’ we decided only a week ago to manage our own affairs and taxation. The government is scared. And now they ignore us.
We stand united in protest against the actions (or in fact inaction) of the 1st and 2 estate. The nobility will not shun us from our role in this country any longer. All but one of us has taken the Oath; we shall not disband until France is given a Constitution! This is the only solution, and we shall carry on standing until action is taken!
Remember friends, our King does not have the right to dissolve us – what power does he have against the entire nation’s council? He cannot even accuse us of Treason as we have not violated our allegiance to him, given aid to outside enemies or imposed war against the monarchy.
It is not against Louis XVI that we are fighting. It is against the despotic principles of our government that are so deeply engraved in this system. This accepted standard of despotism is felt all over our country, and it wears the mask of office in every delegation – be it the Monarchy, the Parliament or the Church.
We shall not stand to be cast aside....