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Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès

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"What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something. Nothing be done without it, everything would be infinitely better without the other two orders."
―Sieyès in What Is the Third Estate, 1789.[src]

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (3 May 1748 – 20 June 1836), commonly known as the Abbé Sieyès, was a French Roman Catholic clergyman and political writer.

A leading theorist of the French Revolution, Sieyès wrote the pamphlet What Is the Third Estate in 1789, when he represented the Third Estate in the Estates-General. In the pamphlet, he claimed that the Third Estate had no actual political power, even though it constituted a nation, and had no need for the other two estates.[1]

By 1799, Sieyès had become a Director in the French government and worked with Napoleon Bonaparte to overthrow the government. Afterwards, the Directory was dissolved and the Consulate dictatorship was established.[2]


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