Tennis Court Oath



Use the background information, your knowledge of history, and the document to answer the questions that follow. 

Background Information: This etching shows representatives of French workers, peasants, and bourgeoisie holding an assembly at a tennis court at Versailles on June 20, 1789.


Title: “Tennis Court Oath at Versailles” 
Author: Pierre Gabriel Berthault
Date: 1789

Question 1: How is the assembly depicted in this etching connected to the doctrine of divine right?

Question 2: How is the assembly depicted in this etching connected to the Seven Years’ War?

About the Assessment

Like Connections to the Philippine-American War, this assessment gauges students' knowledge of the past. Rather than measure whether students can simply recall decontextualized facts, this assessment requires students to make connections across time and construct an argument about how events are connected. Students with a strong sense of the past will explain that the representatives depicted signed the Tennis Court Oath, which rejected the doctrine of divine right and pronounced that political power came from the people and their representatives. A strong response to the second question may explain that the huge cost of the Seven Years’ War contributed to a financial crisis in France. This resulted in higher taxes and anger among the public, creating popular discontent. The Tennis Court Oath was a product of this discontent.