Estates General (France)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In France under the Old Regime, the States-General or Estates-General, was a legislative assembly (see The Estates) of the different classes (or estates) of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king. It had no true power in its own right—unlike the English parliament it was not required to approve royal taxation or legislation —instead it functioned as an advisory body to the king, primarily by presenting petitions from the various estates and consulting on fiscal policy. The Estates-General met intermittently until 1614 and rarely afterwards, but was not definitively dissolved until after the French Revolution.

It is comparable to similar institutions across Europe, such as the States-General of the Netherlands, the Parliament of England, the Estates of Parliament of Scotland, the Cortes of Spain, the Imperial Diet ("Reichstag" of the Holy Roman Empire or Germanic Empire, and the Diets (Template:Lang-de) of the "lands", historic states of Germany.

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