Document 11B: "Décret sur les Clubs" (Decree on Clubs), 28 July 1848, Collection Complète des Lois, Décrets, Ordonnances, Règlements, et Avis du Conseil d'État, XLVIII (1848), p. 397. Translated by Karen M. Offen. Reprinted in Susan Groag Bell and Karen M. Offen, eds., Women, the Family, and Freedom: The Debate in Documents, Volume I, 1750-1880 (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1983), p. 249.

        Art. I. Citizens have the right to assemble, provided that the following conditions are satisfied.

        Art 2. The opening of any club or citizens' meeting shall be preceeded by a decleration made by the founders, in Paris at the Prefecture of Police, and in the departments at the offices of the town mayor and the prefect. This declaration must be made at least forty-eight hours before the beginning of the meeting. It must include the names, addresses, and relevant information about the founders, the locale, and the days and times of meetings. The decleration will be recorded immediately.

        No club may have a name other than that of the locale where it meets.

        Public or municipal buildings cannot be used, even temporarily, for these meetings.

        Art 3. The clubs will be open to the public and must never restrict, either directly or indirectly, the public nature of their meetings, or meet in secret committee.

        To assure such publicity, at least one-fourth of the seats will be reserved for citizens who do not belong to the club.

        Women and minor children may not be members of a club nor may they attend the meetings.

        Club meetings may not last beyond the closing hour designated by the authorities for the closing of public places.


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