Tennis Court Oath Definition

Learn about the historic Tennis Court Oath and its significance in the French Revolution. Explore examples of similar movements and the impact of collective action.


The Tennis Court Oath is a defining moment in the French Revolution, where revolutionaries vowed to continue meeting until a new constitution was established. This oath symbolizes the determination of the people to fight against the monarchy and demand their rights.


In June 1789, after being locked out of their meeting place in the Estates-General, members of the Third Estate gathered on a nearby tennis court and took an oath not to disband until they had drafted a new constitution for France.


The Tennis Court Oath marked the first step towards the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France and gave momentum to the Revolution. It showed the unity and determination of the people to stand up against oppressive rulers.


The Tennis Court Oath is remembered as a key moment in French history, symbolizing the power of collective action and the will of the people to bring about change. It inspired future revolutions and movements for democracy around the world.


One notable example of a modern-day ‘Tennis Court Oath’ moment is the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, where individuals pledged to continue fighting for equality and justice until their demands were met.

Case Studies

During the Arab Spring uprisings, protestors in various Middle Eastern countries made similar oaths to continue their demonstrations until their oppressive governments were overthrown and replaced with democratic systems.


In a survey conducted in France, it was found that 75% of respondents were familiar with the Tennis Court Oath and considered it a significant moment in their country’s history.

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