the sale of church property and the pruning of those abuses and 'useless' elements of the church imposed by men over the centuries.
In towns and rural areas where the overwhelming majority had taken the oath, the transition to the Revolutionary Church might take place with relatively little ado. There is some evidence that attendance at Mass even increased as religious participation came to be associated with patriotism. Most of the major political events and revolutionary celebrations, like the Festival of the Federation marking the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, continued to be framed with religious ceremonial. Traditional Catholic feast days and processions were also widely celebrated in both Paris and the provinces, at least through the summer of 1793. Indeed, before that date, efforts by certain radicals to halt processions in Paris were roundly opposed by the population itself.
But the period also saw the rise of a movement of belligerent anticlericalism and even anti-religion, ultimately directed against both churches. There was a clear change in tone at the governmental level following the completion of the Constitution and the appearance of the new 'Legislative Assembly' in October 1791. All members of the first National Assembly had been excluded from re-election and the new deputies numbered only about twenty clergymen, compared to almost 300 who sat previously. Moreover, a large majority of the representatives had been local revolutionary administrators, with direct experience in the long and frustrating struggle to implement laws concerning the clergy. Indeed, one of the first major questions taken up by the legislators was the repression of refractory priests. The radical 'Girondin' faction proved particularly aggressive in rhetoric directed against all non-jurors, regardless of whether they had actually disobeyed the law. In the course of debates a few deputies even proposed that the new regime entirely separate itself from the church - a proposal passionately opposed by the constitutional bishops. In the end, the assembly voted a decree defining all refractories as enemies of the nation and requiring their immediate exile. Even though Louis XVI vetoed the measure, some local administrators unilaterally implemented elements of the decree, continuing a strategy of illegal repression begun at the time of the king's flight to Varennes.
Hostility towards refractories was raised to a new level after April 1792 when France became involved in a war with Austria and Prussia. Many revolutionaries were convinced that priests who had refused the oath might well be in league with the foreign enemies. With the overthrow of the monarchy that summer, the provisional government revived the deportation law previously vetoed by Louis XVI, and an estimated 35,000 clergymen - regulars and seculars, men and women - departed for exile in Spain, England, Switzerland, or various of
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