Biens nationaux
(896 words)

1. France

On November 2nd 1789, the French national assembly passed a decree placing church property at the disposal of the nation, and the process of expropriation of the Catholic Church began (Secularization; Secularization [legal]). Over the years that followed, first church and crown property were requisitioned for auction or sale (biens nationaux de première origine; “Biens nationaux of first origin”), then from 1792 also property belonging to families (mostly noble) that had fled the…

Cite this page
Mahlerwein, Gunter, “Biens nationaux”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 22 February 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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