Ancien Régime
(2,051 words)

1. Origin as political slogan

The frontispiece of a political almanack from autumn 1791 imagines a half human, half vegetal skeleton entitled Ancien Régime (see fig. 1). Once mighty, as is shown by the crown on its skull, it is now withering away, having lost its roots; its leaves, “Aristocracy”, “Clergy”, “Princes”, etc., are drying up, because it can scarcely nourish them any longer from the “ém…

Cite this page
Reichardt, Rolf, “Ancien Régime”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

▲   Back to top   ▲