This chapter explains why Louis XVI and his ministers started the “prerevolution” by calling an Assembly of Notables and then holding elections for the Estates-General. It describes how the elections to the Estates-General brought the French people into the realm of politics. The chapter explores the significance of the creation of the National Assembly and the popular violence of the storming of the Bastille and the “Great Fear” in the countryside. The elections to the Estates-General transformed the notion of government according to public opinion from an abstract slogan into a living reality. The elections to the Estates-General in the spring of 1789 were dominated by the wealthier and more educated members of the population, but the breakdown of censorship allowed writers to speak in the name of excluded groups, such as the poor and women. Louis’s action symbolized the reconciliation of the king and his people, once again joined together like a father and his children.