THE DIVISION OF THE REPUBLICANS
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THE National Convention was a sovereign body, elected to draft a new constitution and to govern France in the meantime. A democratic electorate was free to return any deputies it liked, with the result that 189 members of the Left of the Legislative Assembly were re-elected, together with 96 from the Constituent Assembly. The social composition of the Convention was similar to that of its predecessors, the great majority of the deputies being drawn from the urban middle class, with the lawyers predominating. There were 48 clergymen and quite a number of ex-nobles, including seven marquises and one prince of the blood, Orleans, who had re-named himself Philippe £galite. At the other end of the social scale were two working men, an armourer from Saint-£tienne and a wool-carder from Reims, together with half a dozen others whose rank in society was scarcely more elevated. On the whole, a democratic electorate had returned the same sort of men that the active citizens had chosen in 1791. Not more than one million of the five million eligible went to the poll, which in some cases was lower than it had been in the previous year. The widening of the suffrage seems, therefore, to have had very little effect.