Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Ancien régime

In the history of France, the phrase ancien régime (French: old régime or old order) commonly refers to the social and political system established in France under the old absolute monarchy, subsequently swept away by the French Revolution of 1789 with the fall of Louis XVI.

The phrase generally applies to France, for no other country, with perhaps the exception of Japan, has had in modern times so clearly marked a division between "the old order" and the new.

Stub text from 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please update as needed.