The peasant revolution continued after 1789 because the National Assembly had not completely abolished feudalism. Also at stake were wider questions about ownership, control and use of rural resources. The legislators in the National Assembly believed in the sanctity of private property, but also recognised the strength of peasant attachment to collective practices, such as wood gathering in forests. This confusion was evident in a key piece of legislation passed in late September 1791. In the Rural Code the deputies decreed that collective practices such as droit de parcours (allowing livestock access across private land) and vaine pâture (sending livestock to graze on private fallow land) could not oblige owners of livestock to leave them as part of a communal herd, nor could individuals be prevented from enclosing their land for their private use. However, they also acknowledged the continued existence of collective practices.
TITLE 1 Of rural goods and customs
SECTION 1 On general principles of landed property
Article 1. The territory of France, in all its area, is free, as are the people who inhabit it; thus any landed property can only be subject, with regard to individuals, to taxes and charges whose agreement is not forbidden by the law, and, with regard to the nation, to the public contributions established by the legislative body, and to the sacrifices that the general good can demand, on condition of a just and previously agreed compensation.
Property owners are free to vary at their will the cultivation and management of their lands, to keep their harvests as they wish, and to dispose of all the products of their property within the kingdom and outside it, without harming the rights of others, and while conforming with the law.