Europe was also changed. The revolutionaries of 1792 began a war which extended through the Imperial period and forced nations to marshal their resources to a greater extent than ever before. Some areas, like Belgium and Switzerland, became client states of France with reforms similar to those of the revolution. National identities also began coalescing like never before. The many and fast developing ideologies of the revolution were also spread across Europe, helped by French being the continental elite’s dominant language. The French Revolution has often been called the start of the modern world, and while this is an exaggeration—many of the supposed ‘revolutionary’ developments had precursors—it was an epochal event that permanently changed the European mindset. Patriotism, devotion to the state instead of the monarch, mass warfare, all became solidified in the modern mind.
The Estates-General convened in the Grands Salles des Menus-Plaisirs in Versailles on 5 May 1789 and opened with a three-hour speech by Necker. The Third Estate demanded that the credentials of deputies should be verified by all deputies, rather than each estate verifying the credentials of its own members, but negotiations with the other estates failed to achieve this. The commoners appealed to the clergy, who asked for more time. Necker then stated that each estate should verify its own members' credentials and that the king should act as arbitrator. 
The new constitution had created the Directoire (Directory), which was the first government of France to be bicameral (split into two houses). The lower house, the parliament , had 500 members. It was called the Conseil de Cinq-Cent (Council of Five Hundred). The upper house, the senate , had 250 members and was called the Conseil des Anciens (Council of Elders). There were five directors chosen every year by the Conseil des Anciens from a list made up by the Conseil de Cinq-Cent . This group was in charge and was called the Directory.