Prerevolutionary France had little sense of a united people. Class divisions were strong, and those of privilege generally did not associate socially with those below them. According to B. A. Avner, “Nationalist sentiments were known, then, in prerevolutionary France, but they were shared mainly by limited circles within the elite and were subordinated to the higher value system of the Church and the monarchy. It was the Revolution that transformed them into a powerful, popular force which cut itself loose from the tenets of the Old Regime and based itself upon a new set of principles.”7 Before the Revolution, much of the national sentiment revolved around a particular social class rather than the entire nation. On the eve of the revolution, however, class divisions became less important, and the desire for a single nation emerged.