By decree of May 21, 1790, which was ratified by the King on June 27, the Constituent Assembly determined that Paris should in future be divided into 48 sections. The previously valid districts were thus dissolved. The regulation strengthened the local self-government of Paris and pushed back the influence of the state. Initially only intended as a unit for elections, the sections developed into an important actor in the French Revolution and in particular the sans-culottes .
Each section maintained a civil committee, a revolutionary committee and armed units.
Initially, the designations for the sections were mainly names with a regional reference, in the further course of the revolution, however, names with a political message were chosen (e.g. Section of the Pikes, Section of Mont-Marat).
By law of October 11, 1795, the uncomfortable sections were abolished and replaced by the newly created arrondissements .