As a subject, mechanical engineering is concerned with the workings of mechanical objects and teaches students thousands of valuable lessons when it comes to entering the field. A mechanical engineering course, however, is not simply learning how things work. It covers a wide range of subjects, including mathematics. Many students find themselves once again face to face with calculus, their old enemy from high school and decide that the course is not for them. Despite this, mechanical engineering courses continue produce millions of graduates each year. Those who have graduated from mechanical engineering courses have gone on to work on a variety of projects ranging from design to destruction. Many have even developed their own ideas into fully functioning mechanical objects and become millionaires in the process.
In 1789 French finances were in a perilous state, several years of poor harvests had resulted in hunger among the peasants and reforms were thwarted by vested interests.  On 5 May 1789 Louis XVI summoned the Estates-General which has been in abeyance since 1614, triggering a series of events that were to culminate in the French Revolution . On 20 June 1789 the newly formed Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) took an oath not to disband until a constitution had been drafted, resulting in the setting up, on 27 June 1789, of the Assemblée nationale constituante (Constituent Assembly). On the same day, the Académie des sciences (Academy of Sciences) set up a committee to investigate the reform of weights and measures which, due to their diverse nature, had become a vehicle for corruption.  :2–3  :46