The Storming Of The Bastille

Add a comment March 31st, 2012  

The Storming Of The Bastille, The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the center of Paris.

While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint of the French Revolution. In France, Le quatorze juillet (14 July) is a public holiday, formally known as the Fête de la Fédération (Federation Holiday). It is usually called Bastille Day in English.

During the reign of Louis XVI, France faced a major economic crisis, initiated by the cost of intervening in the American Revolution (and particularly never-consummated efforts to invade Britain), and exacerbated by a regressive system of taxation. On 5 May 1789 the Estates-General of 1789 convened to deal with this issue, but were held back by archaic protocols and the conservatism of the Second Estate, consisting of the nobility and amounting to only 2% of France’s population at the time.

On 17 June 1789 the Third Estate, with its representatives drawn from the middle class, or proletariats, reconstituted themselves as the National Assembly, a body whose purpose was the creation of a French constitution. The king initially opposed this development, but was forced to acknowledge the authority of the assembly, which subsequently renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July.

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