The French Revolution

The Fall of the Bastille
Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
Revolution 1789
--The Monarchy
--Tennis Court Oath
--Fall of the Bastille
--October Days
--Declaration of War
--Palace Invaded
--Louis XVI
--Reign of Terror
-- Fall of Robespierre
--At war
1789 in Les Miserables
--The Terror
--The People
--The Students
--The Monarchy
--Place de Concord
--Notre Dame
Daily Sites
--Street Names
--Children's Names and Games
Works Consulted



  The Fall of the Bastille, 14 July 1789, image from Decaux.


Louis XVI was worried by the action of the Third Estate and threatened to dissolve the Estates General after the tumultuous events surrounding the Tennis Court Oath. Rural and urban uprisings throughout France at this time saved the Third Estate from the King's intervention(Spielvogel, 682). The most famous of these uprisings is the Fall of the Bastille, which occurred on July 14, 1789. The increased mob activity in Paris had resulted in the formation of a permanent committee to keep order. This organized popular force broke into a royal armory and collected arms and then stormed the Bastille, incited by a rousing speech delivered by Camille Desmoulins on July 12, 1789.

Although the Bastille only had seven prisoners in it when it was liberated by the Parisian mob, the fall of the prison became a symbol of triumph over despotism. It also signified the end of the authority of Louis XVI, because he was no longer able to control the political tides of France.

For information about the Fall of the Bastille in Les Miserables click here.


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