The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris, France, that was famously stormed by a crowd during the French Revolution. It was a symbol of the cruelty and mistreatment of the common people by the French monarchy under Louis XVI.Know More
The Bastille was built in the 1300s and converted into a prison in the 1700s. It was used as a state facility by the kings of France and housed primarily political prisoners and upper-class members of French society. Most of the Bastille’s prisoners were not given a trial but were held under the king’s orders. To the French commoners, the Bastille was a symbol of the tyranny of the French monarchy.
On July 14, 1789, the Parisian commoners stormed the Bastille in response to a political crisis. At the time of the storming, only seven inmates were housed in the Bastille. Regardless, the successful storming was a momentous event and a turning point in the French Revolution.
The Bastille was eventually demolished and replaced by a vibrant city square called the Place de la Bastille. Due to its famous association with the Revolution, the Place de la Bastille is a common site for political demonstrations. In France, the date of the storming of the Bastille is a federal holiday.Learn more in French Revolution
The Tennis Court Oath was important because it was the first step in the Third Estate of France forming an organized protest of the French government in the lead-up to the French Revolution. After arguments with the First and Second estates over their roles in the governing of France, a large group of members of the Third Estate met at a nearby tennis court and vowed to forge a new constitution that guaranteed more rights for commoners.Full Answer >
Despite his unassuming appearance, Maximilien Robespierre came to symbolize both the brutality and idealism of the French Revolution. He was described by his contemporaries as either a tyrannical dictator or a revolutionary democratic leader. He led the Committee of Public Safety and was responsible for the Reign of Terror that began with the execution of Marie Antoinette and caused the deaths of 30,000 people.Full Answer >
The effects of the French Revolution had a major impact on France and Europe, which influenced and transformed these countries. About.com explains that the effects of the French Revolution resulted in an established democratic institution, elections, constitutions and a modern government. These effects changed laws and the hierarchy of power.Full Answer >
Napoleon believed in the principles of the French Revolution and governed accordingly, abolishing serfdom, protecting religious freedom, instituting universal education, establishing the Bank of France and ensuring bread prices were kept low. However, he also restricted women's rights, centralized power into his own hands and outlawed trade unions and organized labor.Full Answer >