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Transcript of The Bastille
The Construction of the Bastille
Following the centuries of war, the Bastille was built as a military fortress to protect the city from invasion. (Hudson 48-51)
"Construction began on April 22, 1370, orders given by Charles V of France. He had built it as a bastide (Bastille the name is a corruption of bastide) The purpose of the project was to protect his wall around Paris against attack of the English. As time went on it developed and by the 17th century a transverse block was created. This divided the inner court into unequal sections." ("Bastille")
Description of the Bastille's Features
"The Bastille dominated Paris with its eight towers each one hundred feet high, combined with walls of similar height and enclosed by a moat more than 80 feet wide." ("Bastille")
The Bastille had many security elements. For example, there was a moat, a terrace where the army could easily move from one end to the other, and strategically placed weapons when a threat was near. (Hudson 48-51)
Background: The Bastille
The Launch of an Uprising
"Particularly, Louis XVI's careless spending to aid the American Revolution, and Marie Antoinette's frivolous spending on chateaus and luxuries nearly wiped out the country's finances. The Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly and the 'Tennis Court Oath' they took vowed to give the country a constitution. Twenty-four days later, on July 1789, an angry mob of Parisians gathered at the Bastille in the search of weapons." (Hudson 48-51)
The Seizing of the Bastille
A mob was howling against the Bastille's walls by 3:30 pm on July 14th. "The commander, realizing he could not hope to resist for long, lowered his drawbridges." The crowd came in, and murdering and stealing continued on for hours. "Meanwhile, the electors of Paris set up a revolutionary municipal government (or commune) a move followed in 26 other cities. They also formed a National Guard to patrol the streets." (Ross)
Background: The Bastille Continued
How did the Bastille affect the French Revolution?
The law to create Bastille day was enacted on July 6, 1880, and it was a public holiday for the first time on July 14, 1880. ("Bastille Day in France")
To celebrate Bastille Day, many people attend large celebrations which often include dances, balls, fireworks military parades, civil parades, communal meals and musical performances. ("Bastille Day in France")
The French National Flag has three stripes, one white, red and blue. These colors are displayed in banners and decorations on Bastille Day, and some people also wear clothing or paint their faces in these colors.
Bastille Day Continued
"Yet the Bastille was, in fact, one of the least unpleasant of Paris's prisons. The food was adequate, prisoners were allowed to bring their own possessions, and the dreaded dungeons, where it was believed scores of wretches lay in chains, had not been used for years." (Hibbert 71)
"Louis XI was the first king to send prisoners to the Bastille, under Cardinal Richeliew. Most early prisoners were upper-class criminals who committed high-treason or another offense against the king or state. " (Hudson 48-51)
"The yearly average number of prisoners was 40." ("Bastille")
The Seizing of the Bastille Continued
When Louis XVI heard of the issues, he asked if it was a revolt. The reply was no: It was a revolution.
The most important event of the revolution was the seizing of the Bastille. (Hudson 48-51)
By November of 1789, the Bastille was almost completely demolished. (Hudson 48-51)
"The Bastille was subsequently demolished by order of the Revolutionary government." ("Bastille")
The Bastille: Complete Symbolism
The Bastille ended as a hate symbol of royal power. (Hudson 48-51)
"Simply stated, the Bastille became a symbol of absolute
royal power because it demonstrated that power
perfectly; no one was safe from the king's will and this
will was strong; especially when he felt his life or policies
were in danger. " (Hudson 48-51)
The Bastille impacted the French Revolution because when the Bastille was seized, all hope was lost and the war had begun. The Bastille was a hated symbol of royal power because it displayed that nobody was safe from the King's will. Overall, the Bastille was a
major contribution to the French Revolution because of how the destruction of the
building ignited the Revolution.