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Bread in the French Revolution
Transcript of Bread in the French Revolution
The winter of 1789 was very harsh. Their was a nationwide crop failure and not a lot of grain survived.
The government took grain from the countryside and regulated the sale of bread for the bakers.
In 1788 the people were paying 50% of their income on bread.
In 1789 they were paying more than 80% of their income.
The common laborer earned fifteen to thirty sous per day. The bread rose from 9 sous to 15.
People were spending so much money on bread that they didn't have any left over to buy anything else.
March to Versailles
On October 5, 1789, a group of French women decided to march to Versailles where King Louis XVI lived, in order to obtain bread and demand for the price of bread to be lowered.
The women were armed with pitchforks, muskets, swords, crowbars, and scythes.
They surrounded the palace and forced their requirements upon the King and the French Assembly.
This march signified the rising of the Third Estate.
The Diet of French peasants in the 18th century
Bread was made out of the grain harvested by French farmers.
The grain was taken into the city and made into the bread by bakers.
The bakers often used trace amounts of sawdust, dirt, and dung to make the bread last longer.
It was made of a variety of grains including rye, wheat, and buckwheat.
The peasants relied heavily on bread as their main source of nutrients.
It is said that an adult male ate as much as two or three pounds of bread in one day.
Other types of food included pottage (made out of ground beans, vegetables, and sometimes meat), fruit, berries, nuts, and wine.
A few bad years of too little or too much rain could cost the farmers all their crops.
The population of France kept an eye on the prices of grain and if prices got too high they would riot.
France depended on the cost of grain.
The working French spent over half of their income on bread.
Bread Famine in France 1789
Irish Potato Famine of 1845
Both countries depended on ONE food source and when that food source was gone they couldn't support themselves.
People died of malnutrition and disease.
In 1845 the basic staple of the Irish Diet, the potato plant began to fail.
The potato was essential to the lives of the people.
The people of Ireland had nothing else to eat and eventually began dying of starvation.
In 1789, the price of bread rose dramatically due to a shortage of grain.
People of France revolted against the king and government.
Bread was essential to the lives of the people.
When they were no longer able to afford bread the people began dying.