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Women's bread march on Versailles

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by

Maya Street

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Women's bread march on Versailles

0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c Bread How the March Started Scary. The Significance of the March The Women's Bread March Or, as it's more commonly known; The March on Versailles Due to the fact that it was less expensive and more plentiful than other foods, bread was the main source of food for the French peasants during the 1800’s and almost half of their income was spent on it.... when bread prices rocketed in August of 1789 due to a grain shortage, the people were furious. So.... They started resorting to desperate measures to get their bread; breaking into and looting bakeries, stealing from one another, and almost any other means they could think of to find the bread needed to feed their families. One unfortunate baker was dragged out into the streets and brutally killed for selling his breads at 18 sous; a price the peasants thought was outrageously high. On the morning of October 5th, 1789 in a market square in Paris, a rumor was spread that the nobles of Versailles were hording large amounts of grain. This infuriated the people of France. Six thousand women decided to march in protest and to demand bread for their families and that grain prices be lowered. As if the thought of six thousand starving, angry, women marching is not scary enough; most of the women were "fish-wives." They were called this because they were the women married to fishermen who prepared fish to be sold at the market; they scaled, gutted, and filleted large, heavy fish and were extremely muscular from it. They marched wielding the weapons of their trade as well; the knives they used for hacking apart humongous fish. They marched to the Hotel de Ville and then from there to the royal palace of Versailles itself, their numbers continuously growing along the way as more women saw and joined them. The Hotel de Ville
(the town hall) As they marched, the women became increasingly angry and started blaming Queen Marie Antoinette for the shortage and many of the other problems and by the time they reached Versailles they were practically chanting for her blood. It is actually at this time that Marie supposedly said her famous line.... "Let them eat cake!" She never said this. The mob of women broke into the palace, butchering the guards and then desperately searched for the queen, who managed to escape. Unable to get the blood they wanted, the women then demanded the king send bread and food to Paris and that he go with it. Unable to do anything else, King Louis XVI agreed, moving his entire court to Paris; a decision that may have cost him his life. This march was a extremely important part of the French revolution. It gave many of the people of France hope as well as showed the power the peasants could wield. The decision of the king to move his court to Paris also favored the people of France greatly because it moved King Louis XVI and the nobles into the heart of the revolution and all of its politics. This put them all in great danger and possibly was a catalyst for many of their deaths. She never said this. The king and queen never saw Versailles again. By Maya Street
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