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Bastille Day and the French Revolution

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Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Mark » November 24th, 2011, 10:00 pm

I was going to post this one in the 'Useful Links' section but thought it might be more appropriate here and help stimulate some debate on the French Revolution. Bastille Day is a student project site containing useuful information and links: http://bastille-day.com/

Mark
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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 24th, 2011, 5:00 pm

It's a good question, Mark. Is Quatorze Juilliet celebrated outside of Paris? For more years than I like to remember I've wondered, having searched in vain in villages in NE France on July 14th for fireworks or any kind of celebration, to no avail.

Paris yes. We once attended a Quatorze Juilliet celebration with friends who lived near Noailles, north of Paris. Private fireworks weren't allowed and we all gathered on a sports field for the town display. The straw sheltering the fireworks from the wind caught fire and the fire department put an end to the festivities.

Having visited villages across France through the years, the village/town Saint's Day and also Mary's Ascension on August 15th are celebrated more widely than July 14th. Interesting in view of Napoleon's relationship with the Catholic church.

Perhaps our French members can enlighten me if I'm wrong.

Sarah
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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Laurent » December 27th, 2011, 3:34 pm

Hello all, hello Sarah
Well I would say I don't really agree with you Sarah. ;)
I have been living in France all my life and I hope you won't be offensed if I say I quite know well our favorite traditions !
And the 14th July is probably the most celebrated one. Even some French little villages in the middle of nowhere are used to organize expensive fireworks and parties ('le bal du quatorze juillet' !!) with great success.
Anyway Sarah you are also right to say that in the little French villages, they always keep the celebrating of other ancient traditions as the village Saint's Day or other christian religious celebrations (Christ Ascension in june, Marys'Day on the 15th August...).
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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 27th, 2011, 8:20 pm

Thank you for enlightening me, Laurent!

Are the celebrations generally on the 14th or in the evening of the 13th? Or on the closest weekend, as the 4th of July is now celebrated in the US?

Sarah
Last edited by FBC-Elvas, Portugal on December 28th, 2011, 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Mark » December 27th, 2011, 9:27 pm

I have just read the paragraph in Christopher Hibbert's book 'The French Revolution' that deals with the storming of the Bastille. Still not quite got this complex event into head properly - can anyone suggest an online resource or other easy to follow account?

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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Laurent » December 28th, 2011, 10:27 am

Hello Mark
The first stage of the French revolution is to be seen during the Estates General of may 1789 where the King lost a part of his power and France became a constitutional monarchy. So the first step of the revolution is a juridical revolution undertaken by the representatives of the French three Orders (Nobility, Clergy and Third Estate).
The storming of the Bastille prison in Paris was however the first event involving the willing of change from the People : the Parisians took arms to defend the newly born National Constituent Assembly against foreign troops placed around Paris that could act to repress the Assembly. On the 14th of July, a big crowd of 40.000 Parisians managed to get some rifles at the Hôtel des Invalides and wanted to get some powder. They were told that they could find bullets and powder in the Bastille prison. So they stormed this fortress. In addition, the Bastille prison was, already a this time, the symbol of the royal tyranny and arbitrary and that is why it became the most representative event of the French revolution.

Perhapps you could also try the wikipedia's page on the Bastille day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storming_of_the_Bastille

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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Mark » December 28th, 2011, 12:33 pm

Thank you, Laurent! That is most helpful :) I will have a read through the Wikipedia article before moving on to the next chapter in Hibbert's book.

Mark
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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Mark » January 6th, 2012, 4:01 pm

I am now just over half-way through Hibbert's book and so far I have to say it is a very good read. By the time I have finished I will be far from an expert on the subject but it seems to be giving me a basic understanding of the events of the French Revolution beyond that I learned at school or elsewhere in the past. Once I have finished reading it I will attempt a book review and post it but at this point I feel confident that I could suggest this book as a very good read!

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Re: Bastille Day and the French Revolution

Postby Mark » July 14th, 2012, 3:21 pm

Just in case anyone has missed it today is Bastille Day!

Mark
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