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The urban revolt in the lead up to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, 1789.

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Presentation on theme: "The urban revolt in the lead up to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, 1789."— Presentation transcript:

1 The urban revolt in the lead up to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, 1789

2 Four revolutions Georges Lefebvre – Marxist historian: giant of area (French Revolution) Georges Lefebvre – Marxist historian: giant of area (French Revolution) Key idea – Four revolutions Key idea – Four revolutions –Aristocratic Revolution (Assembly of Notables; Parlements) –Bourgeois Revolution (Rise of the bourgeoisie; Estates- General) –Urban Revolution 1789 (urban ferment; Reveillon Riots April 1789; Capture of the Bastille 14 July 1789) –Rural Revolution (the revolt in the countryside; the Great Fear August 1789) Focus, today, on the Urban Revolution Focus, today, on the Urban Revolution

3 Economic crisis France is plagued by bad harvests in the lead up to the Revolution France is plagued by bad harvests in the lead up to the Revolution Bread crucial to the urban workers (sans culottes) Bread crucial to the urban workers (sans culottes) Price of bread goes up dramatically Price of bread goes up dramatically Ordinarily, French worker spends 50% of income on bread Ordinarily, French worker spends 50% of income on bread In early 1789, this has gone up to 88% - huge impact In early 1789, this has gone up to 88% - huge impact Violent protests result – eg. Reveillon Riots, April 1789 Violent protests result – eg. Reveillon Riots, April 1789

4 How did bread (or lack thereof) help bring about the Revolution? Situation volatile when Estates general meets Situation volatile when Estates general meets Estates-General revolt seen as a positive thing by workers – hope that it will help resolve the economic crisis Estates-General revolt seen as a positive thing by workers – hope that it will help resolve the economic crisis Paris seething with discontent – tapped into by bourgeois opponents of the King (eg. Camille Desmoulins) Paris seething with discontent – tapped into by bourgeois opponents of the King (eg. Camille Desmoulins) Agitation to revolt – protect the National Assembly from the King’s troops Agitation to revolt – protect the National Assembly from the King’s troops

5 To the Bastille 10 July – Paris citizen’s militia formed by electors (bourgeois) of Paris 10 July – Paris citizen’s militia formed by electors (bourgeois) of Paris July 11 – Louis XVI dismisses Necker (again) July 11 – Louis XVI dismisses Necker (again) Hugely unpopular move – believed to be only minister who can help avert economic problems Hugely unpopular move – believed to be only minister who can help avert economic problems At the same time, mobilisation of King’s troops in Paris to dissolve the new National Assembly At the same time, mobilisation of King’s troops in Paris to dissolve the new National Assembly July 12 – popular demonstrations about Necker’s dismissal July 12 – popular demonstrations about Necker’s dismissal Workers called to take up arms to protect National Assembly – search for weapons Workers called to take up arms to protect National Assembly – search for weapons Bastille fortress – source of gunpowder – symbol of power of Ancien Regime... Bastille fortress – source of gunpowder – symbol of power of Ancien Regime...

6 …thus stormed!!!


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