Dont panic! But you are aboutto learn about a dangerous time period!
le quatorze juillet Bastille DayIn France there is always a nationalholiday on 14 July. It is called BastilleDay.
The Bastille was a fortress prison inParis. On July 14, 1789 it was stormed(broken into) by French citizens becausethey were fed up of being ruled by amonarchy (kings and queens). They wereunhappy about the way their King LouisXVI ruled them so they overthrew him.This was called the French Revolution.
The French people wanted to rule forthemselves and so from then on,France became a republic. (A republicis a form of government that puts thepower to make decisions in the handsof its citizens).
The GuillotineThe guillotine was the revolutions prime instrument of execution. Over 30,000 people were executed through this machine. They included priests, the king and queen, and even Robespierre and some of his best friends. Executions were a public event: almost like the fights in the gladiators in the Colessium in Rome. During the Great Terror people could even be arrested for not showing a lot of excitement for it.
Robespierre is probably themost well-known leader ofthe French Revolution. He Robespierrewas nicknamed the"Incorruptible" because ofhis loyalty to the revolution.He was the most powerfulman in France and theleader of the Reign ofTerror, who made a list of allthe people they wanted toexecute. His life ended withhis execution in 1794.
King Louis XVIAt the time of the revolution,King Louis XVI ruled France. In revolutionary France theKing was tried for crimesagainst the people.According to the rules of thenew French Republic Hewas guilty, and wasexecuted. France had donethe unthinkable andmurdered their King!
Marie-AntoinetteMarie-Antoinette was theQueen at the time of theRevolution. After the deathof her husband Marieexperienced many changes.She was no longer a richqueen but a prisoner of theRepublic. Her son wastaken away from her andwas raised by the prison. Helater died when he was only10 years old. She died at theguillotine.
Above all, Bastille Day, or the Fourteenth of July,is the symbol of the end of the monarchy and thebeginning of the Republic.The national holiday is a time when all citizenscelebrate their membership to a republican nation.It is because this national holiday is rooted in thehistory of the birth of the Republic that it has suchgreat significance.
To everyone in France, Bastille Day today representsthe solemn military parade up the Champs Elysées, inParis, in the presence of the head of state, thePresident of the Republic. The Champs-Élysées decorated with flags for the 14 July.
It is also a holiday on which each commune holds alocal dance and fireworks.
Tricolore – the French FlagThe blue, white, and red French flag tookshape during the French Revolution. Thethree colours represent the Republics threeideals: égalité, fraternité et liberté (equality,fraternity and liberty).
Did you know ????The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bastille Day!