The True Representative of France
June 15, 1789
I can’t believe it! What courage and determination it must have taken! Oh, I have such unbelievable news! If I do not sing in joy
about it, or at least write it down, I do believe that my heart simply won’t be able to take it anymore! Just yesterday, the third estate made an
amazing stand against the king! At Versailles, all the third estates representatives went to an
indoor tennis court (a tennis court, imagine!), and pledged never to disband until the peasants
had gained more rights.
It’s easy too see why they were so eager to do so. What else could they have done,
when no matter what, King Louis XVI refused to grant them the power to vote by heads, but
voted by order? And, yesterday, he actually locked the third estate out of the Estates General
Meeting! Oh, how I wish I could personally thank all of those men who took that oath. I have only
just heard to news a few hours earlier.
Almost everyone has been talking about it on the streets. For a while now, we’ve been
hearing whispers with the words such as, “Oath”, “National Assembly”, “Tennis Court”, and
“Estate General”. I think that some even caught glimpses of the proud National Assembly (as
they’re calling themselves) go in and out of the tennis court. Flashing smiles appear on faces, passing
words of joy and triumph, all of them celebrating the fact that something one of a kind has just
Newspaper clipping about Estate General
happened, that will for once, benefit us.
I imagine that it took tremendous courage for all those men to take such a oath, and not know the outcome. Their hands were
probably shaking as they pledged in loud, strong voices.
All 567 of the men who signed the pledge to gain rights for us (or so they say that there were 567) belong to the third estate. Just
looking at the streets or my own city, I would think that the third estate makes up 98% of France’s population. Obviously, the National
Assembly should be the true representative of France.
My father says that it’s about time that someone stood up for us. We’ve been starving for years now, and it seems as if no one has
even bothered to help us! After all, I live in Versailles. If anyone wants an example of the royal family’s overspending, just look at the
magnificent palace! He is rather cynical about the king, but mother just shushes him whenever he talks about it.
She says that we’re lucky to even have an income of money, no matter how low, in these troubling times. And in Versailles, no less!
Well, that’s what mother says anyway. I don’t think she’s right. What about all the other people in France, starving to death, and having to
sink as low as looting bakeries?
We, like many of our people, go for quite a few days without eating, at times. Our house, if it can be called a house, is tiny, so that
we must all sleep in one bed. But it’s not unbearable, not compared to some of those poor people in the streets, not even begging for food
anymore, but simply sitting or lying there, waiting for death to come and relieve them of the torture of starvation. I cry as I think about it, but
now, I smile as I write these words, hoping for a brighter future, one in which everyone has a voice.
Down with Feudalism
July 16, 1789
I realize that I seem to be writing this a lot these days, but, unbelievable! Simply unbelievable! I cannot think of a single
other word to describe what has happened! Even though it occurred in Paris, I already know of what happened while living in
Versailles. Quite incredible, how fast rebellion spreads!
Just two days ago, dozens of brave men of the third estate dared to storm the Bastille!
Almost everywhere I look, there are people whispering about this act, there are newspapers with
headlines across them, describing the fall of the Bastille in great detail. The smell of smoke from the
civilians burning carts, the sound of weapons clashing, guns firing, men yelling, and on and on.
The reporters are saying that the civilians had come for gunpowder, but one thing led
to another, and soon, a conflict broke out.
Newspaper Clippin g a bout the Bastil le
The Bastille was a medieval fortress belonging to the monarchs. It was the perfect
symbol of defiance on the third estate’s part!
I think that the second and first estate want to keep the storming of the Bastille quiet, although there’s really no point now.
While the newspapers and rumors all present slightly different stories, they do agree on some things.
It is now common knowledge that there were a few prisoners in the Bastille on the fourteenth, and they all escaped that day
thanks to the armed crowd! Not only that, the men who charged the Bastille got the gunpowder that they had come for! What a huge
advancement! Of course, they had to work for it. The drawbridge had finally been opened after countless threats and negotiations
between both sides. Then, after an intense fight, the people guarding the Bastille were defeated.
Father and Mother tell me that many prison guards and civilians were killed in the bloody battle. While they try to act
solemn, I can tell, that like most of the French citizens, they are excited at this show of rebellion.
Ever since the National Assembly took the Tennis Court Oath a month ago, there’s been undeniable, palpable tension in the
air, all over France. The nobles have been getting more nervous, and we, the third estate, have grown a little bolder. King Louis XVI
went so far as to offer various proposals to reform, but the offer were all rejected! The National Assembly even drafted a new
constitution that benefits us just a few days ago. But even with all this action, there are far too many people out on the streets, starving.
However, perhaps the fall of the Bastille will change that. As far as I know, it is the first time in a long time that we have
stood up against the monarchy system in such a big act. As I write this, staring up at the night sky with ominous dark clouds drifting
about, I cannot help but feel that soon, everyone shall be forced to take sides. There’s the side that hardly does anything for my family, and
there’s the side that might do something for my family. Which one do I pick?
Let Us Eat
October 7 1789
My heart is racing wildly after all that has happened! For over the last two days, I watched
dozens of women from Paris come to my city and demand bread and the presence of King Louis XVI!
It is no news that most of France is starving at the moment, and that the king and his wife,
Queen Marie Antoinette, have been hoarding wheat. This is common knowledge, but two months ago,
Postage stamp with Palace of Versailles
the bread prices in Paris increased dramatically! I struggle to understand why they would raise the
prices. Everyone is already about as skinny as humans can get. So, I suppose the women of Paris
decided to take matters in their own hands.
The tension in France has become more serious. After the storming of the Bastille, there were many nobles that were killed, and
some that emigrated. The National Assembly has also taken more action, such as abolishing the Feudal System. And now, this!
Imagine! Dozens of women showing up at the Palace of Versailles, and then killing a number of people who supports the
monarchs! Just imagine! They must have all met together in Paris, then organized to come down here. I heard that many women joined their
march on the way. When they finally reached the city, they were armed with pitchforks, muskets, pikes, swords, crowbars, and even scythes!
The women had encouraged many women to come with them to demand the king return to Paris and lower the bread prices. I
wanted to join their march, but Mother and Father held me back when I rushed outside, telling me that I was too young, and that it could be
very dangerous. I shudder now as I think about what would have happened if I hadn’t listened to them. All of that happened just two days
Yesterday, as the sun rose, we heard the yells of women and the creaking of gates. Everyone rushed out to see what was happening,
and saw that the women of Paris had finally broken through the gates into the palace. We weren’t very close to the Château, but it couldn’t
have been easier to figure out what was going on at the palace, seeing as rumors quickly got spread over town in just a few hours.
It turns out, that after a while, those women had finally massed together in the marble courtyard, and demanded the royal
family’s presence. They even chopped off the heads of many nobles and stuck them on pikes! When the king finally came, he was so amazed,
terrified, and surprised at the same time that he gave into their demands. At about noon, he was transported back to Paris with the crowd
that attacked him, which had already grown to over sixty thousand, if I was guessing.
But the most shocking act was that King Louis XVI proceeded to give almost all bread in Versailles to those in Paris! This is sure to
have dire consequences for my family…
No matter what, I must say that this was one of the bravest acts I have ever seen, and I pray that the families of Paris shall survive
The Austrian Traitor
October 17 1793
For many years now, this journal has been filled with what I considered to be brave, huge
acts of rebellion. Now I know I was wrong all along. What happened yesterday should be the only thing
worth celebrating, when compared to everything else that has happened.
Marie Antoinette has been beheaded!
My heart leaps for joy as I think about how hard I have rebelled, along with thousands of
others, for justice to prevail. After all these years, we’ve reached a point where we have become a
Republic, and have even the power to kill our so-‐called queen!
Three years ago, we had already abolished all hereditary and aristocratic titles. Before long,
the Constitution of 1791 was introduced, and King Louis XVI had no choice but to accept it! How joyous
we all were! I sigh now as I think about how briefly both king and civilian shared the power.
Soon, the king arranged for an escape out of France, with the men we are at war with, no less!
Newspaper clipping about the
beheading of Marie Antoinette
The traitor! Obviously, we had the royal family imprisoned. Earlier this year, King Louis XVI was executed.
And now, the same fate has come upon his wife.
Yesterday, she was executed in Paris, my home of 2 years. I still remember the ferocious need I felt to leave Versailles after my
family had died. Today, for the first time ever, I feel, in every respect, lucky and joyful that I live in Paris. How else could I have seen justice
served, first handedly?
Many people, including I, have wanted Marie Antoinette killed for a while now. It was the king that made us pay the taxes, but it
was his wife-‐the queen with the Austrian blood, the pinnacle of royal privileges and luxury-‐who spent the money on diamonds, fancy gowns,
and accessories. I cannot see how anyone could be so selfish, so naïve the suffering beyond the towering palace walls!
Everyone cheered as they watched her being taken to Revolution as Place de Louis XV in an open cart to be guillotined. Yesterday
was a beautiful day. I remember the overwhelming sound of thousands of people all shouting and clapping in excitement, the other men and
women all bumping against me as they fought to get a look at the traitor. There was a blue sky, a slight breeze, and sweet air filling everyone’s
lungs. It all seemed fairly appropriate, given the circumstances.
Earlier this month, Marie Antoinette had received a mock trial, and was convicted of treason. As if we had to be told! She had
been conspiring with the enemy to leave France secretly with her family! We should have killed her on the spot.
A huge crowd gathered around the scaffold as Marie Antoinette stepped on. She accidently stepped on the executioner’s foot, and
her last words were, “Monsieur, I beg your pardon, I did not mean to do it.” Such poor last words of a queen, we laughed. Everyone cheered as
the chopping block came down, and screamed with delight as her head came off.
Finally, the woman who had taken our hard earned money, our food, and the lives of many of our families, was dead.
The True Enemy
July 28 1794
It is such a relief to sit at home now and write these words without fearing that a
soldier shall suddenly break down my door and convict me of treason. At last, Maximilien de Robespierre is
dead. He was executed earlier today in Paris. Many citizens sighed in relief as the man who at first, only
wanted to do good, was killed. But alas, he changed.
I don’t know when we started doubting him, but it has been a while now. After all,
Robespierre had killed anyone who he suspected was an enemy of the Republic. If I were to make any type of
Stamp with Robespierre
negative comment concerning the revolution, someone would pass it along to Robespierre, and soon, I, the “traitor”,
would be guillotined. I would never have dared write these kinds of words hours ago. Now however, I know that there is nothing to fear.
Just yesterday, Robespierre had been banned from the National Convention, and put under house arrest. I suppose he couldn’t stand
the idea of the guillotine, and tried to shoot himself. But he only managed to shoot off his lower jaw. It made a pitying last sight.
Today, as he stepped onto the scaffold, my husband shook his head and remarked on how Robespierre had been one of the first nobles
to take the revolutionaries’ side. Others around him nod, and look at the man who had strayed from his once noble goal. As always, the execution was a public
event. A crowd came to watch, and some even brought food and drink with them in order to watch the show! The sweet smell of bread filled the air, mixed with
the stink of many men who were all crowded together.
As his head came off, onlookers cheered, but there was a hint of sadness in the noise, mourning the man who had led us this far, only to
have gone astray. It was mainly due to him that the royal family had been guillotined, and that France was now a Republic.
He had fought fiercely for us, but he let the power get into his head. How ironic that he is now to die by guillotine, the instrument he
used to kill so many of his so-‐called enemies.
He had been a great leader for a while, husband points out. That is true, I say, but after the royal family was killed, he started
suppressing women’s clubs, closing down churches that worshipped any type of religion, and executing thousands of people. Soon, his reign turned into a Reign
People had reported on one another for things that hadn’t been done! Robespierre executed anyone who showed the slightest sign of
being an enemy. Just a few months ago, he even killed his fellow citizens and friends, Danton and Desmoulins, because they had qualities he didn’t like!
Robespierre had become what we had tried to kill. A monarch. He killed innocents and became superstitious. Anything that wasn’t in
line with what he was thinking was an obstacle. How could we have let France get like this?
For the past year or so, my husband and I have lived in fear, hoping not to attract any attention or do anything that might offend the
Republic without our knowing it.
Since the start of the revolution, I have longed to be free. I had started to think that no matter how many types of governments France
has, no matter how many “traitors” we kill, that it would never happen. Well now it has.