Women's March on Versailles

Women's March on Versailles

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  • We want bread!
  • We demand to speak to King Louis!
  • Bread! Bread! Bread!
  • Paris is short of bread!
  • Their action is justifiable and simple, for to be hungry is a terrible state.
  • In Paris on October 5th, 1789, a crowd of about 7,000 women gathered and demanded for bread. They planned to march to the Palace of Versailles to bring King Louis XVI back to Paris where he would be responsible to the people.
  • You must come with us to Paris to see the plight of your people.
  • I shall go.
  • The women began their march in the rain to Versailles, armed with pitchforks, pikes, and muskets they stole from the Hôtel de Ville. They marched out of Paris at noon and walked 12 miles to Versailles.
  • Oh no! They are trying to kill me! I must escape! I shall through the secret passages!
  • When the crowd arrived at Versailles, some of them invaded the hall of the National Constituent Assembly. Many of the Assembly’s deputies, including Honore Mirabeau and Maximilien Robespierre, mingled freely with the people and listened to their grievances. 
  •  My friends, I shall go with you to Paris, with my wife and children. It is to my good and faithful subjects that I confide all that is most precious to me.
  • Vive le roi!
  • Meanwhile, Marquis Lafayette and Stanislas-Marie Maillard convinced King Louis XIV to announce his support for the Declaration passed in the Assembly and made him promise to alleviate the food shortages in Paris.
  • Around dawn on the morning of October 6th, a group of women who strongly disliked Marie Antoinette gained access to the palace through an unguarded side entrance to search for her. The Queen barely escaped by fleeing to the King’s secure apartments through a secret passageway. 
  • Louis XVI addressed the largest section of the crowd from a window balcony. These remarks brought cheers, applause and shouts of “Vive le roi!”, as did the king’s gesture of wearing the tricolour cockade of the revolution. 
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