Storming of the Bastille

Storming of the Bastille

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  • Surrender the prison and hand over your gunpowder!
  • Down with the king!
  • The Bastille is ours! 
  • The people of France's 3rd estate were growing more and more discontent with the monarchy and their lack of representation in the government.  The Bastille was a physical representation of the oppression of the king. There were several political prisoners  being held inside, as well as gunpowder that the revolutionaries needed. They gathered in front  of the  Bastille in the morning on July 14.  How does this gathering represent a shift in France's society?
  • They started by demanding that Governor de Launay hand over the gunpowder and surrender the prison. When he refused, the mob that had gathered in front of the Bastille became angry. They managed to get into the courtyard and then tried to get into the main building. They fighting became violent and even some of the soldiers joined the revolutionaries. Does the goal of the revolutionaries justify this violence?
  • Governor de Launay soon realized that things were hopeless. He surrendered the prison to the revolutionaries and was later killed by the crowd. The revolutionaries began pulling the prison apart brick by brick. This was one of the first major events of the revolution and demonstrated the discontent of the people.  What does this victory represent to the French?
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