France in the 1780s was not what you would expect today. The country was suffering from disease, food shortage, and a bad economy. The people were split up into estates. The First Estate was made up of the Clergy, they were all extremely wealthy. The Second Estate was also very wealthy but they paid taxes and they made up 2% of the population. The Third Estate was extremely poor and they made up 97% of the population. They paid more taxes than any Estate. The Third Estate became angry and wanted to revolt. This was the beginning of the French Revolution.
The Storming of the Bastille
In 1789, King Louis XVI decided to have the three estates meet because France was having financial problems. The King decided that each estate had one vote. The Third estate was angry with this because they could easily be outvoted by the more powerful First and Second estates even though they made up the largest portion of the population. The Third Estate met on their own and called themselves the National Assembly. They began creating their own laws.
The March on Versailles
GIVE US BREAD!!!!
King Louis XVI did not see the National Assembly as a real government body so he ordered that the building they were meeting in was to be closed. The National Assembly wanted to be taken seriously so they began meeting at a local tennis court known as Jeu de Paume. THey all decided to take an oath there that would say that they would keep meeting until they were recognized as a government body.
The people became so angry that they decided to rebel. On July 14, 1789, revolutionaries stormed the Bastille in Paris. The revolutionaries were successful; they freed prisoners and took control of the Bastille.
In October of 1789, many citizens marched to the Palace of Versailles. Many people wanted to end the food shortage but others had violent intentions. Many people expressed their grievances and demanded answers from the king.