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By Mircea Platon More than any other event of the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, which began inchanged the face of modern politics across Europe and the world.
It overturned the longstanding French system of monarchical government and introduced the ideas The fall of the bastille liberty, equality, fraternity, and human and civil rights to modern political practice.
It also helped to usher in modern nationalism and nation-states. And it became a model of revolutionary political change that was followed throughout the world from Europe, to HaitiLatin AmericaRussiaand East Asia.
And it all began one July day when the people of Paris captured a fourteenth-century gothic prison known as the Bastille.
The palace of the Bastille, that old symbol of despotism, is taken by the statue of the benevolent king Louis XVI in this engraving. Louis XVI was indeed planning to erase the gothic—and thus un-enlightened—and expensive prison, but the Revolution moved faster than him. In the summer ofParis was at a boil.
Many Parisians were also angered by the dismissal of the popular minister Jacques Necker on 11 July. But what really stirred them was the fact that, since the beginning of JuneLouis XVI had concentrated troops around Paris.
The weapons, however, required gunpowder, which was stored in the Bastille. In this paintingthe King the lion is constitutionally tamed, while the First the Clergy and the Second the Nobles Estates are dancing to the tune of the Third Estate, that is of the people.
After arriving at the prison and negotiating with its governor, marchers burst into an outer courtyard and a pitch battle erupted. By the time it was over, the people of Paris had freed the prisoners held in the Bastille and taken the governor captive the governor and three of his officers would soon be killed and then beheaded by an infuriated crowd, their heads paraded through the streets atop pikes.
The cost was steep: Throughout the nineteenth century, the fall of the Bastille was chronicled by historians, depicted by artists and celebrated by common people. Inthe French chose to make the Storming of the Bastille their national holiday.
Today, in times of deterritorialized terror, outsourced prisons, bitcoins, and subcontracted state and military arbitrariness, the Storming of the Bastille might look like a quaint scene from an old-fashioned opera.
Yet, the world in recent years has had its own share of Bastilles, from Tahrir Square in Cairo to Independence Square in Kyiv not to mention the recent commemorations of the Tiananmen Square Movement.
And, as we celebrate the th anniversary, the taking of the Bastille reminds us that on the long, bumpy road toward representative democracy—that is, on the road toward the rule with the consent and for the benefit of the people—it is sometimes easier to strike down the visible signs of authoritarian power than to deal with the complicated, often shadowy sources of that power.
And, after it took the French the better part of a century to embed the democratic ideals ofthe Bastille prompts us to remember just how hard it is for the voices of the people to be transformed into the enduring instructions of democratic governance and the rule of law. The storming of the Bastille continued to inspire the artists even in the 19th century as seen in the above: The storming of the Bastille also reminds us that modern citizens were not only born out of acts of valor or cruelty only, but also out of the act of remembering and out of the strong desire for justice.
The fall of the Bastille was one of the moments in the eruption of the modern popular historical consciousness and the power of history and historical consciousness to the proper functioning of a democratic society.
Pillaged, scattered and burned during and after the fall of the fortress, large parts of the archive were recovered by Beaumarchais and by the Russian diplomat and bibliophile Pierre Dubrowsky.
Inthe French government commissioned from Alfred-Philippe Roll a painting that would preserve the memory of the first official celebration of 14 July as a national holiday. Finished inRoll's work depicted the inauguration of the monument dedicated to the French Republic at Le Petit Palais, on 14 July Realizing the importance of the Bastille archives, the Commune de Paris appealed to the citizens to return any documents they might have in their possession in order to help document the future trial of royal despotism.The fall of the Bastille left the population of Paris with the gunpowder for their recently seized weapons, giving the revolutionary city the means to defend itself.
Just as the Bastille had been a symbol of royal tyranny before it fell, so after it was swiftly transformed by . The fall of the Bastille left the population of Paris with the gunpowder for their recently seized weapons, giving the revolutionary city the means to defend itself.
Just as the Bastille had been a symbol of royal tyranny before it fell, so after it was swiftly transformed by publicity and opportunism into a symbol of freedom. reactions to the fall of the Bastille ' it is a revolt ' Louis XVI is to have said when informed of the news. ' no, sire, it is a revolution' (grand Master of the wardrobe) this portrayed Louis as a man not knowing of the threat against the throne.
The Bastille was the symbol of tyranny and oppression in France. It was the symbol of the hated ancient regime in France. The storming of the Bastille is of huge symbolic significance to this day. The fall of the Bastille was one of the moments in the eruption of the modern popular historical consciousness and the power of history and historical consciousness to the proper functioning of a democratic society.
The Storming of the Bastille (French: Prise de la Bastille [pʁiz də la bastij]) occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July The medieval fortress, armory, and political prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of .