Fall of the Bastille - French Revolution

About the Fall of the Bastille and the French Revolution, history of France in 1789.


In Paris, the Bastille was King Louis XVI's prison for aristocrats. When the King refused to give the people representative government, 5,000 to 8,000 people looted an armory and marched on the Bastille. They overwhelmed the prison, found a mere 7 prisoners inside--4 forgers, 2 madmen, and an Irish lord who had been incarcerated 30 years for debts--and freed them. The King's only diary entry for that date was, "Nothing." But it was something--it led to the French Revolution, which lasted 10 years. Although this revolution spawned the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte and a return to monarchy with Louis XVII, it finally led to a system of political liberty and human rights.

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