100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Bastille Day Celebrated In France

Bastille Day Celebrated In France

In 1789, the French populace were demanding their political rights and had proposed a separate legislative body for representation. They were urged to wait for the monarchy and the Church to negotiate a new constitution with them before making this move. Fearing a military crackdown, they sought to gain ammunition and gunpowder for the general populace and stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris. At one time the Bastille was known for it’s political prisoners who could be locked up on the power of a written letter but at the time of the storming, there were only 7 prisoners, none of them politically important. The fort’s defenders put up a fight and 98 attackers and 8 defenders were killed. On August 4th feudalism was abolished and on August 26th the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaimed.

The next year, 1790 the storming of the Bastille was celebrated as the end of the Revolution as Fete de la Federation and the day was commemorated with a huge ceremony. The French Revolution did not end and it wasn’t until 1878 that France decided to celebrate the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in honor of the French Republic. In 1880 it became an official national holiday.

On July 14, 1912 Bastille Day is celebrated throughout France and her colonies.

Bastille Day celebrators dancing in the street
Paris, France
July 14, 1912

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