Why Did The People Stormed The Bastille And How Important Was The Storming To The Start Of The Revolution?

3389 words - 14 pages

The revolutionary storming Why did the people stormed the Bastille and how important was the storming to the start of the revolution?The French Revolution in 1789 changed France and "equalized" the rights of the people. One of the major events that started it was the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789. This day represented the French revolution because it showed us the public's sprit of rebellion. Rumors were everywhere during that period of time and therefore, most people were able to hear of the horrific and secret Bastille. In reality, the Bastille was not as horrible as all the rumors and paintings had described. Are the rumors the reason the people stormed the Bastille? Was the storming of the Bastille significant to the French revolution? In fact, there were a few reasons that contributed to the storming of the Bastille and they showed the importance of it to the start of the revolution.The Bastille was a huge structure situated in the East of Paris. (Source 6) It was a prison built in the 14th century to guard Paris, but by the 18th century, the Bastille had become a prison. Throughout the 18th century, there were never more than 40 prisoners, and most of them were served with short sentences. On July 14, 1789, during the storming of the Bastille, there were only 7 prisoners and two of them were insane. But to most people in 1789, the Bastille was a somber scary place. Why do the people think that way? To the authors, sculptors and painters who glorified the taking of the Bastille, it was a dark and secret castle that prisoners will never return. (Source 3) Also, people heard of horrible experiences and lives in the Bastille, such as starving, extreme coldness, torturing etc. Therefore, authors and artists drew, write and sculpt about what they think the scary and secret prison. For art works, a famous representative will be the Bastille in Paris by Jean-Pierre Houel (Source 1), and it showed the darkness of the torturing prison. As for eyewitness account, Constantine de Renneville, a middle class tax official who was incarcerated in 1702, wrote the poem "The Bastille as a Symbol of Tyranny". He said that he suffered in the Bastille and he sleeps with rats on damp straw, eat only bread and water, and was exposed to extreme cold. (Source 2) These art works and paragraphs were spread widely to the society and rumor started spreading over Paris. There will not be any way we could see the truth of the events, but I suspect he was spreading fake rumors about the Bastille for the king to fear the people, as modern historians already proved the rumors were used to fear people. A lot of historians think that the rumors are the reason why the Parisians stormed the Bastille because these rumors showed people the king's control. Therefore, they hated the Bastille, as it symbolized the king's power. (Source 4)On the other hand, some historians like George Rude claimed the reason for the storming of the Bastille was because people saw troops...

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