Voix de la France

The words of the people

Women of Paris March 12 Miles to Versailles

October 5, 1789- A group of French women marched twelve miles from the marketplaces of Paris to the king and queen at their royal palace in Versailles during the rainy autumn storms. Mobs of women violently rivaled the king, infuriated by his negligence to the relentless oppression of his own citizenry. Armed with pitchforks, muskets, swords, and pikes, the determined women aggressively stormed through the Palace gates. The royals were thereupon compelled to return with the women to the one of France’s most populated cities where the masses of the people cry out in starvation.

"It is unjust that a king would dare indulge himself in such luxury while his own subjects, my own children, are starved, deprived relentlessly of food and all delight."

Along the way to Versailles, the crowd amassed more supporters who joined in the march in effort to obtain bread and express their grievances to the royal throne. Jeanne Dorothée Delaissement, age twenty-eight, and Madelaine Glain, forty-two years old, testify their experiences as one of the many onlookers who were forced to join the march. “As we neared Servrès abreast the porcelain manufactory, we there encountered a gentleman who asked us our purpose and destination, admonishing us to be fair in our behavior and intentions,” Glain recounts. Among the most prominent of the leaders was an outspoken woman with great ambition who declared her intentions to return with the queen’s head. The same woman ridiculed and slandered the Royal Guardsmen with great audacity, approaching him with a rusty sword and holding the bridle of his horse, upon which he delivered a blow to her arm. Meanwhile the other women proceeded to the hall of the National Assembly and demanded a fixed price of eight sols for the four-pound loaf. The decrees were received by Monsieur the mayor and the representatives of the commune at the Hôtel-de-Ville in Paris.

No news of the succeeding affairs of Versailles on the sixth can be given currently, except that a man named Nicolas, a model in the academy, has not been seen in the quartier since the incident. He was alleged to have beheaded two of the Royal Guards from the night of the march. As for the king and queen, they have decided to move their court to Paris.

Rebecca Howe

October 7, 1789

Letter to the Editor

Lifestyles Of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

Dear Editor: It is absurd the clothing in which this supposed queen of our French nation dresses. Simply because she does not prefer the style of dress, she contends that she can wear nothing more than what seems to me as a mere undergarment. I have lived in Paris for nearly fifty years, and not once have I witnessed such scandalous clothing nor would I have thought myself to witness it. One would expect a queen to present herself in a proper manner and as a model to her citizens. Rather, she chooses to corrupt the modern dress of the French women. If she believes this foreign style is not well enough suited for her, perhaps she should choose to return to her homeland in Austria. I believe it is appropriate to speak on behalf of the silk industry when I say that they are equally enraged. Not only does she offend the French style of dress, but she does not even bring love to her husband, referring to him as “the poor man.” Nonetheless both the royals appear content with their indulgent spending which appears to only increase the sum of our country’s debt. The queen gambles our country straight into bankruptcy. It is no wonder she has earned herself the name, Madame Deficit.

Madame Beaulieu

October 3, 1789

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The Declaration of Rights of Man-Will France ever be like the American Radicals?

One of France’s most recent and radical documents, the Declaration of the Rights of Man was composed by the National Assembly over a month ago on August 27. “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” has been appropriated as the slogan of the revolution. The Old Regime is supposedly dead as social divisions, under article one, are abolished and all men are recognized as equals under a Supreme Being. However, will this be enough to mend the social classes after the Great Fear? Are the nobility merely trying to appease the peasants out of an arisen fear? If the document proves sufficient, should the revolution come to its end? It can be affirmed that as for now, democratic proclivities in French government have begun to emerge and make evident the need for more change. Perhaps France will soon enjoy the same liberties as the American Revolutionists who, by declaring their rights, earned their independence from Great Britain. Another concern, however, pertains to the rights of women under French government. I contend that women, as equal citizens under law, should be admitted to the same freedoms. Else, the prospect of another revolution is likely. Already, the French women have begun to manifest their political strength in the march to Versailles.

Rebecca Howe

October 7, 1789

What is the Third Estate?

As Sieyès put it, we are everything. We represent the majority of France and we are France. Let us speak out as our country's voice.