Nouvelles de la Révolution

Quoi de Neuf

The Lifestyle of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

Mon Dieu! King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette live very lavish lives. They throw parties and gamble with our taxes instead of addressing the famine and deplorable conditions affecting the nation. The ostentatious look of the Palace of Versailles is like a slap in the face to working Frenchmen. Marie Antoinette wears the latest most expensive clothes and stays out late partying. She does not care about the people of France regardless of what she may claim. We have been against this marriage to a foreign royal from the beginning! A few years ago the King and Queen had trouble having children. They overcame it and now have three children. After she had her children Marie started to mature, and although she focuses more on her children and less on partying, she still does not focus on the people of France. She cares about her children but still does not care about the people who are starving and dying. To make matters worse, King Louis does not have a backbone. He is unable to stand up for himself and help with the problems we are facing. Clearly it is time for the reign of an absolute monarch to come to an end.

A Bloodthirsty Mob

Yesterday morning, July 14, 1789, French commoners invaded the Bastille prison in the heart of the city of Paris. The Bastille is the French penitentiary that represents the authority of the royal monarch in Paris. Although there were only seven prisoners being held at the time, the place itself was a symbol of the abuses of the monarchy. It had to be destroyed! The commoners formed a small national guard consisting of about 115 men. The revolutionaries were wearing tricolored cockades. The cockade is a badge worn on a hat or lapel; the revolutionaries wore theirs as a combination of the cockade of Paris, which is blue and red, and the color of the royal family which is white. Before storming the Bastille the men invaded the Hotel des Invalides to secure for themselves the firearms necessary for their mission. The objective of storming the Bastille was to gain more fire arms and gunpowder. Before rushing in, the crowd gathered around the prison and demanded the guards surrender the prison and hand over the firearms and gunpowder. Two people were allowed in to negotiate. The others grew impatient and decided to attack. Around 1:30 in the afternoon they charged and took the Bastille. One eyewitness named Francois Mignet says the revolutionaries were “intoxicated with liberty and enthusiasm.” The event has caused quite the stir in Paris, many people are now saying it is the start our own revolution and eventual freedom from monarchists and absolute rule.

Estates General 1789

The Estates-General has been meeting for several weeks since May in the town of Versailles, not far from the royal chateau. The three Estates, Nobles, Clergy, and the general public, had been summoned by King Louis XVI to discuss the financial crisis facing the nation. Even though several weeks of meetings have occurred, there still seems to be no agreement for the future. The Estates have been arguing over rank and decision-making authority. The Nobles believe that because they are richer they should have more control over the matters concerning national finance. The Clergy believe that they should have more influence because they say they know what God would want for France. The Third Estate desires to have a greater voice, because 97% of the general French population belongs to the third Estate. The Estates-General of 1789 has double the number of representatives for the Third Estate, as a result of the King's own royal decree stating that the Third Estate will be allowed to have twice as many representatives as the first two Estates. With the decree, the majority of French people will finally get a voice in politics. No longer will the desires of the people of France be overruled by a small majority of the rich and connected. This voice is allowing the formation of the National Assembly – a powerful force that surely has the ability to create great change in our nation.