Q:

What did the Bastille represent?

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Quick Answer

The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris, France, that was famously stormed by a crowd during the French Revolution. It was a symbol of the cruelty and mistreatment of the common people by the French monarchy under Louis XVI.

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Full Answer

The Bastille was built in the 1300s and converted into a prison in the 1700s. It was used as a state facility by the kings of France and housed primarily political prisoners and upper-class members of French society. Most of the Bastille’s prisoners were not given a trial but were held under the king’s orders. To the French commoners, the Bastille was a symbol of the tyranny of the French monarchy.

On July 14, 1789, the Parisian commoners stormed the Bastille in response to a political crisis. At the time of the storming, only seven inmates were housed in the Bastille. Regardless, the successful storming was a momentous event and a turning point in the French Revolution.

The Bastille was eventually demolished and replaced by a vibrant city square called the Place de la Bastille. Due to its famous association with the Revolution, the Place de la Bastille is a common site for political demonstrations. In France, the date of the storming of the Bastille is a federal holiday.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why was the fall of the Bastille important to the French people?

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    The Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 did not start out as an important event, but by the end of the attack it became a turning point for the French Revolution because it forced the king to pay attention to the commoners and led to numerous changes of the Revolution. The attack on the Bastille became a symbol of triumph for the Revolution. It was the moment that many called a triumph over despotism and over the king himself.

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  • Q:

    Which reforms were made by the National Assembly?

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    The French Revolution's National Assembly was instrumental in urging along constitutional reform during the early days of the revolution, and for quelling peasant rebellion. Additionally, the assembly was responsible for widespread reforms of the French Catholic Church, particularly through legislation called the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

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  • Q:

    Where did the French Revolution take place?

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    The French Revolution took place throughout France. Battles were fought in different parts of the country including the Bastille in Paris. The revolution began in May 1789 with demands for change within the country. It ended with the deposition of the French Directory on Nov. 9, 1799.

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  • Q:

    How long did the French Revolution last?

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    The French Revolution lasted roughly 10 years, beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. The revolution came about because of resentment of the privileges of the aristocracy and the taxation policies of the French government on its people, despite years of bad harvests, to help relieve national debt.

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