14.07- Viva la revolucion

This text will be about the beginning of French Revolution, struggle for equality and freedom. On this day famous Storming of Bastille prison in Paris happened.


On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The partisans of the Third Estate in France, now under the control of the Bourgeois Militia of Paris (soon to become Revolutionary France’s National Guard), had earlier stormed the Hôtel des Invalides to gather arms (29,000 to 32,000 muskets, but without powder or shot), and were mainly seeking to acquire the large quantities of arms and ammunition stored at the Bastille. On the 14th there were over 13,600 kilograms (30,000 lb) of gunpowder stored there.

At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men. The cost of maintaining a medieval fortress and garrison for so limited a purpose had led to a decision being taken to close it, shortly before the disturbances began. It was, however, a symbol of royal tyranny.

The regular garrison consisted of 82 invalides (veteran soldiers no longer suitable for service in the field). It had however been reinforced on 7 July by 32 grenadiers of the Swiss Salis-Samade Regiment from the troops on the Champ de Mars. The walls mounted eighteen eight-pound guns and twelve smaller pieces. The governor was Bernard-René de Launay, son of the previous governor and actually born within the Bastille.

The crowd gathered outside around mid-morning, calling for the surrender of the prison, the removal of the guns and the release of the arms and gunpowder. Two representatives of the crowd outside were invited into the fortress and negotiations began, and another was admitted around noon with definite demands. The negotiations dragged on while the crowd grew and became impatient. Around 13:30 the crowd surged into the undefended outer courtyard, and the chains on the drawbridge to the inner courtyard were cut. About this time gunfire began, though some stories state that the Governor had a cannon fire into the crowd killing several women, children, and men turning the crowd into a mob. The crowd seemed to have felt it had been drawn into a trap and the fighting became more violent and intense, while attempts by deputies to organise a cease-fire were ignored by the attackers.

Ninety-eight attackers and one defender had died in the actual fighting.

The king was informed of the storming the next morning by the Duke of La Rochefoucauld. “Is it a revolt?” asked Louis XVI. The duke replied: “No sire, it is a revolution.

The successful insurrection at Paris spread throughout France. In accord with principles of popular sovereignty and with complete disregard for claims of royal authority, the people created a parallel structure of municipalities for civic government and militia for civic protection.

In rural areas, many went beyond this: some burned title-deeds and no small number of châteaux, as the “Great Fear” spread across the countryside during the weeks of 20 July to 5 August, with attacks on wealthy landlords impelled by the belief that the aristocracy was trying to put down the revolution.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Have a great 14.07.2014.



11 thoughts on “14.07- Viva la revolucion

      • It’s a famous sentence in the US bubble because of Mexico proximity, but in human history this kind of things started in France, and the original phrasing on this planet has been ” Vive la révolution !” .


      • Well I must disagree with you about first revolution:).
        Actually first fight for freedom and equality happened in year 1573. when Croatian, Slovenian and some Hungarian peasants stood against oppression and taxes. They demanded that peasants are owner of their land and have every right as noble man. There were two big battles with thousands and thousands of dead. At the end royal forces crushed peasants army and publicly executed leader of revolution Matija Gubec. So by that logic we should all write Živjela revolucija 🙂


  1. Hey, this kind of attempts occurred in several countries in the Middle Age and the Renaissance, really . But the notion of revolution, aka a complete change of regime improving the masses condition and the success of this notion, even for a short time, happened for the first time in 1792 . I don’t think your Balkan mates shouted “Revolution !”. And don’t mention the English” revolution”,when a class of already rich guys grabbed the power ( and the money) from other rich guys . Just look what they did meanwhile to the struggling workers called the Levellers .


    • I agree with you that the first succesful revolution was the French revolution, but my intention was to show that people were fighting for their rights all through history and it is not someone invention, but human nature. And yes I know that we are not as known in history as french but believe me if was a significant event becouse they were the first to actually denied royal rights and wanted equallity. And yes by the historical documents they shouted revolution.


  2. All right I didn’t know that . Did they actually speak of “revolution”, republic and equality between citizens ? The oldness of people’s fight for their rights is as old as human oppression for sure, let’s remember Spartacus .
    If the French first revolution is known, it’s probably because it had a worldwide influence, for all sorts of reasons . In any case, that’s when the Red Flag was used for the first time by the masses when insurrectioning, and the concept of Socialism was used and aimed by the most advanced among them . .


    • Here is a short text about 1573.
      The rebellion broke out simultaneously in large parts of Croatia, Styria, and Carniola on 28 January 1573. The rebels’ political program was to replace the nobility with peasant officials, and to abolish all feudal holdings and obligations of the Roman Catholic Church. A peasant government was formed with Matija Gubec, Ivan Pasanac and Ivan Mogaić as members. Far-reaching plans were drawn up, including abolition of provincial borders, opening of highways for trade, and self-rule by the peasants.
      Each peasant household provided one man for his army, which met with some initial success; their revolutionary goals alarmed the nobility, however, which raised armies in response.
      On 9 February, the decisive Battle of Stubičko polje was fought. Gubec and his 10,000 men resisted fiercely, but after a bloody four-hour battle the baronal army defeated and captured Gubec. The revolt failed.

      Retribution was brutal: in addition to the 3,000 peasants who died in the battle, many captives were hanged or maimed. Matija Gubec was publicly tortured and executed on 15 February.

      I do not undermine the influence of French revolution, quite the opposite my text is about significant historical event, but is very hard to grade history. By mine opinion peasants in 1573 were ahead of their time. Lets not forget that they were not scholars but peasants. And in french revolution scholars were a big part.
      My point is that probably every part of the world has similar story with their own heroes and we should not undermine it. Because history is written by winners and the common known truth is not always the real truth. The attack on the winter castle is great example of that 🙂


  3. Really impressive . These guys were incredibly ahead of their time . Not every country’s fights have been lightning stars like that . But obviously it didn’t widened like an oil stain . No communication enough, no class self-consciousness . Personally, my best admiration in later times, goes, not to 1792 but to 1871, the Commune . Without scholars, without even the notion of Marx’ Socialism, the workers of Paris learnt through the stream and made laws that triggered Marx, Lenin and Trotsky’s tribute . The first proletarian revolution . The reaction was of course as wild as Gubec’s . In modern times, so more defeaning .
    About 1789 and so on, beside several books quite difficult to find because obviously no power ever helped displaying and spreading certain facts, the book that enlightened ny understanding of the events was Kropotkine’s “The great French Revolution” . Figures like Roux, Varlet, Leclerc, Baboeuf, and my most admired François Boissel, have not been made famous by any post revolution masters, but they were my mates .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes the Commune was big event and first world known socialist design of community. But do you think that the event would have happened if the war with Prussia resulted a victory and not defeat? People of Paris were unhappy and by mine opinion war and defeat only speed up the event.
    Thank you for great discussion it is good to meet fellow history enthusiast :).


  5. No for sure, in victory’s aftermath there would have been no Commune, because there wouldn’t have been a Republican bourgeois government first ( the Commune’s slaughterers which remarkably settled in Versailles) . But the Russian great Revolution received a decisive help from the ill-led war too . The People in arms … already in arms I mean . It’s the reason why post WWII’s France took the lead in matter of social advantages for the working class . Resistance’s slogan was : From Resistance to Revolution, and in 1944 the French people’s avant-garde in arms dictated many conditions to the upper class, too happy to avoid a revolution with the help of the French Communist Party apparatus. Rosa and Karl’s Spartakists tried in the aftermath of the Kaiser’s defeat .By the way, the sparkling of the Commune was caused by Parisians who wanted to keep the big guns of Montmartre, guns that were there because of the siege of Paris by the Prussians .
    That’s why 1573 and 1792 are different . The course of 1789 revolution made Socialism appear as a goal by some of the actors, but this paleo-Socialism you tell is a wonder to my mind . Going backwards, the South-west France waste where I live, once a huge heathland and swamp, didn’t interest any Lord i the Middle Age . The miserable malarian peasants and nomadic shepherds who survived there, left alone, had invented a primitive form of Communism : land belongs to the one who works on it and cooperation was ubiquitous .
    Nice to exchange with you too . I never talked with an educated member of your part of the world .


Feel free to write whats on your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s