march on versailles

As the Revolution progressed, he was hounded into exile by the radical leadership. AncientPages.com - The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. On October 4, 1789, a crowd of women demanding bread for their families gathered other discontented Parisians, including some men, and marched toward Versailles, arriving soaking wet from the rain.They demanded to see "the Baker," "the Baker's wife," and "the Baker's boy". Even so, the royal court in Paris was much more austere. At the end of the Ancien Régi… T wo days afterwards the seige of Namur was declared. Optimistic observers such as Camille Desmoulins declared that France would now enter a new golden age, with its revived citizenry and popular constitutional monarchy. The units had a history of cooperation and a military sense of mutual respect, and Lafayette, who had been snatching a few hours of sleep in his exhaustion, awoke to make the most of it. The crowd had conflicting aims but there was a general consensus that the king must return to Paris and address the food crisis. According to Duquesnoy’s account: “Imagine the surprise of many members of the [National] Assembly when some 20 fishwives entered, led by a reasonably well-dressed man called Maillard, who spoke on their behalf with great skill and in well educated French. The soldiers were given no orders to fire on civilians and many soldiers openly mingled with them. They would start by attacking the Hôtel de Ville with a full 7-10 thousand people, taking bread and nearly burning the building down. It was said the soldiers sang verses of O Richard, ô mon Roi!, an operatic song praising an imprisoned king and calling for his freedom. The revolution's capacity for violence was as yet not fully realized. MessageToEagle.com – The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. [13], The lavish banquet was certain to be an affront to those suffering in a time of severe austerity, but it was reported in the cockade; drunken officers were said to have stamped upon this symbol of the nation and professed their allegiance solely to the white cockade of the House of Bourbon. The Women's March on Versailles, also known as The Oc­to­ber March, The Oc­to­ber Days, or sim­ply The March on Versailles, was one of the ear­li­est and most sig­nif­i­cant events of the French Rev­o­lu­tion. In October 1789, thousands of Parisians, many of them women, embarked on a 12-mile march to Versailles, the residence of the French king Louis XVI and the National Constituent Assembly. The march symbolized a new balance of power that displaced the ancient privileged orders of the French nobility and favored the nation's common people, collectively termed the Third Estate. The storming of the Bastille had occurred less than three months earlier. Amid this unlikely development, Lafayette cannily let the mob's fury drain away until, with dramatic timing and flair, he knelt reverently and kissed her hand. These reports, along with rumours of more debauchery at Versailles, caused outrage among the working people of Paris. google_ad_width = 160; [17], These two popular goals coalesced around a third that was largely the revolutionaries' idea, which was that the king and his court, and the Assembly as well, must all be moved to Paris to reside among the people. The next day, the crowd compelled the king, his family, and most of the French Assembly to return with them to Paris. It marked the end of the king's resistance to the tide of reform, and he made no further open attempts to push back the Revolution. The women's march began three months after the storming of the Bastille, in the markets of Paris amid anger at the price of and scarcity of bread. Louis attempted to work within the framework of his limited powers after the women's march but won little support, and he and the royal family remained virtual prisoners in the Tuileries. AUSTRIA quarrels with France. [61] Still, the pall of suspicion helped convince him to take on Louis XVI's offer of a diplomatic mission conveniently outside the country. [15] Others suggest he coordinated in some way with Mirabeau, the Assembly's most powerful statesman at the time, to use the marchers to advance the constitutionalist agenda. Following the Storming of the Bastille and the Great Fear, revolutionary fervor spread among the populace. Although hardly a gentle man, Maillard helped suppress by force of character the mob's worst instincts; he rescued the Hôtel de Ville's quartermaster, Pierre-Louis Lefebvre-Laroche, a priest commonly known as Abbé Lefebvre, who had been strung up on a lamppost for trying to safeguard its gun powder storage. [11] The idea of a march on Versailles was widespread, and was even discussed in the pages of the Mercure de France (5 September 1789). But, politics then weren't any simpler than politics now. He participated in several later journées, but in 1794 became stricken with illness, dying at the age of thirty-one. Most marchers, it seems, were desperately hungry and hoped to petition the king to alleviate bread shortages in Paris. After 24 hours of tension, intimidation and some violence, the king and the Assembly agreed to leave Versailles and accompany the mob back to Paris. Three months after entering the Musketeers, that is to say, in the March of the following year, the King held a review of his guards, and of t... ...ground. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. They stormed through the palace halls, intent on finding and murdering the queen. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). The royal family briefly attended the affair, walking amongst the tables set up in the opera house of the palace. A participant in the October march on Versailles (1789) In October 1789, a committee of the National Constituent Assembly carried out an inquiry into the events of October 5th and 6th, when a Parisian mob marched on Versailles. Or Palestine and Israel? Armed with pikes, scythes, clubs, muskets and some small cannon stolen from the Hôtel de Ville, they marched out of Paris at noon and trudged the 12 miles to Versailles, arriving shortly after dark. In constitutional negotiations they were able to secure a legislative veto power for the king. [4] Now their attention was turned to the creation of a permanent constitution. "[47] The relieved king briefly conveyed his willingness to return to Paris, acceding "to the love of my good and faithful subjects". To the relief of the royals, the two sets of soldiers were reconciled by his charismatic mediation and a tenuous peace was established within the palace. The unprotected deputies had no choice but to receive the marchers, who shouted down most of the speakers and demanded to hear from the popular reformist deputy Mirabeau. The plan appealed to all segments of the crowd. An account of the October Days by Adrien Duquesnoy recalls that “ten, twenty, thirty thousand people were coming to Versailles, intent on seizing the king according to some, seeking to force the [National] Assembly to hasten its work, according to others”. [43] As battering and screaming filled the halls around her, the queen ran barefoot with her ladies to the king's bedchamber and spent several agonizing minutes banging on its locked door, unheard above the din. The occupation of the deputies' benches in the Assembly created a template for the future, forecasting the mob rule that would frequently influence successive Parisian governments. of ... ...t, the King went to Dinant, to join the ladies, with whom he re- turned to Versailles. URL: https://alphahistory.com/frenchrevolution/october-march-on-versailles/ Many of the crowd were women from the unruly district of Faubourg Saint-Antoine; a sizeable number were veterans of the attack on the Bastille three months earlier. [2] Driven by a variety of agitators, the mob converged on the Hôtel de Ville where they demanded not only bread, but arms. Lafayette immediately left his troops and went to see the king, grandly announcing himself with the declaration, "I have come to die at the feet of Your Majesty". The Women's March to Versailles, October 5-6, 1789. The reformist deputies were well aware that the four hundred or more monarchist deputies were working to transfer the Assembly to the distant royalist city of Tours, a place even less hospitable to their efforts than Versailles. The mob had no single leader or figurehead but one significant instigator was Stanislas Maillard, a coarsely spoken officer in the National Guard and one of the leaders of the July raid on the Bastille. [3], The king's court and the deputies of the National Constituent Assembly were all in comfortable residence at the royal city of Versailles, where they were considering momentous changes to the French political system. More women from other nearby marketplaces joined in, many bearing kitchen blades and other makeshift weapons, as the tocsins rang from church towers throughout several districts. [27], The crowd traveled the distance from Paris to Versailles in about six hours. "[40] Many scholars believe that the Duke paid agents provocateurs to fan the discontent in the marketplaces and to conflate the women's march for bread with the drive to bring the king back to Paris. Flush with newly discovered power, the common citizens of France – particularly in the teeming capital, Paris – felt a newly discovered desire to participate in politics and government. BERTHIER, Commandant, at Versailles. Armed with various weapons including pikes, pitchforks, and muskets, the women began to march. The Women's March on Versailles, also known as the October March, the October Days or simply the March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and … The king responded sympathetically, and using all his charm impressed the women to the point that one of them fainted at his feet. When the Commune did not respond, the crowd elected to march on Versailles and take their grievances directly to the king. Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles. [65] As one historian states, it was "one of those defeats of royalty from which it never recovered". It gave the revolutionaries confidence in the power of the people over the king. [2], Despite its post-revolutionary mythology, the march was not a spontaneous event. By October 5th, the situation in Paris had reached critical mass. Some years later he attempted to flee Paris but was again dragged back by a … One radical section of the crowd, comprised mainly of women from Faubourg Saint-Antoine, had been demanding stronger action since their arrival at Versailles. Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson Copyright: The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. For its inheritors, the march would stand as an inspirational example, emblematic of the power of popular movements. [8] Although his efforts were foiled, revolutionaries continued to hold onto the idea of a march on Versailles to compel the king to accept the Assembly's laws. [46] Lafayette, who had earned the court's indebtedness, convinced the king to address the crowd. The celebrated Vauban,... ... he thought of everything, and laid out his plans as though he had been at Versailles. The day has come The unwanted are rising March! Three eyewitness accounts of the October Days (1789) CONSTITUTION, French, completed, will not march, burst in pieces, new, of 1793. Louis XVI himself had attended the banquet earlier in the evening, albeit briefly – but reports in Paris claimed he had stayed for hours, watching the proceedings with both approval and amusement. Robespierre gave strong words of support to the women and their plight, and his efforts were received appreciatively; his solicitations helped greatly to soften the crowd's hostility towards the Assembly. When a sentry spotted the women and fired on them, killing one, the mob overpowered, murdered and dismembered two soldiers. On October 1st 1789, soldiers of the Royal Flanders Regiment arrived at Versailles from Douai after being summoned to strengthen the king’s royal bodyguard. There was tight central control in many government affairs. [21] The Marquis de Lafayette, in Paris as their commander-in-chief, discovered to his dismay that his soldiers were largely in favor of the march and were being egged on by agitators to join in. Title: “The October March on Versailles” The crowd besieged the palace and, in a dramatic and violent confrontation, they successfully pressed their demands upon King Louis XVI. During the entire siege, the Prince of Orange (William III. This action was simple and justified, for to be hungry is a terrible state. See search results for this author. An illustration of the Women’s March on Versailles, October 5-6, 1789. /* 728x90, created 7/15/08 */ By the time they reached Versailles, they had roughly 6000 people. AUBRY, Colonel, at Jales. Even though he was one of France's greatest war heroes, Lafayette could not dissuade his troops and they began threatening to desert. [32], Lafayette, though initially acclaimed, found that he had tied himself too closely to the king. History plainly shows that the march of civilization across the world has been one long, greedy, grab... ...side of corruption. [22] At four o'clock in the afternoon, fifteen thousand guards with several thousand more civilian latecomers set off for Versailles. Maillard returned to Paris with his status as a local hero made permanent. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use. [2] Mere rumors of food shortage led to the Réveillon riots in April 1789. [44][45], Although the fighting ceased and the two commands of troops had cleared the palace, the mob was still everywhere outside. At about six o'clock in the evening, the king made a belated effort to quell the rising tide of insurrection: he announced that he would accept the August decrees and the Declaration of the Rights of Man without qualification. [53][58] The Duke was certainly present as a deputy to the Assembly, and he was described by contemporaries as smiling warmly as he walked among the protesters at the height of the siege; many of them are said to have hailed him with greetings like "Here is our king! All rights reserved. In short order, the entire body settled in only a few steps from the Tuileries at a former riding school, the Salle du Manège. The Lyrics for Marching On Versailles by AD Infinitum have been translated into 6 languages This was your final chance A chance you didn't take Like the lightning, we … The deregulation of the grain market implemented by Turgot, Louis XVI's Controller-General of Finances, in 1774, was the main cause of the famine which led to the Flour War in 1775. March to Versailles On October 5th 1789, a violent dispute broke out in Paris at the Hotel de Ville regarding the lack of bread throughout the country. Following the election of Trump, and spurred by growing unease with our own Versailles-like oligarchs, similar protests are now cropping up at grassroots level in the United States. In the words of one of the officers: "Everyone was overwhelmed with sleep and lethargy, we thought it was all over. October 5, 1789 Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. The king was requested to take the strongest possible action to improve the free circulation of grain, etc. google_ad_width = 728; This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; GNU Free Documentation License; additional terms may apply; additional licensing terms may not be displayed on the current page, please review the citiational source for the most up to date information. "[48], The goodwill generated by this surprising turn of events defused the situation, but to many observers the scene on the balcony was mere theatricality without long-term resonance. In October 1789, thousands of Parisians, many of them women, embarked on a 12-mile march to Versailles, the residence of the French king Louis XVI and the National Constituent Assembly. Are you an author? “The October Days illustrate the delicate balance in the relationship between the people and the monarchy… Constitutional monarchy [was] the only political system really considered at this time, but even violent protestors showed no real hostility to the king’s role. Because of poor harvests in 1788 and 1789, supplies of grain fell well short of their usual level, the price of bread rose dramatically in 1789. Context. //-->. After getting food, the crowd would march towards Versailles in the rain. Among their makeshift weaponry they dragged along several cannons taken from the Hôtel de Ville. AUCH, M. Martin d’, in Versailles Court. Once the women reached the entrance to Versailles, they were chanting the word bread over and over again to the beat of a drum. When the two men stepped out on a balcony an unexpected cry went up: "Vive le Roi! [55] For the women of Paris, the march became the source of apotheosis in revolutionary hagiography. google_ad_height = 600; An illustration of the Women's March on Versailles, 5 October 1789, The revolutionary decrees passed by the Assembly in August 1789 culminated in, The women hailed by onlookers on their way to Versailles (illustration c. 1842), Lawsuit about the happenings of 6 October at Versailles; Châtelet Paris 1790, Significant civil and political events by year, Philip Mansel, page 129 "Pillars of Monarchy", ISBN 0-7043-2424-5, Richard Cobb, page 88 "The French Revolution - Voices From a Momentous Epoch", CN 8039, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, List of people associated with the French Revolution, The French Revolution a History Volume Three, Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency, The Duchesse de Langeais, With an Episode under the Terror, The Illustrious Gaudissart, A Passion in the Desert, And the Hidden Masterpiece. On this rainy autumn Monday an armed group of approximately six thousand angry French women wanted food and money and were willing push extreme limits in order to fulfill that demand. Desperate, he made his abortive flight to Varennes in June 1791. Some officers, Marat claimed, had also donned black and white cockades of the Ancien Régime. For revolutionaries, the preservation of their recent legislation and the creation of a constitution were paramount, and a lockdown of the king within reformist Paris would provide the best possible environment for the Revolution to succeed. The ladies went away to Dinant. Deeding children seemed like an impossible task. World Heritage Encyclopedia is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization. The day has come And now the fates are changing March! It does not have marching bands, or horns blaring out its message.          Sexual Content [61] As the Revolution moved forward into the Terror, the Duke's royal lineage and alleged avarice convicted him in the minds of radical leaders and he was sent to his execution in November 1793. [54] Others were more wary, such as journalist Jean-Paul Marat, who wrote: It would take almost two full years until the first French Constitution was signed on 3 September 1791, and it required another popular intervention to make it happen. Versailles was maintained, an acknowledgement that the king might someday return, however, neither Louis or his family would see the splendour of Versailles again. The very next day, while the division was marching out of the town, the General went to the convent to be present at ... ...e Hotel Rambouillet, and the Place Royale to the sixteenth; and lastly, as Versailles was to the seventeenth and the eighteenth. Louis departed the balcony and was replaced by Marie Antoinette, who bravely risked her life by standing before the crowd, some of whom were armed with muskets. The women in the fish market would start the march toward Versailles that had been discussed so much in the previous weeks. The royal guards raced throughout the palace, bolting doors and barricading hallways and those in the compromised sector, the cour de marbre, fired their guns at the intruders, killing a young member of the crowd. They sought the help and support of the Assembly. [17] The Hôtel de Ville itself was ransacked as the crowd surged through taking its provisions and weapons, but Maillard helped prevent it from burning down the entire building. It is... ...ings of Civilization Pgs 704-1469 B: The Effect of Civilization on Humans Pgs 1470-1868 Chapter 7: Entities an... ...7 Incrementalism Chapter Six ‘B’: Civilization The Effect of Civilization on Humans Pg 706 Incrementalism Cont’d Pg 709 Cities Pg 711 The ... ... been created by the re-drawing of arbitrary boundaries such as the treaty of Versailles after the 1 st World War? And then, just mayb... Full Text Search Details...s of, weeps, unpopular, at Dinner of Guards, courage of, Fifth October, at Versailles, shows her- self to people, and Louis at Tuileries, and the Lorr... ...alists leave, state of, in want, recruited, Revolutionary, fourteen armies on foot. Excessive Violence Late in the evening, Lafayette's national guardsmen approached up the Avenue de Paris. The harvest had been gathered in September so supplies should have improved – but this had not eventuated in the capital. [50] A sense of victory over the ancien régime was imbued in the parade, and it was understood by all that the king was now fully at the service of the people. Others wanted the plead with the king to leave Versailles and return to Paris, where he would be away from what they perceived as the corrupting influences of the aristocracy. Then bloody hell will break loose. One loves the master of the house who would not be hurt or offended at seeing his apartment thus occupied if he returned suddenly.”. On October 5, 1789, women had suffered enough injustice as a result of the economic crisis in France. The march on Versailles's main purpose was to obtain bread and force the price of bread down to where it had been. The demonstrators responded with a muted respect, and many even raised a cheer which the queen had not heard for quite a long time: "Vive la Reine! Bringing together people representing sources of the Revolution in their largest numbers yet, the march on Versailles proved to be a defining moment of that Revolution. [41], At about six o'clock in the morning, some of the protesters discovered a small gate to the palace was unguarded. [18] By now the mass of people had grown to over sixty thousand, and the return trip took about nine hours. The king was indeed considering this, and when on 18 September he issued a formal statement giving his approval to only a portion of the decrees, the deputies were incensed. The main palace had 2,153 rooms, 67 staircases and floor space exceeding 67,000 square metres. A lot of readers will be familiar with the broad strokes of the French Revolution; the working class felt neglected by the aristocracy, and by the king in particular. During the October Days, as many as 30,000 people laid siege to Versailles and petitioned the king and the National Constituent Assembly. Lafayette brought her to the same balcony, accompanied by her young son and daughter.