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Encyclopedia > The March on Versailles
Map of the Palace at the outbreak of the French Revolution
The King's bedchamber, where the family hid at Versailles

The March on Versailles was an event in the French Revolution. It was also called the Bread March of Women. Although the National Assembly had taken the Tennis Court Oath and the Bastille had fallen at the hands of the crowd, the poor women of Paris still found that there was a considerable bread shortage and the prices were very high. A crowd had once killed a baker for overpricing his bread. On October 5, 1789, rumours spread in Paris that the royals were hoarding all the grain. Becoming increasingly angry and incited by revolutionaries, a hungry mob of 6,000 burly, knife-wielding fishwives and their husbands decided to march on the Palace of Versailles. However, no first-hand female accounts of the march exist, so the motives of this unorganized mob of women could only be guessed and surmised from male testimony. A map of Versailles in 1789 from William R Shepherds Historical Atlas. ... A map of Versailles in 1789 from William R Shepherds Historical Atlas. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 376 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1549 × 2468 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 376 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1549 × 2468 pixel, file size: 1. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... During the French Revolution, the National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale) was a transitional body between the Estates-General and the National Constituent Assembly that existed from June 17 to July 9 of 1789. ... Sketch by Jacques-Louis David of the Tennis Court Oath. ... Combatants French government Parisian militia (predecessor of Frances National Guard) Commanders Bernard-René de Launay â€  Prince de Lambesc Camille Desmoulins Strength 114 soldiers, 30 artillery pieces 600 - 1,000 insurgents Casualties 1 (6 or possibly 8 killed after surrender) 98 The Storming of the Bastille in Paris occurred on... This article is about the capital of France. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Many in the crowd unjustly blamed Queen Marie Antoinette for the lack of bread and gleefully sang songs about killing her. They yelled, "Bread!". One of the king's courtiers, the young Duc de Fronsac, was in the city at the time and ran on foot through the woods to the palace to warn the queen of the rowdy crowd's deadly intentions. An emergency meeting was held to determine the king's response with Marie Antoinette once again repeating a plea that the royal family flee. Her husband, King Louis XVI, refused. Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and Archduchess of Austria (born November 1755 – executed 16 October 1793) Daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria, wife of Louis XVI and mother of Louis XVII. She was guillotined at the height of the French Revolution. ... Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septemanie du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (September 25, 1766 - May 17, 1822) was a prominent French statesman during the Bourbon Restoration. ... Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste de France (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792. ...


Since she was aware that she was the primary target of the mob's anger, Marie Antoinette chose to sleep on her own that evening. She left strict instructions with the governess of the royal children, the Marquise de Tourzel, that she was to take the children straight to the king if there were any disturbances. Louise-Elisabeth, Marquise de Tourzel (1749 - 1830) A French aristocrat and courtier. ...


In the early hours of the morning, the mob broke into the palace. At one point in time the queen "said" "Let them eat cake"- the famous line she never said. Two of the Royal bodyguard were massacred, their heads severed and stuck high on pikes. The queen and her two ladies-in-waiting only narrowly escaped with their lives through a secret passage way before the crowd burst in and ransacked her chambers. Taking the Duc de Fronsac's advice, the three ladies ran to the king's bedchamber. The king's younger sister, Madame Élisabeth, was already there. The royal couple's two children, Marie-Thérèse and her younger brother Louis-Charles, soon arrived, and the doors were locked. Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène of France (May 3, 1764 – May 10, 1794), commonly called Madame Élisabeth, was the youngest sister of King Louis XVI of France. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Louis XVII of France (March 27, 1785 – June 8, 1795), from birth to 1789 known as Louis-Charles, Duke of Normandy; then from 1789 to 1791 as Louis-Charles, Dauphin of Viennois; and from 1791 to 1793 as Louis-Charles, Prince Royal of France, was the son of King Louis...


A large crowd had gathered in the palace's courtyard and were demanding that the queen come to the balcony. She appeared in her night-robe, accompanied by her two children. The crowd demanded that the two children be sent back inside. So the queen stood alone for almost ten minutes, whilst many in the crowd pointed muskets at her. She then bowed her head and returned inside. Some in the mob were so impressed by her bravery that they cried "Vive la Reine!" ("Long live the Queen!")


The stoic behaviour of the queen had greatly calmed the crowd, but the women still demanded bread and food. As well as this, they asked that the royal family leave Versailles and return to Paris to lead the people. Louis XVI reluctantly agreed, and the royal family moved to the Tuileries Palace, the dilapidated royal residence in Paris. Amid great confusion, the entire court and the National Constituent Assembly accompanied the royal family on its journey back to Paris. There was a triumphant entrance into the city. Louis XVI, however, had made a fatal mistake and was to never see Versailles again. Tuileries Palace before 1871 - View from the Louvre courtyard The Tuileries Palace stood in Paris, France, on the right bank of the River Seine until 1871, when it was destroyed. ... La Maison du Roi (House of the King) is a French Army Household Cavalry regiment. ... The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. ...


The Women's March to Versailles was one of the turning points of the French Revolution; it showed that the peasants of the Third Estate were a force to be reckoned with. In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Third Estate (tiers état) indicated the generality of people which were not part of the clergy (the First Estate) nor of the nobility (the Second Estate). ...


This march, mostly composed of women at the outset, also showed that women could be a driving force in history. These women of the Third Estate, however, were from the Parisian underclass, and are depicted as such (often crudely) in art from the Revolution. Since many of the women worked in the city's fish market, artists frequently display them naked with fish heads replacing their real heads. In France of the ancien régime and the age of the French Revolution, the term Third Estate (tiers état) indicated the generality of people which were not part of the clergy (the First Estate) nor of the nobility (the Second Estate). ...


 
 

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