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Why do you think the Parisian crowds invaded the Bastille on July 14, 1789? Was it because of food prices?, the dismissal of Necker?, the layout of the city?, something else? Give evidence to support your answer.

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Introduction

FRENCH REVOLUTION Storming of the Bastille Why do you think the Parisian crowds invaded the Bastille on July 14, 1789? Was it because of food prices?, the dismissal of Necker?, the layout of the city?, something else? Give evidence to support your answer. Although Louis XIV France was the envy of other European countries, it became an extremely fragile country during the reign of Louis XVI. Finally, on July 14, 1789 the conflicts and problems within the country lead to the invasion of Bastille. The fall of the Bastille ("the symbol of despotism"1) also connotes to the fall of the monarch's power. Therefore, it would be nothing but oversimplification to make this historically salient event depend on only one reason. ...read more.

Middle

Discontentment in classes of the country reduced the respect and loyalty shown for the king. Weakening of the Old Regime of absolute monarchy ('power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely') and the king's inability to manage his responsibilities led to political stability. In addition to these, Age of Enlightenment gave birth to new revolutionary ideas such as equality and liberty, which encouraged political agitations. However, none of these reasons, by themselves, are capable of bringing thousands of passionate people together for such a fervent act. Economic reasons were the ones that most effectively and most apparently touched the lives of the majority of the population. Therefore they had a greater effect on moving the crowds that produced the Bastille attack. ...read more.

Conclusion

To make matters worse, on July 11 Louis XVI dismissed Monsieur Jaques Necker the Minister of State and Director General of Finances, who could "keep the government solvent, stabilize financial markets, and keep Paris supplied with food" in spite of the financial ruin that the monarch had created. Thus the crowds took action first to make demonstrations around Paris starting from July 12 and then invade Bastille on July 14. Parisians were already brought to the edge of starvation by the economic crisis and they were made intolerant and fuming enough to storm Bastille. However, it is another fact that the dismissal of Necker only accelerated their realization of the need to take action. ...read more.

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