Alright so a couple #history entries today, but before I get around to the This Day in History entry for today, I thought I’d take a moment to honor our fine French friends who followed in our fearless footsteps (Don’t look now but I think that’s the best alliteration I’ve ever attained). So without delaying any more, a Happy Bastille Day to all!!
July: Independence Month
For all of the crap that some people give France, and believe me I could go down the list right now, but I won’t out of respect for the French people and a close personal friend (shout out, you know who you are :), they’re pretty cool. If there’s a group of people that know how to fuck shit up in the best way possible, it’s those sly bastards.
On this day in 1789 members of the Third Estate in France were not taking any more, and at dawn the people gathered around the Bastille with weapons taken from the Hôtel des Invalides earlier. The Third Estate would form the National Assembly a month earlier, and were defended by the National Guard, who sported the Red, white, and blue colors that would later become the countries national flag. On July 12 French authorities had brought about 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille, which is what the malcontent’s had their eye on.
France faced an economic crisis which predicated the revolution, partially due to their intervention in the American Revolution. On July 11 of the same year, King Louis XVI canned his finance minister, Jacques Necker, who was a well known sympathizer of the Third Estate. This, of course, angered members of the Third Estate, and a few days later they would take a page out of America’s book, albeit with a couple more severed heads.
The Storming of the Bastille was an extremely pivotal moment in French and world history, signifying the end of the old regime in France and a further world push for fair, equal, and representative government around the world. And for that, we thank the French!