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The Place de la BastilleThe story of a quartier$
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Keith Reader

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846316654

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316784

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‘Thought blew the Bastille apart’: the fall of the fortress and the revolutionary years, 1789–1815

‘Thought blew the Bastille apart’: the fall of the fortress and the revolutionary years, 1789–1815

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter Two ‘Thought blew the Bastille apart’: the fall of the fortress and the revolutionary years, 1789–1815
Source:
The Place de la Bastille
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846316784.004

In the late 1780s, France was mired in an economic crisis. There were plans to transfer all the inmates in the Bastille, which had become unpopular and very costly to maintain, to Vincennes. People were demanding its closure and launching attacks on the lettre de cachet. Jacques Necker, the director-general of finances, tried to stem growing popular discontent by meeting with the Estates-General, to no avail. In June 1789, the tiers état representatives transformed themselves into the National Assembly. Not long after, Necker was dismissed for a second time, a decision that angered the majority of the population and triggered riots. The unpopularity of the fortress was a reflection of the regime it represented. This chapter focuses on the events that led to the storming and destruction of the fortress, which culminated in the French Revolution of 1789, and describes the revolutionary years (1789–1815).

Keywords:   France, riots, Bastille, fortress, French Revolution, Jacques Necker, Estates-General, National Assembly, tiers état

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