Storming of the Bastille


La Batilla was a fortress of great power that dominated all the popular neighborhoods that were in the east of Paris . It was a symbol of absolute monarchy and was a fortification that had been created against the English during the Hundred Years War , which Richelieu had later converted into a prison . On July 14, 1789, a very aggressive angry mafia of Parisian workers attacked this state prison in the east of Paris. The prison had become a symbol of the dictatorial rule of the monarchy , and the storming of the Bastille became one of the defining moments of theRevolution that followed this event.

  • When was it:  07/14/1789
  • Where was it: Paris, France

What was the storming of the Bastille?

The storming of the Bastille was an event in which Parisian workers took their arms and entered the Bastille building. It is considered as the first step towards the French Revolution , as it continued until King Louis XVI and his family were assassinated to the guillotine.

  • Summary of the storming of the Bastille
  • Causes of the storming of the Bastille
  • Consequences
  • Storming of the Bastille characters

Summary of the storming of the Bastille

The French Revolution was a social and political process that developed in France between 1789 and 1795, which sought to create a new code of laws , freedom , equality and fraternity, and whose main objective was to create a Republic. This Revolution began with an armed revolution that was the trigger for all new ideas to begin to emerge, and the main and first great revolt was the storming of the Bastille.


A medieval fortress, the eight towers of the Bastille 30 meters high, dominated the Parisian skyline. When the prison was attacked, it only had seven prisoners, but the mob had come to demand the huge amounts of ammunition that were kept within the prison walls.

At the beginning, the people did not want to take over the prison and they only went with the idea of claiming the arms , gunpowder and bullets from the governor to be able to fight against the royal troops. However, when the prison governor refused to comply, the opponents started a violent battle, eventually taking over the building. The governor was kidnapped and killed , his head was dragged through the streets on a stick.

First, the representatives were greeted politely inside the fortress, but failed to obtain any results. Moments later, a delegation made up of Jacques Alexis Hamard and Louis Ethis tried again to carry out a negotiation to obtain the weapons, but this negotiation also did not obtain results and the inhabitants began to get impatient. A few hours later, the chains on the bridge leading to the inner courtyard were cut and a bloody battle began .

The authorities tried to stop the fighting without obtaining positive results. The storming of the Bastille symbolically marked the beginning of the French Revolution , in which the monarchy was overthrown and a republic established on the basis of the ideas that “the French said for liberty, equality and fraternity.”

Causes of the storming of the Bastille

Among the main causes that gave rise to the storming of the Bastille we can mention the following:

  • There is a weakening of the sectors attached to Louis XVI and royalty , this because there was a general displeasure caused by the payment of high taxes in order to maintain the luxuries of the monarchy and defray the expenses of the war.
  • The formation of the National Constituent Assembly , and the new Constitution that originated in 1789.
  • The elimination of the Estates General as a sign of rebellion and insurrection.
  • The fact that acted as a trigger and that marked the beginning of the French Revolution that, due to the erosion of the Monarchy, had already been forging between nobles, the people and the clergy, who were already tired of so many abuses by royalty .


The main consequences that arose after the taking of the Bastille were the decision to eliminate feudalism , legally and institutionally , to avoid the rebellions of the people. To achieve this, the fair price for the lands was set and guilds and corporations were eliminated . The bourgeoisie sought the union of the internal market .

Another consequence of the storming of the Bastille was the agrarian and social revolution in the French countryside. Peasants in arms attacked castles and stately residences; they set fire to the buildings of the tax collection offices, which were so disrespectfully levied on them. The peasants destroyed the feudal regime ; and the assembly legally eliminated it.

Storming of the Bastille characters

Among its important characters we can mention King Louis XVI , Minister Necker of Finance , the States General , the clergy and the oligarchs . Some of the most prominent were:

  • The Marquis de La Fayette was one of his people who was appointed commander of the Paris National Guard after the revolts of July 1789.
  • Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Jacques Alexis Hamard Thuriot and Louis Ethis de Corny , who were members of the delegation that entered the Bastille to try to reach a peaceful resolution before the taking.
  • Claude Fauchet , member of the third delegation that entered the building to try to speak to the Mayor of the Bastille.
  • Pierre-Augustin Hulin , the sergeant of the Swiss Guard, who, seeing no progress, ordered to open fire with the weapons taken at the Bastille Fortress.

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