Saturday, December 24, 2016

The storming of La Bastille - Freedom is coming to #Uganda

The July 14 holiday celebrates another "shot heard 'round the world"

The French national holiday of Bastille Day—celebrated each year on July 14, or le quatorze juillet—may spell fireworks and and a large military parade for some, but for most, it still marks the anniversary of the storming of a grand fortress that was infamous for holding political prisoners, during the first moments of the French Revolution in Paris in 1789.
But the meaning behind that action isn’t quite as poetic as the motto of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” sounds,says Dan Edelstein, chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages at Stanford and an expert on 18th century France. 
Back in July of 1789, France had already experienced a rough summer that included food shortages, high taxes (as a solution to King Louis XVI’s debts) and the militarization of Paris. Sensing distress, the king called upon the Estates-General—an assembly that hadn’t met in more than a century—to deliver a new tax plan. That resulted in the Third Estate, the non-noble/non-clergy portion of the assembly, breaking from the clergy and nobility, and demanding a written constitution from France. Their proclamation would form the National Assembly in late June. Weeks later, after the king removed a finance minister, Jacques Necker, of whom the estate approved, fears that Louis XVI was attempting to quash any political revolution began to boil.

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