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The Nation marches towards the Republic
July 14, 2005 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Happy Bastille day! For all citizens of France, the storming of the Bastille symbolizes, liberty,democracy and the struggle against all forms of oppression. Also, the Declaration of the Rights of Man (which was written by Lafayette, of all people).
posted by warbaby (27 comments total)

 
Vive la France!

(it's not a good time for them tho--losing the Olympics, and all the extra security they have to have now...)
posted by amberglow at 7:27 AM on July 14, 2005


Forget the olympics, David Moncoutie just one the Bastille Day stage of Le Tour!
posted by peacay at 7:33 AM on July 14, 2005


Today is also my sister's birthday...she actually got to spend it in Paris and experience the Bastille Day celebration one year.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:52 AM on July 14, 2005


Cheese-eating insurrection monkeys! Yes I WILL have (pommes frites) (french fries) with that broadsword. This is what democracy looked like.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:04 AM on July 14, 2005


For the residents of Milwaukee, the storming of the Bastille represents the beginning of Bastille Days, the chance to drink beer and watch cover bands.
posted by drezdn at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2005


I see a reason to eat French food tonight! Maybe even get a French disease if I'm lucky.
posted by geoff. at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2005


The initial French revolution may have been idealistic but it eventually led to the rise of Napoleon. Since then the French republic has been remarkably unstable for a democracy (witness the fifth iteration of their constitution since the 1800's).
posted by PenDevil at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2005


What do ya expect from deconstructionists?
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2005


released the handful of prisoners held there...

Weren't they, like, disobedient teenagers sent their by their parents? And wasn't the "handful" actually four?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2005


Vive La France.

(And I mean it.)
posted by OmieWise at 8:31 AM on July 14, 2005


I love the French national anthem.
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 9:01 AM on July 14, 2005


drezdn: "For the residents of Milwaukee, the storming of the Bastille represents the beginning of Bastille Days, the chance to drink beer and watch cover bands."

Don't you mean "yet another chance to drink beer and watch cover bands." It is the festival season after all. Vive La France! Vive Milwaukee! Oh, let's not forget that whole Liberty, Equality, Fraternity thing.
posted by MikeMc at 9:02 AM on July 14, 2005


Vive La France.... Honestly though there should be a counter part to this holiday in the us. Francophobe day, where the frog haters get their just deserts, or maybe are just forced to watch several hours of tasty french film.

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg
posted by sourbrew at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2005


So, do you guys in the US celebrate "Freedom day" instead or something like that?
posted by clevershark at 9:43 AM on July 14, 2005


> I love the French national anthem.

I don't like the words. Gainsbourg's reggae style take on the
Marseillaise was pretty good though.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:16 AM on July 14, 2005


Well played, MikeMC.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on July 14, 2005


Just some additional background from a paragraph in a book I wrote on a completely different subject:

On July 12th, 1789, Camille Desmoulins, a young, unemployed lawyer with a speech impediment, leapt up on a table in a café outside the Palais Royal in Paris and addressed the assembled crowd. For Desmoulins, long an active propagandist against the tyranny and lèse-majesté of the French monarchy, the sudden dismissal of the popular Jacques Necker, director of the treasury, by King Louis XVI was another tocsin of Saint Bartholomew: the signal that the King intended to massacre his opponents as French Catholics had done to the Protestant Huguenots in 1572. Drawing two pistols from under his coat, and in his excited stammer, he launched into a moving and inflammatory oratory that exhorted the crowd “to arms.” Following him through the streets of Paris the crowd seized weapons, growing in size and fervor. By the next day, this crowd had become a mob that invaded the Hôtel des Invalides and acquired a large number of muskets. Lacking ammunition they moved onward and surrounded the Bastille – an imposing fortress where it was known that large supplies of powder and shot were kept. On the 14th of July, 1789, the Parisian mob conquered this symbol of the monarchy.

Upon learning that the Bastille had been stormed, Louis XVI, who was residing in disinterested comfort at the Palace of Versailles, stated blandly to the Duke La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt: "This is a revolt."

"No, Sire,” La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt corrected him, “This is a revolution."
posted by three blind mice at 10:48 AM on July 14, 2005


Having just re-watched Ridicule, and finally finishing the counter-terrorism PDF, I am most ready to celebrate the ideals which are openly scorned nowadays. A votre sante, la liberte!
posted by Busithoth at 12:13 PM on July 14, 2005


Peacay:

Nice freakin' spoiler. Thanks bunches.
posted by BlackPebble at 12:23 PM on July 14, 2005


And if you happen to be in Philadelphia this weekend, you can participate.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:49 PM on July 14, 2005


And if you happen to be in Milwaukee...
posted by MikeMc at 2:23 PM on July 14, 2005



The initial French revolution may have been idealistic but it eventually led to the rise of Napoleon. Since then the French republic has been remarkably unstable for a democracy (witness the fifth iteration of their constitution since the 1800's).


This doesn't undermine the makings of a great republic.

French Institutions.

Why not a 6th??

A constant.
posted by pwedza at 5:41 PM on July 14, 2005


reason's hit and run linked to these translations of the marquis de sade's letters

i found them fascinating, but only because prisoners held without a trial interest me right now. im not really sure why.

the translator is posting one a week if youre wondering where the rest of the letters are
posted by tsarfan at 7:31 PM on July 14, 2005


Hey, Dezdn. Thanks for bringing up Milwaukee's Bastille Day. It's my favorite festival in the city of festivals. It draws a crowd like no other in town...especially beautiful women, who must evaporate the very next day (I never saw them anywhere else in town). Add it to the list of things I miss about that place.

Did anyone mention the 11 sorry prisoners in the Bastille at the time it was stormed? Or the prisoner with the long white beard named Malleville De Whyte who alternately thought he was God or Julius Caesar? Or the Marquis de Sade getting transferred out of the Bastille to Charenton just a week before it was stormed?

It's no wonder this day is my favorite holiday, and I'm not one bit French.
posted by Neologian at 8:13 PM on July 14, 2005


A revolution lost.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:45 PM on July 14, 2005


Not all who wander are lost.
posted by warbaby at 8:58 PM on July 14, 2005


Don't forget the Declaration of the Rights of Woman, written by Olympe De Gouges in 1791.

De Gouges's devotion to the cause of women's rights led to her being charged with treason under the rule of the National Convention. She was arrested, tried, and later, in November of 1793, executed by the guillotine.
posted by rwkenyon at 7:01 AM on July 15, 2005


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