The King could not reconcile to these changes and was keen to regain his lost position. He brought a large number of soldiers to Versailles and Paris on the plea of preventing disorder in Paris and protecting the assem­bly.

However, the people were not convinced and felt that the King had resorted to movement of troops to overawe them. The attempt on the part of the delegates of the privileged classes to keep away from the meetings of the National Assembly further confirmed their doubts that the King’s intentions were not simple. On 11 July, 1789 Louis XVI proceeded to dismiss Necker because he advised the King to make concession to the Third Estate.

He constituted a new ministry consisting of reactionary members. All this convinced the people that the King had not reconciled with the changed situation and was keen to reassert his authority. People of Paris expressed their resentment against Louis XVI by storming the state prison cell of the Bastille, which was a symbol of tyranny and abuses of the once Old Regime.

The royal troops did offer resistance but after a bloody encounter the revolutionaries razed the castle to the ground. The fall of Bastille was a symbol of the overthrow of the ancient regime. High­lighting the significance of the fall of Bastille Goodwin says, “No other- single event in the revolution had so many-sided or far-reaching results as the fall of the Bastille.


It marked the end of royal despotism in France, completed the transfer of political authority to the national legislature, and by encouraging the peasants to revolt, paved the way for the fall of feudal­ism. It freed the country from the restraints press censorship and thus led to the rise of popular journalism, the political effect of which was amply demonstrated in the preparation of the next revolutionary journal in the following October…The fall of the fortress was widely acclaimed as heralding a new birth of liberty, not only in France, but throughout the world.”

The surrender of Bastille to the revolutionaries of Paris encouraged the peasants in the provinces, specially in the east of France. They burnt castles belonging to the privileged classes, they also burnt down the feudal deeds containing details regarding their dues etc. They stopped ploughing for their landlords and even stopped payment of tithes to the clergy.