What were the Political and Social Consequences of the fall of the Bastille?

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Political Consequences:

The fall of the fortress of Bastille was the second great victory of the people over the despotic rule of the king. Louis XVI had forces at his disposal to crush the uprising but yielded owing to his own weakness before the mob.

He withdrew the German and Swiss forces from Paris in order to pacify the infuriated mob and also appointed Necker again on the post of Finance Minister.

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He recognised validity of the National Guards and appointed Lafayette the Commanding Officer of the National Guards.

After three days he hoisted the tricolour flag and passed through the streets of Paris along with the members of the National Assembly. He also praised Lafayette and the Paris Commune for their heroic deeds.

In fact Louis XVI was terrified after the fall of the castle of Bastille and he had to surrender before the mob out of fear. Thus, we see people were conquering the king in France for the first time; so far the king had conquered the people.

Social Consequences:

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The fall of Bastille was the greatest achieve­ment of the revolutionaries and they began to massacre and loot the landed gentry. The peasantry also rose against the privileged classes in the villages and indulged themselves in looting and burning their houses.

They refused to do the forced labour and gave monstrous beatings to the Tax Collectors. Several landlords were put to death. There was complete lawlessness, anarchy, chaos, and confusion everywhere in Paris.

The prominent citizens of Paris formed a committee to stop this hooliganism. The National Guards and Paris Commune were also organised in order to maintain peace and order in France again. Thus the fall of Bastille resulted into total abolition of the power of the king.

Goodwin, the eminent historian has also remarked on the fall of the castle of Bastille:

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“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, it paved the way for the fall of feudalism.

The fall of the fortress was widely acclaimed as heralding a new birth of liberty, not only in France but throughout the world.”

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