July 14th is National Bastille Day. It was on this day in 1789 that the French revolutionaries drew a line in the sand and stormed the Bastille.
Leading up to the revolution great thinkers of the era spoke widely on the rights of men and the corrupt nature of the French monarchy.
What turned this revolt into a revolution was the participation of the French army. Instead of defending the corrupt monarchy from the angry mob, the soldiers took up arms and helped storm the Bastille.
The invasion of the Bastille was the beginning of much turmoil in France, but in 1792 the monarchy was dissolved and the First French Republic was born. Yet, the story does not end there. The monarchy was a difficult tradition to quiet. Followed by a number of false starts and corrupt coups, the French has a long road to lasting peace. It was not until 1958 that France’s current government, the French Fifth Republic, was established by former president and cultural icon, Charles de Gaulle.
Today in France, in former French territories, and in the hearts of Francophiles all over the world, celebrations ensue. You can join in the merriment by eating some French cuisine, indulging in French music, or taking in a French film.
However you chose to celebrate Bastille Day, enjoy yourself and keep the history alive! Vive le 14 juillet!
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