Storming of the Bastille, by Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houel. *Photo from Wikipedia
July 14 is Bastille Day.
It commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution as well as the Fête de la Fédération (lit “Festival of the Federation”) which celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790.
The medieval fortress, armory, and political prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the center of Paris. The prison contained just seven inmates at the time of its storming but was a symbol of abuses by the monarchy; its fall was the flashpoint of the French Revolution.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire.
The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond.
Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.
Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of republics and democracies. It became the focal point for the development of all modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism, nationalism, socialism, feminism, and secularism, among many others.
The Revolution also witnessed the birth of total war by organizing the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest. Some of its central documents, like the Declaration of the Rights of Man, expanded the arena of human rights to include women and slaves, leading to movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century.
In commemoration of the day, we introduce you to people who are from/related to the country.
*Click the photo below and read their stories!
“You have many treasures in Japan but you destroy them.” – Stephane Danton, Japanese tea merchant