Happy Bastille Day, 2014!
It’s been 225 years since the storming of the Bastille, the French State Prison. The Bastille’s guards surrendered even though they outgunned the mob of less than 1000 who sought gunpowder for their empty muskets.
The Bastille symbolized Louis XVI’s absolute power and its fall to the people was equally symbolic. After the fall, the French Revolution spread throughout France.
The events of that day in 1789 were attributed to abuses of Louis XVI and perceived threats to the promised French Constitution. An economic crisis resulting from government over-extension and over-taxation contributed. The big difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution as that the French middle-class also wanted to own land and vote.
Although not a holiday that is normally observed in the United States, it’s always wise to be aware of the observances of other cultures and religions.
So on this day, let’s open a bottle of French wine, lift a glass to Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (brotherhood). Maybe, let us eat cake, too.