[43] As battering and screaming filled the halls around her, the queen ran barefoot with her ladies to the king's bedchamber and spent several agonizing minutes banging on its locked door, unheard above the din. After 24 hours of tension, intimidation and some violence, the king and the Assembly agreed to leave Versailles and accompany the mob back to Paris. A historian’s view: [33][34] A group of six women nominated by the crowd were escorted into the king's apartment, where they told him of the crowd's privations. Attempting to escape and join up with royalist armies, the king was once again captured by a mixture of citizens and national guardsmen who hauled him back to Paris. In the face of perceived injustice, a violent mood could easily generate, but it overlay a basic willingness to believe good of the king, an acceptance of his paternal role, and a hope that he would fulfil the new role placed on him, of ‘restorer of French liberty’. [59] Still others go so far as to assert that the crowd was guided by such important Orléanist allies as Antoine Barnave, Choderlos de Laclos, and the duc d'Aiguillon, all dressed as poissardes in women's clothes. An illustration of the Women's March on Versailles, 5 October 1789, The revolutionary decrees passed by the Assembly in August 1789 culminated in, The women hailed by onlookers on their way to Versailles (illustration c. 1842), Lawsuit about the happenings of 6 October at Versailles; Châtelet Paris 1790, Significant civil and political events by year, Philip Mansel, page 129 "Pillars of Monarchy", ISBN 0-7043-2424-5, Richard Cobb, page 88 "The French Revolution - Voices From a Momentous Epoch", CN 8039, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, List of people associated with the French Revolution, The French Revolution a History Volume Three, Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency, The Duchesse de Langeais, With an Episode under the Terror, The Illustrious Gaudissart, A Passion in the Desert, And the Hidden Masterpiece. It is impossible not to like this careless indifference and freedom from suspicion. Title: “The October March on Versailles” There will be riots, marches, speeches, scandals, conflict, and debate. Bread was very difficult to get and very expensive. The women in the fish market would start the march toward Versailles that had been discussed so much in the previous weeks. Both were primarily ceremonial units and lacked the numbers and training to provide effective protection for the royal family and the government. Additional soldiers were mobilised to restore order and clear the palace of invaders. [49] The procession could seem merry at times, as guardsmen hoisted up loaves of bread stuck on the tips of their bayonets, and some of the market women rode gleefully astride the captured cannon. Driven to desperation by food shortages, they hoped the king would intervene – but some had more sinister ambitions. Optimistic observers such as Camille Desmoulins declared that France would now enter a new golden age, with its revived citizenry and popular constitutional monarchy. These events ended the king's independence and signified the change of power and reforms about to overtake France. Even so, the royal court in Paris was much more austere. /* 728x90, created 7/15/08 */ By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. [42] The violence boiled over into savagery as Tardivet's head was shorn off and raised aloft on a pike. This night passed with some sporadic gunfire but little violence. Some even penetrated the palace and threatened Marie Antoinette. Around dawn on the morning of October 6th, this group gained access to the palace through an unguarded side entrance. It was said the soldiers sang verses of O Richard, ô mon Roi!, an operatic song praising an imprisoned king and calling for his freedom. Some had more violent intentions, seeking retribution against the king’s soldiers or his wife, the much-despised Marie Antoinette. The October March on Versailles, as it became known, proved a pivotal movement in the French Revolution and the fate of King Louis XVI. Most of the crowd, however, remained unpacified. These remarks brought cheers, applause and shouts of “Vive le roi!”, as did the king’s gesture of wearing the tricolour cockade of the revolution. It never blares itself out on TV screens. The day has come The unwanted are rising March! [18] However, some fifty-six monarchien deputies did not come with them, believing the mob threat in the capital to be personally dangerous. The price of bread (the staple food for most Parisians) was through the roof. 2018 © World Heritage Encyclopedia. The royal family briefly attended the affair, walking amongst the tables set up in the opera house of the palace. According to Duquesnoy’s account: “Imagine the surprise of many members of the [National] Assembly when some 20 fishwives entered, led by a reasonably well-dressed man called Maillard, who spoke on their behalf with great skill and in well educated French. "[47] The relieved king briefly conveyed his willingness to return to Paris, acceding "to the love of my good and faithful subjects". The Women's March on Versailles, also known as The October March, The October Days, or simply The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution.The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. [17], These two popular goals coalesced around a third that was largely the revolutionaries' idea, which was that the king and his court, and the Assembly as well, must all be moved to Paris to reside among the people. Robespierre gave strong words of support to the women and their plight, and his efforts were received appreciatively; his solicitations helped greatly to soften the crowd's hostility towards the Assembly. [15] Others suggest he coordinated in some way with Mirabeau, the Assembly's most powerful statesman at the time, to use the marchers to advance the constitutionalist agenda. When the two men stepped out on a balcony an unexpected cry went up: "Vive le Roi! As he spoke, the restless Parisians came pouring into the Assembly and sank exhausted on the deputies' benches. [6] Worse, many feared that the king, emboldened by the growing presence of royal troops, might simply dissolve the Assembly, or at least renege on the August decrees. On Lafayette’s advice, Louis XVI addressed the largest section of the crowd from a window balcony. A lot of readers will be familiar with the broad strokes of the French Revolution; the working class felt neglected by the aristocracy, and by the king in particular. Although hardly a gentle man, Maillard helped suppress by force of character the mob's worst instincts; he rescued the Hôtel de Ville's quartermaster, Pierre-Louis Lefebvre-Laroche, a priest commonly known as Abbé Lefebvre, who had been strung up on a lamppost for trying to safeguard its gun powder storage. Many Parisians queued for hours, only to go home empty-handed. Many in the crowd persuasively denounced Lafayette as a traitor, complaining of his resistance to leaving Paris and the slowness of his march. Following the signing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the next major event of the French Revolution saw a mob a Parisian women march to the Palace of Versailles in order to force the royal family to return to Paris. The Hôtel de Ville had already opened its plentiful stores to the rioters, but they remained unsatisfied: they wanted not just one meal but the assurance that bread would once again be plentiful and cheap. Armed with pikes, scythes, clubs, muskets and some small cannon stolen from the Hôtel de Ville, they marched out of Paris at noon and trudged the 12 miles to Versailles, arriving shortly after dark. Or the... ...blicizes itself. By October 4th, Parisians were taking to the streets in protest, not just about the conduct of soldiers at Versailles but also a chronic shortage of bread and other foods. [40] By the first light of morning, an alliance of the national guards and the women was evident, and as the crowd's vigor was restored, their roughneck poissard clamoring resumed. The Women’s March on Versailles, also known as The October March, The October Days, or simply The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. Yet, as the queen stood with her hands crossed over her chest, the crowd – some of whom had muskets leveled in her direction – warmed to her courage. Following the Storming of the Bastille and the Great Fear, revolutionary fervor spread among the populace. On the third day of the march M. le Prince went forward to invest the place. The march on Versailles was precipitated by severe food shortages in Paris, then rumours of a banquet given to royal soldiers on October 1st, where drunken soldiers allegedly trampled symbols of the revolution. Late in the evening, Lafayette's national guardsmen approached up the Avenue de Paris. Versailles was not a single palace but a sprawling complex of buildings and outbuildings, manicured lawns and gardens, roads and decorative features. Although it was a royal residence, Versailles was never closed to the public. “The October Days illustrate the delicate balance in the relationship between the people and the monarchy… Constitutional monarchy [was] the only political system really considered at this time, but even violent protestors showed no real hostility to the king’s role. CONVENTION, National, in what case to... Full Text Search Details...e sat helpless in her dead cerements of a Consti- tution, you gathering in on her from all lands, with your armaments and plots, your invadings and tr... ...s of History, presents itself under two most diverse aspects; all of black on the one side, all of bright on the other. Three eyewitness accounts of the October Days (1789) The harvest had been gathered in September so supplies should have improved – but this had not eventuated in the capital. [11] The idea of a march on Versailles was widespread, and was even discussed in the pages of the Mercure de France (5 September 1789). On October 5, 1789, women had suffered enough injustice as a result of the economic crisis in France. They milled around the palace grounds with rumors abounding that the women's deputation had been duped – the queen would inevitably force the king to break any promises that had been made. When a sentry spotted the women and fired on them, killing one, the mob overpowered, murdered and dismembered two soldiers. The monarchy of France was the most absolute in Europe. Context. The next day, the crowd compelled the king, his family, and most of the French Assembly to return with them to Paris. The reformist deputies were well aware that the four hundred or more monarchist deputies were working to transfer the Assembly to the distant royalist city of Tours, a place even less hospitable to their efforts than Versailles. Desperate, he made his abortive flight to Varennes in June 1791. As the Revolution progressed, he was hounded into exile by the radical leadership. Only then would the foreign soldiers be expelled, food be reliably available, and France served by a leader who was "in communion with his own people". In the words of one of the officers: "Everyone was overwhelmed with sleep and lethargy, we thought it was all over. World Heritage Encyclopedia is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. [15] Their numbers continued to grow and with restless energy the group began to march. When the October journées took place, France's revolutionary decade, 1789–1799, had barely begun. [60] Yet most of the Revolution's foremost histories describe any involvement of the Duke as ancillary to the action, efforts of opportunism that neither created nor defined the October march. On their return to Paris, the royal family was installed in the Tuileries, a dilapidated palace not used as a royal residence for decades. The plan appealed to all segments of the crowd. Have faith, justice we prevail March! Permanently disgraced, Louis was forced to accept a constitution more denuding of his kingship than any previously put forward. Date accessed: January 14, 2021 March to Versailles On October 5th 1789, a violent dispute broke out in Paris at the Hotel de Ville regarding the lack of bread throughout the country. [46] Lafayette, who had earned the court's indebtedness, convinced the king to address the crowd. See search results for this author.          Sexual Content Some suggested that the king and his ministers, having lost power to the National Constituent Assembly, had orchestrated the food shortage to starve the people into submission. Excessive Violence The main palace had 2,153 rooms, 67 staircases and floor space exceeding 67,000 square metres. The buildings and grounds at Versailles were costly to maintain, requiring a staff of more than 2,000 people. Famine was a real and ever-present dread for the lower strata of the Third Estate, and rumors of an "aristocrats' plot" to starve the poor were rampant and readily believed. The Women's March on Versailles, also known as The October March, The October Days, or simply The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. The march symbolized a new balance of power that displaced the ancient privileged orders of the French nobility and favored the nation's common people, collectively termed the Third Estate. The crowd besieged the palace and, in a dramatic and violent confrontation, they successfully pressed their demands upon King Louis XVI. Armed with various weapons including pikes, pitchforks, and muskets, the women began to march. BESENVAL, Baron, Commandant of Paris, on French Finance, in rio... ...ount of, character of, troops mutinous, and Salm regiment, intrepidity of, marches on Nanci, quells Nanci mutineers, at Mirabeau’s funeral, expects fu... ...gainst Plenary Court, in command, in of- fice, dismissed. The deregulation of the grain market implemented by Turgot, Louis XVI's Controller-General of Finances, in 1774, was the main cause of the famine which led to the Flour War in 1775. In March began among women in the marketplaces of Paris, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and shortage of bread. The king was requested to take the strongest possible action to improve the free circulation of grain, etc. 1. “My friends”, he told them, “I shall go with you to Paris, with my wife and children. It marked the end of the king's resistance to the tide of reform, and he made no further open attempts to push back the Revolution. Food was especially scarce. The mood of the people was joyous and optimistic, yet also triumphant and intimidating. October 5, 1789 Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Sending a swift horseman forward to warn Versailles, Lafayette contemplated the near mutiny of his men: he was aware that many of them had openly promised to kill him if he did not lead or get out of the way. BRUNSWICK, Duke, marches on France, advances, Proclama- tion, at Verdun, at Argonne, retreat... ...dress, on Robespierre, death of. For Nature, as green as she looks, rests everywhere on dread foundations, were we farther down; and Pan, to whose music the Nym... ...ing, urging to enlist; there is tear- ful-boastful leave-taking; irregular marching on the Great North-Eastern Road. Louis attempted to work within the framework of his limited powers after the women's march but won little support, and he and the royal family remained virtual prisoners in the Tuileries. When the Commune did not respond, the crowd elected to march on Versailles and take their grievances directly to the king. [53][58] The Duke was certainly present as a deputy to the Assembly, and he was described by contemporaries as smiling warmly as he walked among the protesters at the height of the siege; many of them are said to have hailed him with greetings like "Here is our king! Others wanted the plead with the king to leave Versailles and return to Paris, where he would be away from what they perceived as the corrupting influences of the aristocracy. "[19] Maillard was a popular figure among the market-women,[17] and by unofficial acclamation was given a leadership role. The Duke, a cousin of Louis XVI, was an energetic proponent of constitutional monarchy, and it was an open secret that he felt himself to be uniquely qualified to be king under such a system. All this was probably harmless enough but the popular press in Paris seized on it nevertheless. The shortages of bread in early October were unexpected and gave rise to conspiracy theories. Some years later he attempted to flee Paris but was again dragged back by a … They sought the help and support of the Assembly. The Women’s March on Versailles is a reminder of the power of popular protest movements. The Women's March on Versailles in October 1789 is often credited with forcing the royal court and family to move from the traditional seat of government in Versailles to Paris, a major and early turning point in the French Revolution. Then bloody hell will break loose. [61] Still, the pall of suspicion helped convince him to take on Louis XVI's offer of a diplomatic mission conveniently outside the country. There was a bit more going on. [61] As the Revolution moved forward into the Terror, the Duke's royal lineage and alleged avarice convicted him in the minds of radical leaders and he was sent to his execution in November 1793. [37] Well aware of the surrounding dangers, Louis discussed the situation with his advisors. The day has come And now the fates are changing March! [62], The women's march was a signal event of the French Revolution, its impact on a par with the fall of the Bastille. It gave the revolutionaries confidence in the power of the people over the king. 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