Long live King Orléans! Rather than see them leave as another anarchic mob, the Parisian municipal government told Lafayette to guide their movements; they also instructed him to request that the king return voluntarily to Paris to satisfy the people. David Andress, historian. French Revolution memory quiz – events 1789-91, French Revolution memory quiz – events 1792-95, French Revolution memory quiz – events to 1788, French Revolution memory quiz – terms (I), French Revolution memory quiz – terms (II), French Revolution memory quiz – terms (III), Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, A participant in the October March on Versailles (1789), A French nobleman describes the October Days (1789), Three eyewitness accounts of the October Days (1789). 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. By this time, the Marquis de Lafayette and a regiment of National Guard had arrived from Paris, however, the king preferred not to deploy the Guardsmen or his own soldiers, perhaps fearing a bloodbath. "[40] Many scholars believe that the Duke paid agents provocateurs to fan the discontent in the marketplaces and to conflate the women's march for bread with the drive to bring the king back to Paris. This embellished tale of the royal banquet became the source of intense public outrage. In the words of one of the officers: "Everyone was overwhelmed with sleep and lethargy, we thought it was all over. Even though he was one of France's greatest war heroes, Lafayette could not dissuade his troops and they began threatening to desert. On October 1st 1789, soldiers of the Royal Flanders Regiment arrived at Versailles from Douai after being summoned to strengthen the king’s royal bodyguard. [44] Finally, the fury of the attack subsided enough to permit some communication between the former French Guards, who formed the professional core of Lafayette's National Guard militia, and the royal gardes du corps. World Heritage Encyclopedia is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization. [31] A few other deputies welcomed the marchers warmly, including Maximilien Robespierre who was still at that time a relatively obscure figure in politics. It gave the revolutionaries confidence in the power of the people over the king. 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. Late in the evening, drunk soldiers were reportedly seen standing on tables, shouting and singing bawdy songs. The king was requested to take the strongest possible action to improve the free circulation of grain, etc. On the third day of the march M. le Prince went forward to invest the place. When a sentry spotted the women and fired on them, killing one, the mob overpowered, murdered and dismembered two soldiers. A proposed decree [by the Assembly] was read out to the women. [18] However, some fifty-six monarchien deputies did not come with them, believing the mob threat in the capital to be personally dangerous. [37] Infuriated, the rest surged towards the breach and streamed inside. At Versailles, the Assembly remained ignorant of most of the Paris events, but eminently aware that the Marshal de Broglie stood on the brink of unleashing a pro-Royalist coup to force the Assembly to adopt the order of 23 June and then to dissolve. "[38] This left only the usual night guard of sixty-one Gardes du Corps posted throughout the palace. Copyright: The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. A participant in the October March on Versailles (1789) Or Palestine and Israel? 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. Versailles was known as a royal paradise, and many very important people lived there along with the King and his family. [13][20], As they left, thousands of National Guardsmen who had heard the news were assembling at the Place de Grève. Some furniture, clothing and other royal belongings were carted from Versailles to the Tuileries. Some had more violent intentions, seeking retribution against the king’s soldiers or his wife, the much-despised Marie Antoinette. [15] Their numbers continued to grow and with restless energy the group began to march. [3], The king's court and the deputies of the National Constituent Assembly were all in comfortable residence at the royal city of Versailles, where they were considering momentous changes to the French political system. [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. 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. 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. All this was probably harmless enough but the popular press in Paris seized on it nevertheless. [18][24] However pleased it may have been by the royal displays, the crowd insisted that the king come back with them to Paris. Permanently disgraced, Louis was forced to accept a constitution more denuding of his kingship than any previously put forward. Around dawn on the morning of October 6th, this group gained access to the palace through an unguarded side entrance. Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles. The very next day, while the division was marching out of the town, the General went to the convent to be present at ... ...e Hotel Rambouillet, and the Place Royale to the sixteenth; and lastly, as Versailles was to the seventeenth and the eighteenth. Food was especially scarce. [51], The rest of the National Constituent Assembly followed the king within two weeks to new quarters in Paris. Just as the ordinary ... ...nce the Faubourg Saint- Germain existed at all—which is to say, ever since Versailles 27 Balzac ceased to be the royal residence—the Faubourg, with s... ...shifted under his feet at every step; and when, at the end of a long day’s march, he lay down to sleep 43 Balzac on the ground, he had never been so ... ...ge and gave him new strength. The "Mothers of the Nation" were highly celebrated upon their return, and they would be praised and solicited by successive Parisian governments for years to come.[56]. google_ad_width = 160; The royal family briefly attended the affair, walking amongst the tables set up in the opera house of the palace. As he spoke, the restless Parisians came pouring into the Assembly and sank exhausted on the deputies' benches. In viewing the king’s apartment, which he had not left a quarter of an hour [before], with those slight traits of disorder that showed he lived in it, it was amusing to see the blackguard figures that were walking uncontrolled about the palace, and even in [the king’s] bedchamber; men whose rags betrayed them to be in the last stage of poverty, and I was the only person that stared and wondered how the devil they got there. By October 5th, the situation in Paris had reached critical mass. 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. [42][43], The chaos continued as other royal guards were found and beaten; at least one more was killed and his head too appeared atop a pike. The Women's March to Versailles, October 5-6, 1789. When these promises failed to calm the agitated mob, Louis ordered the food stores at Versailles be opened and distributed to the protestors. 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. For revolutionaries, the preservation of their recent legislation and the creation of a constitution were paramount, and a lockdown of the king within reformist Paris would provide the best possible environment for the Revolution to succeed. Lafayette brought her to the same balcony, accompanied by her young son and daughter. This French Revolution site contains articles, sources and perspectives on events in France between 1781 and 1795. Among their makeshift weaponry they dragged along several cannons taken from the Hôtel de Ville. They stormed through the palace halls, intent on finding and murdering the queen. The government of Jacques Necker, anticipating a shortage of food, had negotiated imports of grain – but these had not yet arrived. It is to my good and faithful subjects that I confide all that is most precious to me”. google_ad_height = 600; [43] In a close brush with death, they barely escaped through the doorway in time. Date accessed: January 14, 2021 The crowd had conflicting aims but there was a general consensus that the king must return to Paris and address the food crisis. On the afternoon of October 6th the king, his family, his royal retinue and several deputies to the Assembly departed Versailles for Paris. Though allegations of his specific actions concerning the October march remain largely unproven, he has long been considered a significant instigator of the events. The power of the King was irreversibly curtailed, and he never again dwelt at Versailles. For more info, visit our FAQ page or Terms of Use. The royal procession, accompanied by Assembly deputies and the crowd, departed Versailles later that day. But it was the crudely decisive invasion of the palace itself that was most momentous; the attack removed for… Many Parisians queued for hours, only to go home empty-handed. Excessive Violence Viscount Mirabeau (the brother of the famous Mirabeau) grabbed the bosoms of the prettiest women, and the most indecent behaviour occurred in the sacred place of representative government.”. Located 12 miles from Paris, Versailles was a sprawling complex of palaces and buildings that housed the king and the royal government since the days of Louis XIV. Bread was very difficult to get and very expensive. I had hoped that Monseigneur would finish the campaign, and tha... Full Text Search Details.... 3 Balzac The Duchesse de Langeais by Honoré de Balzac IN A SPANISH CITY on an island in the Mediterranean, there stands a convent of the Order of B... ...l from all earthly things, which is demanded by the religious life, albeit on the continent of Europe there are many convents magnificently adapted to... ...y in the 4 The Duchesse de Langeais loneliest valleys, hanging in mid-air on the steepest mountainsides, set down on the brink of precipices, in ever... ...which caused no remark in Spain. [44][45], Although the fighting ceased and the two commands of troops had cleared the palace, the mob was still everywhere outside. Some officers, Marat claimed, had also donned black and white cockades of the Ancien Régime. [30] The great orator declined this chance at demagoguery but nonetheless mingled familiarly with the market women, even sitting for some time with one of them upon his knee. The Lyrics for Marching On Versailles by AD Infinitum have been translated into 6 languages This was your final chance A chance you didn't take Like the lightning, we … The mob had no single leader or figurehead but one significant instigator was Stanislas Maillard, a coarsely spoken officer in the National Guard and one of the leaders of the July raid on the Bastille. 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. [14] On 1 October, the officers at Versailles held a welcoming banquet for the officers of the new troops, a customary practice when a unit changed its garrison. 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. google_ad_slot = "6183751590"; There was a bit more going on. The crown enforced strict regulations and b… As the Revolution progressed, he was hounded into exile by the radical leadership. The price of bread (the staple food for most Parisians) was through the roof. The October March on Versailles, as it became known, proved a pivotal movement in the French Revolution and the fate of King Louis XVI. In 1789, one loaf of bread cost more than half a day's pay for the common workers. In short order, the entire body settled in only a few steps from the Tuileries at a former riding school, the Salle du Manège. 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 plan appealed to all segments of the crowd. 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