Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fête Nationale

Historical Moment - a backward glance

On this day in 1789, France faced a major economic crisis which had been exacerbated by an unequal system of taxation. The bourgeoisie (middle class) had been edged out of the political scene by the poor - who paid no tax, and the rich, who also paid very little tax.

It had become a familiar scene where there was taxation without representation.

As events moved toward the fateful day, July 14, French regiments were ordered to fire into unruly crowds, soldiers refused or fired into the air. It seems that they shared the sentiment of the protesters. The French soldiers in Paris were replaced by foreign mercenaries who didn't share the scruples about shedding French blood that native frenchmen did.

The Storming of the Bastille and the Declaration of the Rights of Man accompanied the middle class, which wore tricolor rosettes of red, white and blue to identify themselves began a revolt that led France into civil war.

In 1792, Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote La Marseillaise. Once you've read the lyrics, take a moment to listen to a magnificent performance.


Red said...

I was wondering when someone was going to bring this up. History is destined to repeat itself.

darlin said...

It is uncanny how, as Red mentioned, history does repeat itself. Insanity comes to mind, the way I choose to define insanity is attempting to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I was always wondering where that tune came from, thanks for enlightening me. Now I'm going to have it stuck in my head for quite some time! lol

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