Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France.
Which incident had led to the outbreak of the revolution in France?
The incidents leading to the outbreak of the revolution were:-
- Meeting of the Estates General: On 5 May 1789, Louis XVI called for a meeting to propose new taxes. Representatives of all the three estates reached there, but members of the third estate had to stand at the back, as they were not offered any seat. Peasants, artisans and women were denied entry to the assembly.
- Demand for Universal Adult Franchise: Members of the third estate demanded the power for each member to vote. When the King rejected the demand, members of the third estate walked out of the assembly to protest.
- Meeting of the newly formed National Assembly: Since the percentage of the third estate was more, they considered themselves as spokesmen for the whole French nation. They assembled in an indoor tennis court of Versailles and declared themselves as the ‘National Assembly’. They believed in removing the feudal privileges of the nobles and clergy.
- Revolt by peasants: The countryside rumours spread from village to village that their ripe crops would be destroyed by hired bands of lords of manors. Peasants in several districts seized hoes and attacked the residences of their manors. They looted, hoarded grain and burnt down documents containing records of manorial dues.
- Fall of Bastille prison: During this political turmoil, the French had experienced severe winters leading to bad harvest. It increased the price of bread, which was hoarded in the market. Angry women attacked the shops. At the same time, the King ordered troops to move into Paris. On 14 July 1789, the agitated crowd stormed and destroyed the Bastille prison.