New voices from Paris Bourgeoisie criticize nobility and clergy. By: Alexander Panzer
Paris, 6/January/1754 , In Paris and all over Europe you can hear voices that criticize clergy and nobility. It develops a new way of thinking. There is a great interest in learning, logic and reason. The people discuss in libraries and cafes about political questions. Spokesmen are well known authors, which call themselves philosophers. Some important names are Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot and Rousseau. François-Marie Arouet better known under his penname Voltaire is a famous writer. He wrote many political disputes. He is against serfdom, calls the Catholic Church Voltaire “a monster” and de(source: P.Ermini Public domain) mands tolerance and freedom of the press. Because of his opinions he was thrown into the Bastille for some months. Although
he demands freedom and tolerance, he speaks against the peasants. He calls them mob and demands to force them to obedience. His demands of freedom may be right, but they are valid only for the bourgeoisie, not for the peasants. “La Facille” could arrange a meeting with Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu. He told us: “I demand that the judges should work independent from the King. It is very important to divide the authorities. This would lead to more justice for all. Nobody would be exposed to the despotism of the Nobility.” Denis Diderot another philosopher wrote with others a famous book called “Encyclopédie”. This book has many forward thinking ideas; it gives every person the ability to further his knowledge of the world. Newspaper Office: Alexander Panzer,
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he speaks against the peasants. He calls them mob and demands to force them to obedience. His demands of freedom may be right, but they are valid only for the bourgeoisie, not for the peasants. “La Facille” could arrange a meeting with Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu. He told us: “I demand that the judges should work independent from the King. It is very important to divide the authorities. This would lead to more justice for all. Nobody would be exposed to the despotism of the Nobility.”
Montesquieu (source: Public domain)
Denis Diderot another philosopher wrote with others a famous book called “Encyclopédie”. This book has many forward thinking ideas; it gives every person the ability to further his knowledge of the world. JeanJacques Rousseau demands another form of state called democracy. He thinks the people are the people are the power of the state. Every family should have its own property and should produce what’s needed. There would be no big land owners anymore. This sounds everything like a paradise on earth. The future will show whether these philosophers are only nutcases or if their words can move something.
Faucille Bread for everybody!
Women of Paris armed themselves and walked to Versailles. By: Alexander Panzer
Early morning 5 October 1789, crowds of women came together in the central market place of Paris. The prices of bread had increased greatly. A simple piece of bread was beyond everybody means. The hunger was immense and now it was enough. The women had so much trouble to get food that they didn’t stop at nothing. They armed themselves with pitch forks, muskets, pikes and crowbars and began their walk to Versailles. A farmer’s wife, who attended at the march, told us:” I could see during our march that more and more women came out of the houses and joined us on our way.”
Versailles is well known as the great paradise of our nobility. Our “venerable” King and his family organize big parties there. They hunt and have fun and didn’t even know how the word hunger is written. Our people die for hunger! The courageous women couldn’t endure this injustice. They continued bravely the march and reached Versailles. They stormed through the gates. The heated crowd killed two Royal bodyguards. They put their heads on pikes and demanded the King and Queen to speak with them. They demanded bread for all.
hunt and have fun and didn’t even know how the word hunger is written. Our people die for hunger!
March on Versialles (source: Public domain)
King Louis and Marie Antoinette were scared. The Queen told us later in a short interview:” I was paralysed by fear. We tried to escape, but it was too late. We had only one chance and this was to face the crowd. It was horrible. I can’t understand why they do such terrible things.” Queen Marie Antoinette could really calm down the women by her appearance on the balcony. She and King Louis promised to send all the bread of the palace to Paris. But this was not enough. The women also demanded the move of the Royal family to Paris.
Forward, to arms! Citizens of Paris stormed the By: Alexander Panzer Bastille. Paris, 15/July/1789, huge group of people and got 3,000 rifles. Then we heard that we can get more weapons, ammunition and gun powder at the Bastille. We all knew the Bastille is a symbol of brutality. The prison is a huge structure, a castle building. When we came there, we saw cannons positioned to fire onto the streets of Paris. We enraged and stormed forward.” “La Faucille”: “Were you successful?” Hulin: “Suddenly the drawbridge fell down and we could rush into the prisons courtyard. There we found ammunition, gunpowder and some weapons. Suddenly fire came from the 80 soldiers who guarded the prison. We lost many of our people. The fight lasted until the evening. New men came from the city and brought weapons. Then we could get some cannons and some soldiers who More on page 5
guarded the prison changed sides and fought with us.” “La Faucille”: “Wasn’t that a big surprise?” Hulin: “Of course, but this was the turning point. The other soldiers got scared and urged the Governor of the Bastille Bernard-Rene’ de Launay to surrender. First he told us that he would blow up the whole prison, but later he surrendered. We said we would allow him to leave peacefully the prison.”
“La Faucille”: “Did you?” Hulin: “No, we captured him and his soldiers and beheaded all.” “La Faucille”: “Could you release prisoners?” Hulin: “We released 7 prisoners, but our victory symbolized more. We, the poorest people could defeat a tyrannical, disgraceful system. This is the beginning of a new world. We have shown that we are able to get our goals if needed with the force of weapons.”
My people! By: Alexander Panzer
The true face of King Louis XVI.
Paris, 15/December/1788 Today “La Faucille” had the unique possibility to make an interview with our Royal Highness King Louis XVI about the French society. “La Faucille”: “Could you tell us how many inhabitants France has?” Louis XVI: “France has about 26 million inhabitants without counting the colonies.” “La Faucille”: “How can they be divided?”
Louis XVI: “First of all there is the clergy. It is called the first estate. You must know the French Catholic Church is wealthy and powerful. It owns 10% of the land in France and earns money from the tithes. It supports me in doing my job. No other religion is understandably allowed to practice in my country, except some Jews but they are unimportant. We can differ a lower and upper clergy.” More on page 6
“La Faucille”: “Who was the lower clergy and who was the upper clergy?” Louis XVI: “Members of the lower clergy are usually village priests. Members of the higher clergy are the Bishops and Abbots. They live here in Paris and are Nobles.” “La Faucille”: “What does the clergy do?” Louis XVI: “They register birth, marriages and death and operate schools and hospitals. They give hope to the peasants. You must know peasants need something they can believe in. It makes their life easier.” “La Faucille”: “Does the clergy pay taxes?” Louis XVI: “Of course no! They give regularly a gift of cash.” “La Faucille”: “Who is the second estate?”
Louis XVI: “They are the nobility. They are about 300,000 members. They collect fees and taxes from the peasants who live on the land which is owned by the nobles. ⅓ of the whole land is owned by the nobility. My advisors and nearly all important people around me are nobles. These are the most important people of my state and in my life.” “La Faucille”: “Do they have special privileges?” Louis XVI: “Yes, how could you ask? They are exempt from most of the taxes and can’t be drafted into the military. There exist special courts for their matter. This is the least I can do for them.” “La Faucille”: “Do you have any idea why the nobility invites philosophers Diderot, Voltaire and Rousseau in their houses, although they criticize the nobility?” Louis XVI: “I really have no idea. I think it is an amusing way to pass the time.”
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“La Faucille”: “Who are the remaining people?” Louis XVI: “Scum! But necessary! Called the third estate. More than 20 million are peasants and 85% work in agriculture.” “La Faucille”: “Do they pay taxes?” Louis XVI: “Someone has to pay taxes! They have to pay to the church and the nobility. They can keep about 10% of their crops and livestock; I think this is more than
King Louis XVI (source: AF Callet, Public domain)
Faucille France is bankrupt! King Louis’s XVI dilettante tries of reforming.
By: Alexander Panzer
Paris, 13/July/1789, the absolute Monarchy has ruled France for centuries. Now France is nearly bankrupt. Wars fought by Louis XIV and Louis XV like the seven years war and the participation in the American revolutionary war caused huge war debt. We, the poorest people in the state, the peasants have to pay it. The monarchy increased the taxes again. Crop failure by hailstorms caused a famine. The prices for bread are now immense; we and our children die because of hunger. The nobility and the church have to pay nearly nothing. They live in wealth. A.R. Jacques Turgot our last finance minister told us: “I tried to clear the peasants of taxes and I tried to reduce the wasteful costs of the monarchy, but I was dismissed by King Louis XVI 1776 as a way of saying thank you.” The successor of Turgot, Jacques Necker also tries to take more taxes from the nobility and the church but until now nothing happened.
In July 1788 King Louis XVI called for a meeting for the estates general because of the financial crisis. The general estate has not been called since 1614. This was a kind of hope. Deputies were elected and each estate drew up a list of grievance. The estate general met at Versailles in May this year, but there was no unification. The nobility wanted that the three estates would meet separately and vote as individual bodies. This would be great for them because meant two vote to one. The deputies of our third estate recognized this and demanded a meeting a meeting altogether as one group and a vote by head. The estates couldn’t reach an agreement. On 10/June/1789 the third estate began to act. They invited the other estates to join them but nothing happened. On 17 June the More on page 9
third estate declared itself as national assembly. The kin declared the national assembly as illegal and demanded the maintenance of the three estates. The national assembly defused the demand of the king. Now King Louis, who had the opportunity to act earlier, tried to find a compromise and legalized the national assembly, but ordered the army to station around Paris. This still wasnâ€™t enough; yesterday he dismissed our financial minister Jacques Necker. The people are angry, it is a tense atmosphere. The king has had the possibility of change, but he failed.
Jacques Necker (source: Joseph Siffred Duplessis , Public domain)
Fear changes into anger and a revolution is born. Peasants stormed castles of the feudal sovereigns but National Assembly betrayed them. By: Alexander Panzer Paris, 21/August/1789, Storms and floods destroyed the harvest and frost and snow damaged the fruits last year. Because of this reason already last year some unrests could be noticed. The fear of revenge from the nobility growed and growed after the happenings in Paris. The most peasants were afraid to feel the consequences of the storm on the Bastille. They did what everyone would do. In five different regions they armed themselves, stormed into the castles and demanded the cancelation of harvest payments and the restoration of rights. They attacked grain supplies and burned the documents in which their duties were written. They murdered and burnt. The panic started in
Franche Comte’ and spread south.At last the peasants started to change their fate. But it should come differently. The National Assembly changed the constitution because of the pressure of the riots in the country side. “La Faucille” asked the Marquis de Lafayette a member of the National Assembly what happened: “The National Assembly decided on the 4th August the abolition of feudal privileges and serfdom. And last but not least we gave the peasants the possibility to buy himself out of the feudal system.”
We have to ask ourselves what did they do? They created a new constitution, because the peasants forced them, but the peasants should stay under the yoke of the feudal system. If they have enough money to unchain themselves from the feudal system they won’t be peasants. This is the reason why the riots still remain, of course calmed down but there are still revolts. We have to see how the situation will move on.
The exploitation of the peasants
By: Alexander Panzer
(source: Alexander Panzer)