The first stone was laid on April 22,on the orders of Charles V of Francewho had it built as a bastide, or fortification the name Bastille is a corruption of bastideto protect his wall around Paris against English attack.
Background[ edit ] During the reign of Louis XVIFrance faced a major economic crisiscaused in part by the cost of intervening in the American Revolutionand exacerbated by a regressive system of taxation.
The king initially opposed this development, but was forced to acknowledge the authority of the assembly, which renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July.
The commoners had formed the National Guardsporting tricolore cockades cocardes of blue, white and red, formed by combining the red and blue cockade of Paris and the white cockade of the king.
These cockades, and soon simply their colour scheme, became the symbol of the revolution and, later, of France itself. The press published the Assembly's debates; political debate spread beyond the Assembly itself into the public squares and halls of the capital.
The Palais-Royal and its grounds became the site of an ongoing meeting. The rank and file of the regiment, previously considered reliable, now leaned toward the popular cause. The Parisians generally presumed that the dismissal marked the start of a coup by conservative elements.
Crowds gathered throughout Paris, including more than ten thousand at the Palais-Royal. Camille Desmoulins successfully rallied the crowd by "mounting a table, pistol in hand, exclaiming: This very night all the Swiss and German battalions will leave the Champ de Mars to massacre us all; one resource is left; to take arms!
The French regiments included in the concentration appear to have been selected either because of the proximity of their garrisons to Paris or because their colonels were supporters of the reactionary "court party" opposed to reform.
That night, rumors spread that supplies were being hoarded at Saint-Lazare, a huge property of the clergy, which functioned as convent, hospital, school and even as a jail.
An angry mob broke in and plundered the property,  seizing 52 wagons of wheat, which were taken to the public market.
That same day multitudes of people plundered many other places including weapon arsenals. The Royal troops did nothing to stop the spreading of social chaos in Paris during those days. The officers of the French Guards made ineffectual attempts to rally their men. The rebellious citizenry had now acquired a trained military contingent.
As word of this spread, the commanders of the royal forces encamped on the Champ de Mars became doubtful of the dependability of even the foreign regiments. He also commented in retrospect that the officers of the French Guards had neglected their responsibilities in the period before the uprising, leaving the regiment too much to the control of its non-commissioned officers.
On the morning of 13 July the electors of Paris met and agreed to the recruitment of a "bourgeois militia" of 48, men  from the sixty voting districts of Paris, to restore order. On the morning of 14 Julythe city of Paris was in a state of alarm.
The commandant at the Invalides had in the previous few days taken the precaution of transferring barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille for safer storage.
The regular garrison consisted of 82 invalides veteran soldiers no longer suitable for service in the field. A analysis of the Bastille dimensions showed that it did not tower over the neighborhood as was depicted in the paintings but was more of a comparable height to other buildings in the neighborhood.
A breakdown of occupations included in the list indicates that the majority were local artisans, together with some regular army deserters and a few distinctive categories such as 21 wine merchants. The negotiations dragged on while the crowd grew and became impatient. A small party climbed onto the roof of a building next to the gate to the inner courtyard and broke the chains on the drawbridgecrushing one vainqueur as it fell.
Soldiers of the garrison called to the people to withdraw but in the noise and confusion these shouts were misinterpreted as encouragement to enter. The crowd seems to have felt that they had been intentionally drawn into a trap and the fighting became more violent and intense, while attempts by deputies to organise a cease-fire were ignored by the attackers.
An artist’s impression of the siege at the Bastille in July On July 14th , a crowd of several thousand people laid siege to the Bastille, a royal fortress on the eastern fringe of Paris. At dawn on July 14, a great crowd armed with muskets, swords, and various makeshift weapons began to gather around the Bastille. Launay’s men were able to hold the mob back, but as more and more. The Fall of the Bastille on July 14, did not start out as an important event, but by the end of the attack it became a turning point for the French Revolution because it forced the king to pay attention to the commoners and led to numerous changes of the Revolution.
A substantial force of Royal Army troops encamped on the Champ de Mars did not intervene. A letter offering his terms was handed out to the besiegers through a gap in the inner gate.
His demands were refused, but de Launay nonetheless capitulated, as he realised that with limited food stocks and no water supply  his troops could not hold out much longer. He accordingly opened the gates to the inner courtyard, and the vainqueurs swept in to liberate the fortress at 5: De Launay was then stabbed repeatedly and died.
It was a chilling and a horrid sight!The fall of the Bastille was one of the moments in the eruption of the modern popular historical consciousness and the power of history and historical consciousness to the proper functioning of a democratic society.
The fall of the Bastille left the population of Paris with the gunpowder for their recently seized weapons, giving the revolutionary city the means to defend itself. Just as the Bastille had been a symbol of royal tyranny before it fell, so after it was swiftly transformed by publicity and opportunism into a symbol of freedom.
May 31, · By the summer of , France was moving quickly toward revolution.
Bernard-René Jordan de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his . An artist’s impression of the siege at the Bastille in July On July 14th , a crowd of several thousand people laid siege to the Bastille, a royal fortress on the eastern fringe of Paris.
The Storming of the Bastille took place in Paris, France on July 14, This violent attack on the government by the people of France signaled the start of the French Revolution. What was the Bastille? The Bastille was a fortress built in the late s to protect Paris during the Hundred Years.
The Fall of the Bastille on July 14, did not start out as an important event, but by the end of the attack it became a turning point for the French Revolution because it forced the king to pay attention to the commoners and led to numerous changes of the Revolution.