During the Women’s March on Versailles—one of the Revolution’s earliest and most important events—thousands of people besieged the palace, demanding a more fair and favorable price of bread in Parisian markets. The lavish banquet was reported in newspapers as nothing short of a gluttonous orgy, which outraged the commoners. The marchers' success in forcing the king to move to Paris and support the reforms was a major turning point in the French Revolution. The Women’s March on Versailles was exactly what it sounds like; it was the Parisian women marching to Versailles. Calls for more radical action were increasing, and many nobles and those who were not French nationals left France, fearing for their fortunes or even their lives. Eventually, the popula… Armed with sticks and clubs and shouting, “Bread!” a mob of women and men (some dressed as women) marched the 12 miles from Paris to Versailles on the night of October 5, 1789. Some in the crowd called for the children to be removed, and there was fear that the crowd intended to kill the queen. The history of Versailles is inextricably linked with the figure of Louis XIV. But before we get to the march, let's talk a little about Versailles and the crisis that fomented the protest. This violent attack on the government by the people of France signaled the start of the French Revolution. Bad harvests in France had caused the price of flour to increase dramatically, which in turn raised the price of bread, the staple food of most French citizens. The people were hungry. However pleased it may have been by the royal displays, the crowd insisted that the king come back with them to Paris. The Women's March on Versailles in October 1789 is often credited with forcing the royal court and family to move from the traditional seat of government in Versailles to Paris, a major and early turning point in the French Revolution. Driven to desperation by food shortages, they hoped the king would intervene – but some had more sinister ambitions. The Women’s March on Versailles was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. On October 5, 1789, women had suffered enough injustice as a result of the economic crisis in France. Two weeks later, the National Assembly also moved to Paris. In some ways, this meant that hopes were high among the French for a successful change in government, but there was a reason for despair or fear as well. One of the men was Stanislas-Marie Maillard, a prominent conqueror of the Bastille who by unofficial acclamation was given a leadership role. They ended the march on October 7. Stories of a plot to destroy wheat crops in order to starve the population provoked the so-called Great Fear in the summer of 1789. Although the fighting ceased quickly and the royal troops cleared the palace, the crowd was still everywhere outside. Lafayette and Maillard convinced the king to announce his support for the Declaration and the August changes passed in the Assembly. On 5th October 1789, a large crowd of protesters, mostly women, began to assemble at Parisian markets. 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. Sellers also were anxious about the shrinking market for their goods. But they were not satisfied with some food for the day—they wanted the situation of food scarcity to end. Feeding children seemed like an impossible task. It was an additional factor for the mobilization of the working poor in Paris and other cities during the early stages of the French Revolution. The “Mothers of the Nation” were highly celebrated upon their return and would be praised and solicited by successive Parisian governments for years to come. Summary. A famous illustration of Parisian women marching to Versailles, October 1789. Attempting to escape and join with royalist armies, the king was once again captured by a mixture of citizens and national guardsmen who hauled him back to Paris. Early the next morning, a small group invaded the palace, attempting to find the queen’s rooms. The reign of Louis XIV 1638 - 1715. The Women's March on Versailles began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. March to Versailles On October 5th 1789, a violent dispute broke out in Paris at the Hotel de Ville regarding the lack of bread throughout the country. In October, food shortages in the popular markets of Paris fostered discontent and fear, prompting market women and women consumers to show their concern by marching on foot to Versailles and calling upon the king, Louis XVI, to exercise his paternal role by … A 1789 engraving of the women’s march on Versailles. A month later, in August, feudalism and many of the privileges of the nobility and royalty were abolished with the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,” modeled on America’s Declaration of Independence and seen as a precursor to forming a new constitution. What happens when the women believe he lied? By the time the marchers arrived at the city hall in Paris, they numbered somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000. The Marquis de Lafayette, meanwhile, was trying to assemble the national guardsmen, who were sympathetic to the marchers. 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. Their demonstrations quickly became intertwined with the activities of revolutionaries seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France. 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