PARISIAN WOMEN MARCH TO VERSAILLES
IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Following the signing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the next major event of the French Revolution saw a mob a Parisian women march to the Palace of Versailles in order to force the royal family to return to Paris. Louis XVI and his family had left Paris for Versailles earlier in the course of the French Revolution. On the 5th of October 1789, the group of working class women were protesting the price of bread and on the 6th of October they marched from Paris to Versailles to confront the king. Upon arriving, the women killed several of the king’s guards, putting their severed heads on pikes, and forced the royal family to return to Paris with them. In particular, the women were angered with the king’s failure to respond to the financial hardships facing the citizens of the third estate. The price of bread had increased dramatically and with the failure of the Estates-General, French citizens were worried about their ability to survive. As well, anger had been growing among the citizens of France against the queen, Marie Antoinette, and the rumors of her expensive lifestyle and overspending. Regardless, after being forced back to Paris by the mob of women, Louis XVI and his family were effectively held prisoners by the revolutionaries and citizens of France.
Returned to Paris, Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were held prisoners in the Tuileries Palace, while the revolutionaries transformed the country. The National Assembly had passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen which had limited the authority of king. Seeing his power dwindled, and fearing the continued growth of the revolutionaries, Louis XVI and his family attempted to flee the country.
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