In 1789 the French people revolted against the king, attacking the Bastille which was a prison but symbolized the monarchy. It was the beginning of democracy in France. I often wonder how much the American revolution had to do with the French Revolution. The French helped Americans free themselves from the King of England. They armed the Americans, sent weapons and supplies and eventually their army and navy. I wonder if the French people saw that and said to themselves, we want that too. As it turns out they traded the King for an Emperor, which is basically short of King, so not a lot changed for them over the next few years. Think of Bastille Day as France’s Independence Day.
How to celebrate – Visit France. Read about the French Revolution. Go see the Bastille.
The United States declared it’s independence in 1776, we claim the July 4th as the date it all started… that isn’t exactly true. In fact, the signers did not all sign until late September, 1776. The war itself had even started with the siege of Boston. But just like every holiday we have had to assign a date to it so everyone can celebrate at the same time. July 4th seemed to be the best date so Independence Day is July 4th. We celebrate with parades, fireworks and remembering our forefathers. Fortunately the revolution worked and we are the land of the free. And guess who our best friends in the world are… the country we broke from.
How to celebrate – Rejoice on the 4th of July. Be proud to be an American. Read about the revolution.
While this holidays is normally restricted to the New England region it really should be celebrated all across America. It is a bit confusing since it falls on the third Monday of the month so the date varies, but it celebrates when America first separated from England. It celebrates Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride as well as the battles at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The actual day was April 19th but that doesn’t matter. Now Paul Revere never completed his ride, in fact he didn’t really get very far before he was arrested. He also did not shout “The British are coming”! as is often depicted. Back then, most of us were British and that would mean nothing to the homesteads he was warning. “The Redcoats are coming” would have been more like it since the Redcoats were known to be the soldiers. Also the battles at Lexington and Concord weren’t really battles as they were very one sided and did not last very long. However, the Redcoats never forget their attempt to get back to Boston.
How to celebrate – Remember the Patriots that started making the Untied States the United States. Visit New England. Study history, it is relevant.
I have always thought the French Revolution was an odd occurrence. Not that it happened, the people wanted democracy over the Constitutional Monarchy. Don’t blame them. What is odd is that the monarch of France thought it was a good idea to help America win it’s revolution with out any thought that his own people might do the same!
Well, they did, and on July 14th, 1789 they stormed the Bastille to take over the country. Now most think the Bastille was a government building and I guess, in a way, it sort of was. It was a prison. The people freed those who could lead the rebellion against the king, most of whom the king had put in the Bastille. In France it is known as “Fete de la Federation”.
One thing we should remember is that freedom is something won, not given. It has to be fought for and to fight for it, you have to have weapons. The first thing Germany did before World War 2 was to take away all weapons from the people. They could not fight back. Same thing after the Russian Revolution bringing communism into power. In fact, nearly every country that has had it’s right to bear arms taken away has lost it’s people’s freedom. (Not so in the UK)
Bastille Day has been celebrated ever since July 14th, 1790. It will continue to be celebrated as long as the French people are free. Just like here in the US. We should love one another, but be able to defend our freedom from all those who would take it away. If you look at every country where people are suffering, you will find they have no way to fight back.
How to celebrate – Throw a Bastille Day party! Celebrate your freedom! Study history to know how we all got to be where we are.