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 Bastille Day 
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Post Bastille Day
Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution has this post about July 14 on her blog "Versailles and More": http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/07/13/the-14th-of-july-1789-what-happened-on-bastille-day.aspx


Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:38 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
This was sent to me by a member of the Louis XVI group on facebook.....


Is it just me?
Gerald Warner
Gerald Warner is an author, broadcaster, columnist and polemical commentator who writes about politics, religion, history, culture and society in general. If it is an exaggeration to say that he believes the world has gone to the dogs, it is only a slight hyperbole.
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Bastille Day celebrates murderous origins of French Republic
Monday, July 14, 2008, 07:44 AM GMT [General]

Bastille Day or, as the comic singers who take it seriously prefer to call it, the Fete de la Federation, is the embarrassing event that exposes the cultural, moral and constitutional bankruptcy of what was once the greatest civilisation in Europe.

When you are reduced to celebrating the murder by the canaille of Paris in 1789 of the French equivalent of the Chelsea Pensioners, you are inadvertently advertising the sinister origins of the dysfunctional state you are trying to prop up with a mythology as grotesque as it is pathetic. The Umpteenth French Republic is the one entity whose absorption by the European Union is not to be regretted.

Pompous parades will today celebrate the event that triggered the French Revolution, that is to say, the most appalling bloodbath anterior to the Russian Revolution. Seven prisoners were released from the Bastille - four counterfeiters, an accomplice to murder and two lunatics - whose return to the community was hardly beneficial. The attack on the prison, reserved for the well-off, was orchestrated by the Marquis de Sade and Camille Desmoulins on behalf of the Nine Sisters masonic lodge.

There followed the September massacres, the marriages republicains in which people of opposite sexes were stripped naked and lashed together in obscene postures before being drowned, mothers forced to watch their children being guillotined and the massacre of 400,000 Catholic royalists - the majority of them women and children - in La Vendee. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a celebratory knees-up.

There are two countries called France. One is the sluttish Republic - "Marianne" - the other is the timeless, civilised doyen of Christendom, the nation of Clovis and St Louis, of the Valois and Bourbon kings, the Catholic and monarchic civilisation that fell with Charles X in 1830 but still defiantly survives in many enclaves. That pulse will beat quietly today while the heirs of the sans-culottes strut their stuff, proclaiming French nationalism under the figurehead of a Hungarian president and his Italian wife.

It is all hollow, even on their terms: the lodges and the heirs of the Jacobins have migrated to Brussels and are working on a more ambitious project, still aimed at the de-Christianisation of Europe and the elimination of freedom and tradition. France without its monarchy and the Church of which it was proudly termed the Eldest Daughter is a desert.

Today is when the posturing Pantaloons bedecked with tricolour sashes enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. God send, at some time in the future - however distant - the restoration of the glittering monarchy whose downfall in blood is so vulgarly celebrated today. Long live the present-day heir of the Bourbons, the Duc d'Anjou, rightful King of France. Vive Louis XX.

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Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:32 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Viva le Roi!


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Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:36 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Arietta wrote:
Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution has this post about July 14 on her blog "Versailles and More": http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/07/13/the-14th-of-july-1789-what-happened-on-bastille-day.aspx


I found it distasteful and not a little disingenuous.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:55 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Versailles, while I must agree that Bastille Day is a shameful excuse for a national holiday, celebrating a failed Revolution marked by atrocity, moral and political depravity, and extreme hypocrisy---this passage is an inaccurate assertion:

Quote:
Versailles says: The attack on the prison, reserved for the well-off, was orchestrated by the Marquis de Sade and Camille Desmoulins on behalf of the Nine Sisters masonic lodge.


The Bastille was not reserved simply for the well-off, but anyone imprisoned at the King's orders. The Marquis de Sade had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of July 14th, 1789. Desmoulins most certainly played a key role, though there doesn't seem to be any evidence that his actions were pre-meditated.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:03 am
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Christophe wrote:
Arietta wrote:
Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution has this post about July 14 on her blog "Versailles and More": http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/07/13/the-14th-of-july-1789-what-happened-on-bastille-day.aspx


I found it distasteful and not a little disingenuous.


How so? Reading it over quickly it seems a pretty accurate and straightforward account of what happened.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
I want to like Warner's account, since it makes some key points. But he goes off the rails here:

versailles wrote:
One is the sluttish Republic - "Marianne" - the other is the timeless, civilised doyen of Christendom, the nation of Clovis and St Louis, of the Valois and Bourbon kings, the Catholic and monarchic civilisation that fell with Charles X in 1830 but still defiantly survives in many enclaves. That pulse will beat quietly today while the heirs of the sans-culottes strut their stuff, proclaiming French nationalism under the figurehead of a Hungarian president and his Italian wife.


First of all, calling a republic "sluttish" is contemptible. Far from being "timeless", the French monarchy started well after the birth of Christ (which is to say, well after some of the major accomplishments of Western civilization) and took several forms before it became anything like what it was in the 18th century (Louis XI had a lot to do with the biggest changes). Sarkozy was born in France and is as French as John Kennedy was, not Irish, but American. Never mind that even members of the French monarchy came from other countries.

As for being "Catholic", remember that several French kings quite publicly not only committed but even enshrined adultery and appointed bishops whose behavior was often no better and who often regarded their office more as a source of income than any spiritual obligation. Few things have damaged the Catholic religion as much as the immensely hypocritical and abusive way it was managed under the French monarchy. The fact that the nominally devout French people allowed their clergy to be slaughtered and their churches destroyed under the Revolution hardly suggests a widespread and committed religious belief.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
jimcheval wrote:
Christophe wrote:
Arietta wrote:
Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution has this post about July 14 on her blog "Versailles and More": http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/07/13/the-14th-of-july-1789-what-happened-on-bastille-day.aspx


I found it distasteful and not a little disingenuous.


How so? Reading it over quickly it seems a pretty accurate and straightforward account of what happened.


So you're fine with laying the blame for the fall of the Bastille on Marie Antoinette? How is that accurate and straightforward? And explaining mob violence, including the September Massacres, as a reaction to the Gardes Francaise, with the assertion that they were in the habit of mowing down innocent Parisians! It's a bit of a stretch!

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Are you referring to this?
Quote:
Soon the rumor spreads through Paris that the city, at the behest of Marie Antoinette, is going to be attacked by the foreign regiments encamped within and around it, and the population massacred.

The fact that the rumor existed and had that effect is perfectly true. She doesn't say this was true, just that (as certainly was) that the populace believed it.

She doesn't say a word about the September massacres.

If you object to specific passages perhaps you could quote them here?

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
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jimchevel wrote: As for being "Catholic", remember that several French kings quite publicly not only committed but even enshrined adultery and appointed bishops whose behavior was often no better and who often regarded their office more as a source of income than any spiritual obligation.


Not excusing their behavior, but in the eyes of the Church, as well as in their own, the Kings of France and their noble-born cardinals and bishops were annointed by God; His chosen representatives, and therefore above the laws of normal men. They did not see this as hypocrisy, there really were two sets of rules: those favored by God, and those obedient to Him. To view these men as the mere equals of their subjects was the equivalent to saying there was no God, or the Church was not of God.

Quote:
Few things have damaged the Catholic religion as much as the immensely hypocritical and abusive way it was managed under the French monarchy.


I think Martin Luther, Henry VIII, and the Reformation had a lot more to do with it than French Kings. One must not forget the very prominent place France held in the Church. Throughout the Middle Ages, France had fought countless wars in defense of the Popes; her clergy had, off and on, dominated Church hierarchy; France had been leader of the Crusades to the Holy Land; and France played a major role in halting the Islamic invasion into Western Europe.

Quote:
The fact that the nominally devout French people allowed their clergy to be slaughtered and their churches destroyed under the Revolution hardly suggests a widespread and committed religious belief.


The French people also helped hide and protect their clergy at risk to their own lives; they helped their clergy escape to safety, and large swarths of France openly rebelled agaisnt the "Paris Revolution," in defense of the Church. There's ample evidence that the Revolution's attack on the Church was immensely unpopular among the people.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:08 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Here are the passages casting doubt on the Queen:

Quote:
The Regiment of the French Guards, upon the initiative of Marie-Antoinette, had recently been given a new Colonel, the Duke du Chatelet.


I've never heard of M.A. appointing or conspiring to appoint Chatelet; if this is true, how could I have missed it in the dozen or so biographies I've read about her? She may have approved of him, but that's not the same as taking an active role.

Quote:
The French Guards were jailed pending court martial proceedings, and immediately became popular heroes. Were they not in trouble for their opposition to their Colonel, hand picked by Marie-Antoinette?...... What made matters worse in the eyes of public opinion was that the Colonel of the Royal German was the Prince de Lambesc, cousin to Marie-Antoinette. Encore the Queen!


These passages speak for themselves.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Presumably you've read Campan?
Quote:
A few years before the Revolution of 1789 the Marshal de Biron died. The Duke de Lauzun, heir to his name, aspired to the important post of colonel of the regiment of French guards. The Queen, however, procured it for the Duke du Chatelet: such is often the origin of the most implacable hatred. The Duke de Biron espoused the cause of the Duke d'Orleans, and became one of the most violent enemies of Marie Antoinette.

Campan - Memoirs
http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA94&d ... utput=text

I really think it should be clear from this and other discussions that Catherine Delors is a fairly rigorous historian. Some might argue with her interpretations, but when she refers to matters of fact, I find her quite dependable.

Regarding Catholicism, the Reformation had no effect on those who remained Catholic. A king notoriously violating one of the Ten Commandments and rich bishops living off tithes meant for more holy purposes did - whatever tangled reasoning the monarch might have used to put himself not only above the law of man but the law of God. As for defending Catholicism, many Protestants were willing to die rather than abjure their faith. One would have thought that had faith been widespread and sincere in France, people would have been willing to die in an equally public way to protect priests and nuns. They weren't.

I'm certainly aware of France''s surface involvement with the Church. It's the hypocrisy beneath the forms that I'm referring to. And again, I think that was immensely damaging to Catholic faith in France. Honestly, I'm surprised that anyone would think it wouldn't be.

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Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:45 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
No, the September Massacres are not specifically listed, you are correct. Here are the offending passages:

Quote:
The city had been regularly racked by hunger riots, always crushed without mercy by a regiment called the Gardes Francaises, the French Guards (unlike much of the French Army, it was not composed of foreign mercenaries.)


The handful of bread riots in Paris (which by the way, were over the price of bread, not the lack of it) over a century does not constitute "regularly" in my book.... " The riot of the Faubourg St. Antoine in 1788 was not over hunger or bread, but over a false rumor of the lowering of wages. "Crushed without mercy,": how does she know, was she there? Does she have access to eyewitness accounts that nobody else has?

Quote:
Some riots had ended with hundreds of casualties among the insurgents. People often ask why the French Revolution was so violent. The answer is fairly obvious: it occurred within an already violent society.


Really? Is there a body count hidden somewhere in the archives?

Quote:
It seems that Launay had anticipated the attack, because most of the prisoners, including the famous Marquis de Sade, had been transferred to other jails in the course of the previous days.


The Marquis de Sade was transferred for repeatedly breaking the rules of his incarceration, including attempting to incite a riot by shouting at passersby out of his window. He was not moved over a concern of an imminent attack.

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Last edited by Christophe on Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:55 am, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
Quote:
A few years before the Revolution of 1789 the Marshal de Biron died. The Duke de Lauzun, heir to his name, aspired to the important post of colonel of the regiment of French guards. The Queen, however, procured it for the Duke du Chatelet: such is often the origin of the most implacable hatred. The Duke de Biron espoused the cause of the Duke d'Orleans, and became one of the most violent enemies of Marie Antoinette.


Yes, I remember this now. Appointing Lauzun to the post was impossible, as he had disgraced himself at court some years earlier. However, I don't see how this is directly relevant to the fall of the Bastille; linking the Queen to Chatelet serves only one purpose, to lay the blame on her.


Quote:
Some might argue with her interpretations,


Yes, obviously Delors rubs me the wrong way. Her writings strike me as highly critical of the ancien regime, and in particular M.A., while overly sympathetic to the Revolution, right up to the point of making excuses for its crimes and excesses. Need I say, this is the exact opposite of my own views? It's not so much that she has her fact's wrong most of the time, as the way she strings them together, while creatively omitting other pertinent information, to support her bias.

Quote:
As for defending Catholicism, many Protestants were willing to die rather than abjure their faith. One would have thought that had faith been widespread and sincere in France, people would have been willing to die in an equally public way to protect priests and nuns. They weren't.


I must disagree. They were willing to die, and did by the thousands. The Vendee should be proof enough of that.

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Last edited by Christophe on Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Bastille Day
I don't disagree with you on the Church's collapse in France being due in some part it's own mismanagement. There certainly was a good deal of hypocrisy; for the reasons stated above, it was a hypocrisy the Church's hierarchy were blind to. They never seemed to catch on to the fact that the literate population, at least, had begun to call them into question. There were prominent members of the Church itself who were challenging their own validity. Just as with the aristocracy questioning and actively undermining their own positions; and strangely, never seeming to realize that they were doing so in their embrace of the Enlightenment. I would also like to point out, though, that the majority of France, the rural peasantry, who were largely illiterate and immune to the ideas of the Enlightenment, remained devout Catholics and some of the fiercest opponents of the Revolution. Just as the Revolution did not simply target the Church leadership, but its ordinary parish priests and nuns as well, who like their peasant parishioners, were largely a very devout and faithful lot.

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:25 pm
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