Paris is undoubtedly an elegant city and has admirers worldwide. Its architecture, its museums more than impressive and streets full of charm, amazing monuments, its importance for the history and and of course,fashion. The city was On July 14th however, on the Fête de la Fédération as the French call it, the capital of fashion is “invaded” by a parade of well dressed soldiers, colorful arts festivals, raucous parties and fireworks.
But what are they celebrating?
Two important events occurred on July 14 for the country: in 1789, taking the fortress of the Bastille, and the following year, the Feast of the Federation.
It is part of common sense to say that on the 14th of July is celebrated the fall of the Bastille, an act that marked the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Few people know, however, that the date entered for the civic calendar of the country as the celebration of another event: the Festival of the Federation, held on July 14, 1790.
The choice was made in the late nineteenth century, when the Third Republic of France wanted to consolidate the new regime and build a national imaginary. In 1880, Rep. Benjamin Raspail proposed the day of the fall of the Bastille as the date of national celebration. Some lawmakers, however, believed that the violence that had marked this revolutionary episode had a very controversial character.
the July 14, 1790, in the other hand celebrated the national unity. Approximately 100,000 federal troops entered Paris and marched from the Bastille to the Field of Mars. Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the dauphin (crown prince) were installed in a pavilion mounted in front of the Military School. On the other side was erected a triumphal arch. In the grandstands, huddled 260,000 Parisians. Finally, the high point of the celebration was when La Fayette swore allegiance to the nation, the king and the law, oath repeated by the crowd. Louis XVI swore allegiance to the Constitution. A Te Deum (liturgical hymn) ended the journey that ended in cheers and hugs.
It was this spirit that Members of the nineteenth century wanted to join the July 14. In the collective memory, however, the date will always be remembered as the day when the people took the Bastille, the greatest symbol of French absolutism.
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