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Bastille Day

The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, which was the culmination in Paris of a violent revolution that had begun two days earlier, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.
On 19 May 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General to hear their grievances. The deputies of the Third Estate, representing the common people (the two others were the (Catholic) clergy and the nobility), decided to break away and form a National Assembly [the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, swearing not to separate until a constitution had been established]. They were gradually joined by delegates of the other estates; Louis XVI started to recognize their validity on 27 June. The assembly renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and began to function as a legislature and to draft a constitution.
On 30 June 1878, a feast had been arranged in Paris by official decision to honour the French Republic (the event was commemorated in a painting by Claude Monet). On 14 July 1879, another feast took place, with a semi-official aspect; the events of the day included a reception in the Chamber of Deputies, organised and presided over by Léon Gambetta, a military review in Longchamp, and a Republican Feast in the Pré Catelan. All through France, Le Figaro wrote, "people feasted much to honour the storming of the Bastille".











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