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Bastille Day is a French national holiday celebrated every 14th of July since 1880. Military parades are held annually to commemorate the fall of absolute monarchy and the establishment of the French Republic. Celebrations are held in French communities around the world as part of the French cultural festivals. See the fact file below for more information on the Bastille Day or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- The Bastille was a fortress built to protect Paris during the Hundred Years’ War. It came from the French word “bastide” which means stronghold. Later on it served as a prison during the reign of King Louis XVI. By the late 1700s, France was under the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy.
- On July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille happened when the revolutionaries attacked the prison. They were members of the French social class “The Third Estate” who were mostly craftsmen and store owners.
Bastille Day Facts
- The storming of the Bastille was due to their unanswered demand from King Louis XVI. Revolutionaries were worried that the king’s troop will attack them so they first took over the Hotel des Invalides where they got muskets. However, gunpowder was rumored to be stored in Bastille together with the political prisoners of the king.
- The military leader of Bastille, Governor de Launay surrendered in the afternoon after the hopeless scenario he was into. The revolutionaries break into the main fortress while some of the French troops joined them. de Launay was beheaded afterwards.
- By August, the National Assembly abolished feudalism and adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
- It led the commoners to rise up against the nobles which also ignited the beginning of the French Revolution. Piece by piece Bastille was destroyed.
Celebration of Bastille Day
- On June 30, 1878, celebration were held in Paris to honor the Republic of France. After a year, politician Benjamin Raspail proposed that 14th of July should be declared as a holiday. By July 14, 1880, Bastille Day was enacted as a public holiday.
- As part of the celebration, concerts were held in Paris. In 1979, Jean Michel Jarre’s concert was recorded with the largest crowd in an outdoor venue.
- In addition, communal meals, balls, dances, and fireworks displays were conducted as part of the celebration.
- Military parade had always been the highlight of the celebration. It ends at the Arc de Triomphe, a historic monument that honors French troops who died during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. The Bastille Day Military Parade is the oldest in Europe.
- American cities of Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco also celebrate the French Culture.
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the French tricolor flag are used as symbols of the Bastille Day.
- Furthermore, Marianne the female figure during the French Revolution became the symbol and epitome of the French motto “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”
- Today, the Bastille Day is also known as “The National Celebration” or the “Fourteenth of July.” Revolutionaries who took part in the storming of Bastille were called as “Vainqueurs de la Bastille” which means “Winners of the Bastille”.
- The site of Bastille today became a square called Place de la Bastille where a monument was built at the center.
Bastille Day Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Bastille Day Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about France’s national holiday. Celebrated worldwide by French communities, Bastille Day commemorates the fall of the French monarchy and the birth of the French Republic.
Download includes the following worksheets
- Bastille Day Facts
- Bourbon Monarchs
- France during the 100 Years’ War
- French Social Classes
- Causes of French Revolution
- French Symbols
- Odd One Out
- Monarch v. Republic
- Let’s Celebrate!
- Cartoon Analysis
- The French Women
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Link will appear as Bastille Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 1, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.