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Published on February 27, 2014

Author: nkaimal200

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A diary written from the perspective of the fictional character Constantin Solé from the French Revolution

The Diary of Constantin SolÉ My ideas of the Revolution of France

An

  Oath

  to

  change

  our

  lives

   June

  15,

  1789

   

   Yesterday

  was

  the

  most

  exciting

  day

  I

  have

  ever

  experienced

  in

  all

  my

  17

  years

  of

  life!

  For

  the

  first

  time,

  we

  decided

   that

  we

  had

  had

  enough

  of

  being

  looked

  down

  on

  and

  overlooked

  and

  we

  showed

  the

  rich

  that

  we

  to

  deserved

  to

  have

  a

   voice.

   The

  past

  few

  years

  have

  been

  especially

  terrible

  for

  all

  of

  us.

  My

  family

  is

  so

  poor,

  and

  the

  famine

  hit

  us

  peasants

   harder

  than

  any

  other

  people

  in

  France.

  My

  older

  sister

  had

  already

  been

  working

  as

  a

  maid

  in

  a

  lawyer’s

  house

  because

   my

  father

  had

  died

  when

  I

  was

  young,

  but

  the

  death

  of

  my

  mother

  hit

  us

  so

  hard.

  She

  was

  weak

  and

  frail

  even

  before

   the

  food

  shortages

  had

  started

  and

  she

  got

  sick

  so

  frequently.

  So

  often

  we

  would

  hear

  her

  wheezing

  as

  she

  returned

   from

  her

  job

  as

  a

  scullery

  maid.

  Around

  that

  time,

  there

  were

  more

  and

  more

  people

  in

  France,

  and

  they

  too

  needed

   food

  as

  much

  as

  we

  did.

  When

  the

  famine

  started,

  our

  mother

  just

  kept

  getting

  thinner,

  but

  she

  would

  never

  eat

  the

   food

  that

  we

  offered

  her;

  she

  would

  always

  insist

  that

  as

  children,

  we

  should

  eat

  first.

  When

  she

  got

  sick

  the

  last

   time,

  we

  did

  not

  think

  it

  was

  anything

  unusual,

  until

  she

  was

  unable

  to

  move

  at

  all.

  She

  passed

  away

  less

  than

  a

  week

   after

  that

  and

  I

  had

  to

  begin

  my

  job

  as

  a

  stable

  boy.

  When

  that

  happened,

  my

  fury

  at

  the

  King

  was

  insurmountable.

   Every

  day,

  people

  like

  my

  poor

  mother

  die,

  and

  he

  and

  his

  wife

  sit

  and

  eat

  and

  buy

  new

  clothes

  with

  our

  money.

  Over

   time,

  my

  fiery

  fury

  had

  reduced

  to

  a

  quiet

  simmer

  but

  we

  all

  thirsted

  for

  justice.

   That

  was

  why

  all

  of

  us

  in

  the

  third

  estate

  decided

  to

  represent

  ourselves

  in

  the

  to

  the

  Estate-General

  Assembly.

  We

   wanted

  to

  tell

  the

  first

  and

  second

  estate

  that

  we

  were

  suffering.

  If

  we

  were

  successful

  and

  there

  were

  reforms,

   there

  would

  be

  justice.

  I

  have

  heard

  from

  friends

  about

  the

  revolution

  in

  America.

  Here

  in

  France,

  we

  too

  want

  fair

   rights.

  

   Making

  the

  Oath

  with

  all

  of

  my

   comrades

   But

  when

  we

  arrived

  at

  the

  Estate-General

  Assembly,

  the

  representatives

  of

  the

  King

  vetoed

  every

  idea

  we

  put

   forth.

  They

  said

  it

  would

  be

  so

  much

  better

  to

  vote

  with

  one

  vote

  per

  estate.

  France

  would

  be

  better

  represented,

   they

  said.

  They

  said

  that

  it

  was

  necessary

  that

  they

  tax

  all

  of

  us

  in

  the

  3rd

  estate

  a

  lot

  of

  money.

  France

  was

  in

   financial

  crisis,

  and

  of

  course,

  the

  poorest

  people

  had

  to

  pay

  the

  most.

  It

  was

  infuriating.

   That

  is

  why

  we

  left

  the

  Assembly.

  Yesterday,

  I

  joined

  my

  fellow

  citizens,

  and

  we

  went

  to

  a

  meeting

  hall

  to

  discuss

   what

  we

  could

  do

  next

  to

  have

  more

  rights.

  But

  the

  meeting

  hall

  was

  locked,

  on

  the

  grounds

  that

  it

  was

  being

   repaired.

  We

  were

  all

  so

  angry

  when

  it

  was

  locked.

  The

  King

  does

  not

  want

  us

  to

  meet,

  and

  he

  has

  locked

  the

  hall

  to

   discourage

  us

  from

  making

  reforms.

  We

  went

  through

  the

  city

  of

  Versailles,

  look

  for

  a

  meeting

  place

  but

  the

  only

   one

  we

  were

  able

  to

  find

  was

  an

  indoor

  tennis

  court.

  All

  of

  us

  crowded

  into

  the

  court,

  and

  there

  we

  made

  a

   statement.

  We

  named

  ourselves

  the

  National

  Assembly

  and

  pledged

  to

  never

  disband

  until

  a

  new

  constitution

  was

   written,

  one

  that

  gave

  us

  more

  rights.

  

   I

  know

  that

  a

  new

  constitution

  will

  be

  written.

  The

  King

  is

  not

  happy

  with

  such

  a

  rebellious

  act,

  and

  I

  am

  sure

  that

   there

  will

  be

  reforms.

  An

  image

  of

  a

  better

  France

  is

  in

  my

  mind,

  one

  where

  my

  younger

  siblings

  are

  not

  hungry

  all

   the

  time,

  and

  where

  we

  can

  all

  attend

  school.

  It

  is

  a

  beautiful

  dream.

  I

  hope

  it

  will

  soon

  be

  a

  reality.

   

  

Done

  with

  the

  power

  of

  the

  King

   July

  16,

  1789

   

   The

  revolution

  has

  begun!

  A

  few

  days

  ago

  we

  stormed

  through

  the

  Bastille

  fortress.

  I

  have

   never

  felt

  more

  alive.

  

   Everything

  has

  been

  a

  big

  rush

  since

  we

  founded

  the

  National

  Assembly.

  My

  sister

  and

  I

   decided

  that

  it

  would

  be

  best

  if

  we

  moved

  all

  of

  our

  siblings

  to

  Paris

  so

  we

  could

  get

  better

   paying

  jobs,

  and

  my

  next

  oldest

  brother

  could

  start

  to

  work.

  The

  King

  legalized

  it,

  but

  then

   he

  dismissed

  one

  of

  his

  officers

  named

  Jacques

  Necker

  when

  he

  said

  reforms

  were

  a

  good

  idea.

   We

  had

  all

  resented

  the

  King

  before,

  but

  now,

  we

  were

  just

  furious!

  

   After

  the

  King

  dismissed

  Necker,

  the

  National

  Assembly

  got

  together

  and

  we

  decided

  that

  if

   we

  wanted

  real

  reforms,

  we

  should

  get

  more

  government

  officials

  on

  our

  side

  and

  we

  soon

   began

  rioting

  through

  Paris.

  But

  the

  biggest

  riot

  only

  happened

  less

  than

  a

  week

  ago.

  Around

   that

  time,

  some

  of

  the

  people

  in

  the

  National

  Assembly

  heard

  a

  prisoner

  from

  the

  Bastille

   Fortress

  yelling

  that

  all

  of

  the

  prisoners

  were

  being

  slaughtered

  and

  we

  should

  go

  rescue

   them.

  We

  also

  knew

  that

  a

  lot

  of

  gunpowder

  was

  stored

  in

  the

  fortress

  and

  we

  would

  be

  able

   to

  use

  that

  in

  our

  riots.

  The

  rioters

  quickly

  met

  and

  we

  stormed

  towards

  the

  Bastille

  and

   the

  gunpowder

  that

  was

  stored

  there.

  

   The

  day

  was

  victorious

   When

  we

  arrived,

  the

  drawbridges

  were

  raised.

  Before

  we

  could

  react,

  gunshots

  rang

  through

   the

  air

  and

  people

  collapsed

  at

  bloodstains

  spread

  across

  the

  front

  of

  their

  shirts.

  Among

   those

  who

  were

  shot

  was

  my

  brother

  in

  arms,

  Armel.

  His

  arm

  will

  recover

  eventually,

  but

  he

   almost

  lost

  his

  life

  from

  loss

  of

  blood

  and

  he

  will

  never

  have

  the

  same

  range

  of

  motion

  in

   his

  wounded

  arm

  again.

  We

  demanded

  that

  they

  lower

  the

  drawbridge.

  At

  first

  they

  refused,

   but

  more

  and

  more

  of

  us

  kept

  arriving,

  and

  demanding

  the

  lowering

  of

  the

  drawbridge.

   Eventually,

  Launay,

  the

  Bastille

  leader

  was

  forced

  to

  let

  us

  in,

  but

  even

  then

  they

  shot

  at

   us.

  Over

  100

  rioters

  were

  killed

  and

  I

  am

  not

  embarrassed

  to

  admit

  that

  I

  was

  absolutely

   terrified.

  The

  smells

  of

  burning

  and

  gunpowder

  and

  the

  metallic

  smell

  of

  blood

  are

  not

   pleasant,

  the

  sounds

  of

  screams

  and

  gunshots

  are

  painful

  to

  hear.

   When

  we

  finally

  got

  into

  the

  Bastille,

  we

  captured

  Launay

  and

  all

  the

  soldiers

  and

  paraded

   them

  through

  the

  streets,

  showing

  that

  we

  truly

  had

  beaten

  the

  Bastille.

  I

  heard

  that

   Launay

  was

  killed

  later

  that

  day;

  he

  deserved

  it

  for

  firing

  it

  at

  us.

  The

  Bastille

  really

  was

  a

   symbol

  of

  the

  King

  Louis’s

  power;

  I

  hope

  he

  realizes

  that

  if

  he

  does

  not

  become

  a

  fair

  ruler,

   this

  revolt

  will

  become

  a

  revolution.

   

  

The

  Women

  who

  Marched

   October

  7th,

  1789

   

   Long

  live

  the

  women

  of

  Paris!

  They

  are

  the

  bravest,

  most

  honorable

  people

  in

  all

  of

  France.

   Yesterday,

  they

  marched

  for

  hours

  until

  they

  got

  to

  the

  palace

  of

  the

  King

  and

  Queen

  in

   Versailles,

  where

  they

  bravely

  demanded

  for

  the

  thing

  that

  should

  have

  been

  each

  person’s

   birthright.

   There

  has

  been

  so

  little

  food

  lately;

  it

  has

  been

  hard

  for

  my

  sister

  and

  I

  to

  keep

  our

  family

   fed.

  My

  sister

  married

  her

  lover

  and

  he

  joined

  our

  family

  because

  he

  does

  not

  have

  one.

  But

   even

  with

  his

  income,

  my

  family

  is

  starving

  and

  my

  youngest

  brother

  is

  wasting

  away.

  He

  is

  so

   skinny

  that

  his

  ribs

  poke

  out

  of

  his

  shirt

  and

  he

  keeps

  getting

  weaker

  every

  single

  day.

  But

  on

   October

  5th,

  my

  sister

  joined

  the

  brave

  women

  who

  wanted

  a

  change.

  They

  gathered

  in

  a

   meeting

  hall

  to

  discuss

  what

  to

  do

  about

  the

  lack

  of

  bread

  and

  refused

  to

  let

  any

  men

  in.

  I

   know

  this

  because

  I

  tried

  to

  get

  in;

  I

  also

  wanted

  reforms.

  But

  I

  was

  locked

  out

  like

  every

   other

  man.

  

   I

  waited

  outside

  the

  building

  impatiently,

  wanting

  to

  hear

  what

  the

  women

  were

  going

  on

   about.

  I

  could

  hear

  cries

  of

  “The

  men

  cannot

  do

  anything”,

  and

  “We

  deserve

  bread”,

  but

  I

  did

   not

  know

  what

  they

  were

  going

  to

  do

  about

  it.

  Then,

  I

  heard

  them

  unbarring

  the

  doors,

  and

   they

  stormed

  out,

  heading

  east,

  towards

  the

  exit

  of

  city.

   I

  did

  not

  join

  their

  march

  because

  I

  did

  not

  know

  what

  they

  would

  say

  if

  I

  did,

  but

  I

  did

  hear

   what

  happened

  when

  my

  sister

  got

  home

  the

  following

  day.

  She

  said

  that

  they

  marched

  for

   hours

  until

  they

  got

  to

  Palace

  of

  Versailles.

  There,

  the

  women

  demanded

  the

  King

  and

  Queen

   make

  an

  appearance

  and

  that

  they

  have

  more

  bread.

  My

  sister

  told

  me

  that

  there

  was

  an

   unbelievable

  amount

  energy

  and

  anger

  coursing

  through

  the

  crowd

  as

  they

  yelled

  at

  our

  “great”

   monarch

  to

  show

  himself.

  They

  stormed

  through

  the

  Palace

  and

  had

  the

  King

  sign

  an

   agreement

  to

  give

  them

  bread,

  but

  not

  before

  killing

  a

  noble

  that

  was

  in

  the

  palace.

  They

  then

   escorted

  the

  King

  and

  Queen

  back

  to

  Paris.

   I

  was

  there

  to

  welcome

  them

  when

  they

  arrived.

  The

  procession

  seemed

  unlike

  anything

  I

  had

   ever

  seen

  before.

  It

  appeared

  to

  be

  peaceful,

  but

  on

  a

  pike

  towards

  the

  front,

  a

  severed

  head

   was

  mounted.

  I

  did

  not

  know

  what

  to

  think

  of

  it.

   The

  women

  of

  Paris

  are

  truly

  brave

   We

  will

  be

  given

  more

  bread

  for

  sure,

  I

  am

  so

  glad

  that

  my

  sister

  and

  I

  will

  finally

  be

  able

  to

   support

  our

  family

  with

  the

  bread

  that

  the

  King

  has

  promised

  us.

  The

  women

  of

  Paris

  are

   truly

  great.

   

  

She

  arrived

  at

  the

  guillotine

  in

  a

  simple

  white

  dress

  with

  her

  hair

  cut

  short.

   Death

  of

  our

  so-called

  leaders

   October

  17th,

  1793

   

   Our

  so-called

  great

  monarchs

  are

  finally

  dead.

  Yesterday,

  the

  former

  queen

  was

  executed,

  just

  like

  our

  king

  was

  so

  many

  months

  ago.

  I

  had

  been

  there

  for

  both

  the

   executions

  and

  I

  remember

  hearing

  the



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