Bastille Day – France’s Independence Day
Bastille Day is much like Independence Day in the United States – It is the celebration of a new form of government. Bastille Day symbolizes the overthrow of the old monarchy and the beginning of the French republic.
The Bastille was built in 1382 and was originally used to defend the east side of Paris from attack. The Bastille had walls more than 80 feet high and was surrounded by a moat. Hundreds of years later, the French monarchy converted The Bastille into a prison to lock up people who didn’t agree with their decisions. People were jailed by arbitrary decision of the King. The Bastille was, in particular, known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government. The prisoners inside the Bastille were given no trial – they were placed there under the king’s orders and only