he could decide when and if they would be freed.
The Bastille became a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of King Louis XVI’s Ancient Regime.
For the peasant class, the Bastille stood as a symbol of the hypocrisy and corruption of the aristocratic government – controlled mostly by nobility and clergy. The monarchy wasn’t just undemocratic. The king and the aristocracy also owned the land and extracted not only the rent, but imposed taxes and restrictions on the people.
The French people of all classes were frustrated with many of the problems of their government, including wanting the king to share his absolute powers, the right to own land and vote, tithes and feudal rights, religious staff wanting more money.
The Beginning of the Revolution
Due to these many reasons, the French