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July 10 - 16, 1789
The Low-Down on Bastille Day

July 2011

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Text and translation of the captions

A 1789 French hand tinted etching that depicts the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution.

Few schoolchildren, perhaps even in these anti-history days, are unfamiliar with "Bastille Day," the famous occasion on July 14, 1789 when the French mob of Paris stormed the Bastille prison, and set in motion the bloody process called the French Revolution. To this day, July 14 is celebrated in France as a day of liberation. And admirers from around the world, such as the group in the U.S. today, frequently join in.

Yet, as a genuine republican holiday, Bastille Day is a fraud! We share here the real history behind that fraud, in an excerpt and précis from an article by Pierre Beaudry, published on Jan. 26, 2001 in Executive Intelligence Review. That article celebrated the true French republicans, Jean Sylvain Bailly and the Marquis de Lafayette, whose efforts in coordination with Benjamin Franklin and other American revolutionaries were disrupted and destroyed, by design, by the process set in motion on Bastille Day.

Beaudry wrote of July 14:

"What is not generally known, is that this was not a true revolution, but a counter-revolution, organized from the headquarters of the 'radical writers' club' of Lord Shelburne and Jeremy Bentham, head of intelligence, in England, which orchestrated, with the complicity of Finance Minister Necker, the Duke of Orléans (otherwise known as Philippe Égalité), and Baron Pierre-Victor Besenval, the massacre of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 (see EIR, April 21, 2000, p. 64). This in turn spawned the terrorist actions of the Jacobin leaders Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Jacques Danton, and Maximilian Robespierre, and the Reign of Terror. As he reported in his memoirs, Bailly had evidence that Marquis de Launay, the Governor of the Bastille, had opened the doors of the prison to Pierre-Victor, Baron de Besenval of Bronstadt, a Swiss officer, commander of the foreign troops that had invaded Paris, in 1789, and who ordered him to set up, in June of that year, at least two weeks before Bastille Day, 'special artillery platforms for the emplacement of cannons pointed toward the boulevard, Saint-Antoine Place, and the side of the Arsenal.'

"What is also not generally known, is that the Bastille terrorist action was aimed at destroying the heroic actions of Franklin's associates, Bailly and Lafayette, and their efforts to replicate a second American Revolution on the European continent. As such, the Bastille served as a smokescreen to overshadow the solemn Tennis Court Oath of June 20, 1789, which had already demonstrated the true national sovereignty of the National Assembly as a representative government of France. In fact, the event of the swearing of the oath represented the culmination of several powerful legislative decisions made by Bailly's National Assembly, which reflected the 'act of constitution' of a National Assembly that established the foundations of a true republic."

What Beaudry documents, beyond doubt, is that Bailly, who was a Leibnizian scientist of astronomy, the first republican mayor of Paris, and the first organizer of the Paris Guard, was actually the founder of the revolutionary National Assembly of France, an Assembly which had dissolved the feudal form of government, and committed itself to republicanism weeks before the Bastille Day event. Yes, Bailly, and Lafayette, were in favor of maintaining the monarchy under France's new Constitution, but it was not to be an absolute monarchy. The alternative to their proposal was the disastrous manipulation of the street mobs by the oligarchy, which turned the country over to Jacobin mob-rule, in order to better "restore order" through the likes of the dictator Napoleon later on.

The real advance toward an American-style French revolution—based on reason, not blood—came on June 20, 1789, with the swearing of the Tennis Court Oath. Bailly composed the oath for this occasion, which, because the Necker government had locked the door of the official chambers, had to be held at a tennis court located near Versailles. The representatives of the National Assembly unanimously (but one) pronounced the following oath:

"The National Assembly, considering its role in establishing the constitution of the kingdom, in working toward the regeneration of public order, in maintaining the true principles of the monarchy, in assuring that nothing can prevent it from pursuing its deliberation, in whatever place it may be forced to constitute itself, and that, wherever its members may be assembled, there stands the National Assembly,

"Declares that all of the members of this Assembly shall, in a moment, solemnly swear to never depart, and to assemble itself anywhere that circumstances will permit, until the constitution of the kingdom is established, and consolidated on solid grounds; and the said oath being sworn, all of the members, and each in particular, shall confirm this unshakable resolution with their signature."

Yet, this vow was never to be fulfilled, for reasons Beaudry chronicles in his article. Rather than uniting behind a Constitutional monarchy, France was rent into increasingly violent factions, with bloodletting after bloodletting. Not only was the King beheaded, but so was Bailly himself, who returned to Paris knowing well that the radical Jacobins believed "the revolution has no need of scientists," and that he would face a frameup and death.

It's time the myth of Bastille Day be finally buried.

Text and Translation of the Captions:

Text: Première légende: PRISE DE LA BASTILLE
Par les Citoyens de Paris ayant à leurs têtes Mrs les Gardes Françoises, le 14 Juillet 1789. Cette Forteresse fut commencée en 1369 sous le regne de Charles V. Hugues Aubriot Prevot de Paris en posa la 1ere Pierre elle ne fut entierement achevée qu'en 1382. Il était natif de Dijon. Il y fut un des premiers renfermés sous prétexte d'hérésie. Il fut délivré par les Parisiens pendant les troubles qui agitoit la Capitale, et se sauva dans sa patrie.

Deuxième légende: C'est ainsi que l'on Punit les Traitres.

English translation: First caption: Storming of the Bastille
The citizens of Paris led by the Gardes Françaises on the 14th of July 1789. Building of this fortification started in 1369 during the reign of Charles V. Hugues Aubriot, a native of Dijon and Provost of Paris, laid the first stone. Construction was completed in 1382. Aubriot was born in Dijon. He became one of the first prisoners of the Bastille, imprisoned under the pretext of heresy. He was liberated by the Parisians during the troubles that stirred the capital, and escaped to his motherland.

Second caption: This is how we punish traitors.



The original article was published in the EIR Online’s Electronic Intelligence Weekly, as part of an ongoing series on history, with a special emphasis on American history. We are reprinting and updating these articles now to assist our readers in understanding of the American System of Economy. 

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