Tag Archives: France

The Storming of the Tuileries Palace

August 10, 1792

The revolutionary Fédéré militia or sans-culottes, with support from the Republican National Guard, storm the Tuileries Palace. Defended by only 950 members of the Swiss Guard, the palace stands little chance against the roughly 20,000 men marching on the palace backed by canons. Although the well-trained and highly disciplined Swiss Guard scores early success by preemptively attacking the mob, they are ordered to stop by King Louis XVI who has taken shelter in the National Assembly. Ultimately, the Swiss Guard will be defeated and hacked to pieces by the attacking mob, the throne room desecrated, and finally the King and his family, captured and beheaded.

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The Festival of the Supreme Being

8 June, 1794

France celebrates its new state religion The Cult of the Supreme Being (Le culte de l’Être suprême) with festivals throughout the country and an especially large event planned in Paris. The Champ de Mars is transformed into a man-mountain, on top of which Maximilien Robespierre announces the new deist religion invented entirely by him but based upon the ideas proposed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his treatise The Social Contract. The new religion is a reaction against the atheist members of the revolution who had established the now defunct Cult of Reason. In his speech, Robespierre praises the truth and the social utility of the religion in that it encourages adherents to seek out “virtue” without the corrupting influences of the clergy.

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