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With the price of bread at an all-time high in July of 1789, Paris was on the brink of revolt.*
* Believe me - at that stage, it had been revolting for some time.
When word reached the city that Louis XVI dismissed his finance minister, it was taken as a sign of an impending coup attempt by conservative factions within the government. Seeking to arm themselves against this coup, a procession of radicals gathered and headed for the Left Bank, where they seized some 40,000 muskets from the armory at the Hotel des Invalides. However, there was no powder or shot to be had, and so the revolutionaries made for the Bastille. At the time, there were over 30,000 pounds of powder and shot stored within the prison. The governor, Bernard-René de Launay, had less than a hundred men, mainly veteran soldiers and Swiss guards, to hold the prison against perhaps a thousand insurgents. De Launay refused to surrender, and his forces were quickly overwhelmed, the powder was seized, and the prisoners (all seven remaining in the Bastille) were freed. When told of the attack by the Duke of La Rouchefoucald, Louis XVI was reported to ask: "Is it a revolt?" The Duke replied: "No, sire, it is a revolution."
* You say tomato, I say tomato.
Actually, that one doesn't work quite so well written down.