Who exclaimed "Let them eat cake"? by Jesse Bluma

Who exclaimed "Let them eat cake"? 
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)
Stated that the French government received its power from the people
Strengthened individual rights and equality

Bastille Day marks the the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.  The French were partly inspired by events in America.  In contrast, the French were more intense with Enlightenment ideas by such authors as Rousseau.  The use of "force" and "secularism" was popularized through these ideas.

The French Revolution was a rising up of crowds seeking to take away power and influence of King Louis XVI, his wife Marie Antoinette, and religion.  It has some similarities to the American Revolution; however, in America the revolution was guided more by debate and protest rather than mob attacks.  

After storming the Bastille (which had only seven prisoners, no political prisoners as had been thought), farmers and commoners burned down houses belonging to nobles and clergy.  This vengeful act was followed by the "trial" of King Louis and his execution.

Marie Antoinette was then falsely accused of abusing her son and executed.  It is a common misconception that Marie Antoinette said to the poor peasants "Let them eat cake".  This was in fact a rumor started by her enemy Rousseau.  Many others were executed by guillotine that the mobs did not like.

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Source:  World History Medieval to Early Modern Times, Burstein and Shek, 2006 Holt

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