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Attack on the Tuileres

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Mob placing the red cap of liberty on the King's head at the Tuileries

The royal family was living under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace. An angry mob got into the building on June 20, 1792, and found their way to the King.  The crowd shouted insults and were in an ugly mood. The King remained calm and obediently put on the red cap of liberty (a symbol of revolution) at the mob's insistence. When they thrust a bottle of wine at him he drank a toast to the health of the nation. 

But he refused to change his position on the clergy. Under the Constitution of 1791 (creating a constitutional monarchy) he had exercised his veto of a proposal to punish priests who refused to support the changes to the church (placing the church under state control -  see The Civil Constitution of the Clergy). A religious man, the King felt it would violate his conscience to agree to the mob's demands. The incident ended without bloodshed but by August the mob was back.

This time the royal family barely escaped with their lives. The king's guards were killed and the King and his family fled to the protection of the Assembly. The constitutional monarchy was over.


Part of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité: The French Revolution Exhibit

The French Revolution

The French Revolution Primary Sources

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