So, it was Bastille Day a few days ago and I completely forgot about it. I drew a comic last minute. In before midnight so it still counts. I posted it on my tumblr and soon realized almost no one knows what Bastille Day is, let alone what a huguenot is.
Gather 'round children, and you shall receive a brief lesson in the meaning of Bastille Day.
For starters, every year on the 14th of July Bastille Day or French National Day is celebrated across France. Think of it as their 4th of July. It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération which was celebrated on the one year anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.
The storming of the Bastille was important for several reasons, but first we must explain the Bastille itself. It was a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. When it was stormed it only housed 7 inmates, (Marquis de Sade had been there only 10 days before, but was transferred. so close...so close) but the people were not after the inmates, they were after the gunpowder and weapons housed there. (here in modern times we know not to house our deadly, deadly weapons with our deadly, deadly criminals) The reason for this was because there had been a serious of rumors that put the public on edge due to their major economic crisis, since France had intervened in the American Revolution and put on quite a fiscal strain. 8,800 people gathered and subsequently stormed the Bastille successfully. This event marked a very important point of the French Revolution. This lead to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, a veeeerrrry important document.
Maybe these events do not matter to the american people, we tend to be a self-centered bunch. While this isn't a very broad lesson on why Bastille Day is important, it gives a little insight.
btw: the huguenots were Calvinists, or the Protestant Reformed Church of France. They were harsh ciritics of the catholic church and broke away from it. If you look up the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre you will get an idea of how tense these relations were. The Edict of Nantes made protestants legal, but it was revoked by Louis XIV. Many of them were put in prison during the time of the French Revolution, some in the Bastille.
Also, here is my comic: