The French Resolution: The End of a Complicated Baker Life

Finally. The trouble of life has started to die down as the Revolution has come to an end. I must admit, why wife and I were scared for our lives for most of it. People were going mad, fighting in the streets, death everywhere. But it seems as if people are calming down. In the beginning it was really scary. People were desperate, and they would do anything to survive the revolution. We as simple bakers did not want any harm. We were just trying to make a business, and survive the hard world we currently live in. The king and queen have been executed, and the country is trying to rebuild what’s left of it.

I’m at the point where I don’t know what I should do for myself or my wife. France is trying to build a new government, something where people have a say in what happens. But I feel like this won’t do us any good. People can never appreciate what they have until it’s gone. I didn’t think the Monarchy was a bad idea; that all we need was a different leader with different negotiation. But then again, who am I to say what’s better or worse for the people? I’m just a simple baker after all. Now people are all about new things, new people, new government. And once my wife and I noticed less and less bread riots, we knew the people were ready to accept the new world. We can live the simple life we always wanted now.

I know France will never be the same, what I don’t know is whether it will be better or worse. Thousands of people have died because of the French Revolution, and those people will never be forgotten. My friends who were involved in the uprising, now dead. Because of the Revolution, people now know that they can make a difference. The government now know that people will cause destruction when things are not going their ways. Everyone knows that France can never be the same as it was before all this madness happened. I didn’t want any of this to happen now that I know all the troubles that have raised from it. I didn’t want anyone to die. I didn’t want the government to be changed. I just wanted to make a living.

I, as Francis DuPoint, a simple baker in the French Revolution, want to be remembered as the baker who did not let the Revolution get to him. Even though I was scared for my wife’s and I life, and the dangers of other people who went mad during the Revolution threatened us every single day, we did not lose our minds. We stood what we believed in, tried to make a living, and be the best bakers we are meant to be. Now that everything is over, I am keen to rebuilding my bakery’s reputation, make myself and my wife happy, and sell some good loaves on the way.

Francis DuPoint: Out.

It is all over now

It is all over now

 

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In Depth Post #7: Planning my learning center

DSC_0275It’s only a matter of weeks until the in-depth presentations night, so I’m going to start planning and building my learning center. Lucky for me, this won’t require a whole lot of work. In fact, I actually planned out the whole thing while eating dinner in around five minutes.

My general plan is to branch out from the standard poster board and paper idea, instead turning to a display that isn’t fully self-explanatory, and instead will prompt people to ask questions. This will involve a mostly visually based presentation. The pieces that I will be needing are my downhill bike, as well as a (possibly) dirt jumper style bike which I also built over the course of the project. I will also have a laced but not trued wheel in a stand that will have a small amount of text displayed on it, making it more interesting than the standard display board. I will also have a selection of standard tools, as well as some more specific ones I got from Dave, displayed on a table. Finally, I will have a laptop playing a stop motion video of the entire bike build.

The stop motion video encases the entire project, showing the entire bike being built from the ground up. It took me six days to film, and another day to edit. The entire filming process consists of nearly two thousand pictures which are strung together to create the illusion of motion. The pictures were all taken by hand, and required over ten hours of work.

On the first day of filming, I was building the wheel. I took a picture for every spoke placed in the wheel, so the entire wheel building process took an hour longer than usual. Next I took apart the front brake, and filmed it having parts replaced and rebuilt. I needed to rebuild the brake anyways, so the stop motion was just convenient to do at the time. The next day of filming was to show the fork being repaired. The fork I used was not the Boxxer shown in the final product, it was instead the Totem that I had been using before. After repairing the original fork, I moved on to filming the new fork being repaired. This consisted of a very short clip, in which I am spray painting the worn out lowers.

After all these parts were filmed, I finally found time to film the entire bike being put together into the final product. This process is often called an overhaul, where the entire bike is stripped, fixed, and put back together. In my case though, nothing was being repaired, it was just being rebuilt. As I set up the camera and such, my dad began to take apart some of the larger parts. I took off the wheels and drivetrain, and we were ready to begin filming. For this sequence, I had a more complex setup to ensure the final video looked as good as I could make it. For lighting, we had a fluorescent light, a halogen light, and a very powerful shop light. The shop light is two movable spotlights on a stand that would be commonly used to light up workshops when there is no external lighting. Because I knew the filming process would take a long time, I could not use light from outside, as it would change over the course of the day. Once the lighting was setup, I adjusted the camera to fit with the lighting conditions. A camera usually needs to be operated at a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second to compensate for your hands shaking, but since I had it on a tripod, I was able to use an exposure of 1.5 seconds, much longer than anyone would normally use. I also had the camera hooked up to my laptop, which was running a program to operate the camera. This helped with two things:

  1. there was no shaking from me pressing the button on the camera
  2. the pictures downloaded to my laptop as I took them

The filming ended up taking over six hours, with a break only to have dinner. Conclusion, stop motion looks cool but sucks to make.

Details about setup:

  • I may have sound for the video, but it is not necessary
  • I will need a large space to accommodate everything, it will need to hold at least 1 folding table and accommodate two large bikes WITH ROOM TO SPARE (I don’t want anything bumping into the bikes, they total a cost of $4000 so I don’t want them getting damaged) The concrete area outside the MPR would work, if not a large space indoors would be just as good as long as I have space
  • Equipment (I will need):
  1. Folding table
  2. Electrical outlet

Equipment (I am bringing)

  1. Extension cord
  2. Laptop
  3. Bike stand
  4. One, maybe two bikes
  5. Tools
  6. Wheel in a stand

All photos

As a prize for reading to the end, here’s some cats

DSC_0244

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The French Resoloution

Francis and I notice that things are really settling down in France right now. We’re lucky to be alive, but we’re grateful that we weren’t killed during any bread riots during this revolution, unlike so many other bakers in other villages.

Almost everything in my life is back to normal; I’m living the simple life of the simple baker again. People that turned on my husband and I during the revolution came back to apologize, and the people of the village respect us again. The Reign of Terror marks the transition to a new beginning, and a more organized system. The bakery that use to be polished and clean, is now slightly damaged from town’s people during the riot. Francis and I are slowly cleaning things up, and the bakery is starting to look new again. Town’s people are out and about and the town square is a place of joy and celebration once again.

In my opinion, the French Revolution doesn’t end until we’re all able to voice our own opinions without being killed as soon as stepping out of the bakery. Although the worst of the revolution is done, I don’t feel like this is the end. There’s so many problems that haven’t been discussed and solved. I hope hundreds of years from now, the common people of France will be able to live free. Francis and I hope to be remembered as the bakers that stood up for ourself, never backed down when in doubt, and made the best bread in the whole village. We want to be remembered as bakers that lived a great life, despite all the drama that went down, we remained calm, forgive and forget. In my opinion, even though we seem to be “free” at last, the revolution will not every truly have a clear conclusion. The people of France should live life as happy as possible; Life is only so short.

Bread riots
Bread riots

Honore Mirabeau: Still More Honore Than You

Holy crap they ended up finding my letters to the king. Well, should’ve burn them. But what can you do am I right? And oooh man, they are digging up my body from the Pantheon! “Hey, leave that alone, uh, ummmm, dammit.” What, now who is that? Marat? “PUT ME BACK, MY INTENTIONS WERE GOOD I SWEAR!” Never mind, this is a lost cause.

Man did this whole revolution blow by. So much has been changed and while this was supposedly for the better, having the whole monarchy system swapped around, I think the way that we dealt with it was rather excessive. Like, just relate to Robespierre.

Just look at this smug grin.
Just look at this smug grin.

Just look into the eyes of this man and tell me that he even gave a damn about France from the start. Anyways if we even want these changes to be remotely relevant or profitable, we will have to recover from all of this mess. France definitely has a lot of work to do. Well, luckily not me, I’m dead of course.

I think the most significant thing that will determine the development of France is The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Come on, people have even noted it as the “the incarnation of the revolution as a whole.” Which might I add that I essentially single handedly drafted. With all honesty I think it actually has the potential to shape France. But of course it was not the only thing I did for the people.

This beauty.

I think I served my part in this revolution well. Even though the beginning wasn’t the best start, and  how they somehow ended up finding my letters to the king, I think I still served France good. Yet somehow, once I die France just collapses. I essentially guided the Assembly when I became president, I ensured everyone’s safety and made sure nothing would get out of hand. Then I died and there was no one to maintain my legacy. Sure there was no one who could possibly fill my shoes, but you cant just have not have a leader!  Because then people like Robespierre come in and just stomp France.

Whatever, in the end I just care that France is now in order and finally progressing. Who would have known, I essentially transformed myself through this revolution. To think that people legitimately despised me for my unfavorable morals and all of  my crimes and what not, to becoming a national hero and single handedly saving France from terror on multiple occasions.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

“We weep the loss of Mirabeau”

 

French Resolution

The revolution has slowly dwindled down to an end. Years before this revolution, my fellow philosophers and I imagined a society, without hierachy. A society free from suppression, where all humans can be equal, and live knowing that they are not above nor below anyone else. Unfortunately, it was years after my death when the revolution started rolling.

To me, the revolution truly ended during the Thermidorian Reaction, with the execution of Robspierre’s death. Without his reign of terror, a great door opened up. An opportunity to create the Republic that France and I have fought for, and in 1795, the first Constitutional republic of France was created. I can only see society improving in the future.

Viewing at this in 1796, not only will the revolution prevent a monarchy from forming anytime soon, but it will also show the people of France, that they have the same rights to land and food as the next person.

And what will I be remembered for? I was not physically part of the revolution, but I believe that my philosophies of the state of nature will be remembered as the spark that inspired the revolutionaries to revolt, or at least I’d like to think that I contributed to this incredibly huge event in history.

 

Claire Lacombe: Reign of Terror (1793- 1799)

juin 1800

You might be wondering where I am right now… Well, I can’t tell you. A lot has happened since 1792, which is why I am hiding in a place like this…

In 1793, Pauline Léon and I co-founded the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women. my dear friend Pauline is, of course, our leader. I am very proud of this organization, because we women get to gather, share concerns and problems, and participate in events that will eventually make a change in France. We mainly associated with the most militant sans-culottes and enragés. We stood among the market women of Paris, and plotted tactics to root out anti-revolutionaries. My years in this organization were very blissful. The group was beginning to feel like a family for me. The Society of Revolutionary Republican Women was a very successful organization… It was a little late when we realized that perhaps it was too successful. Under the Reign of Terror, our group got suppressed on October the 30th. Many say the reason why the National Convention banned women’s organizations was because we had become too notorious. That’s a joke! Pauline and I were very upset. With Robespierre “ruling” France (I hate the method he uses to solve problems), he may deem us to be a threat and execute us. Barred from any political activity, we spent the next few months just hanging around each other, not knowing what to do. I considered going back into acting, because I am running out of resources to support my life. This seemed like the best choice for me now, so eventually, I parted my friend Pauline with tears, and resumed being an actress (I am still trying to stay close to Paris).

In April, 1794, I was just preparing to leave for a theater in Dunkirk. As I stepped out the door, two people came out from no where and arrested me. They wouldn’t explain what my crime was, which angered and confused me greatly. I suspect it has something to do with the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women though. I wonder if Pauline is alright (I heard she was recently married to Théophile Leclerc, a man who supported us while our organization was still running). I got thrown into prison, where I spent my next year in darkness. Being in prison did not stop the amount of information I hear from the guards, even if I am uncertain whether the information is certain or not.  The moving also helped me gather a lot of information (They think I might gather the prisoners and plan an escape). I heard that just a few days before my arrest, on March the 30th, Robespierre sent his friends Danton and Desmoulins to the guillotine. I must say, I am surprised. As mentioned, I certainly do not agree with the way Robespierre executes things, frequently slaughtering innocent people, but I am shocked that he would kill his own friends. People are starting to be suspicious of Robespierre, and many say he is a heartless tyrant.

On July 28th, 1794, Robespierre and his followers were guillotined. That is when the Reign of terror ended. 

To be honest, I was happy and for a moment, I forgot I was in prison. The guards would looked at me strangely because, well, they probably think a prisoner smiling like an idiot is crazy. This happiness, however, did not last long. News spread that my friend Pauline got arrested… I’m sorry, I’d rather not talk about this topic. Lets fast forward to 1795, August the 18th, the day I was released. France in still very much poor and hungry. I figured that this place is no longer safe for me. I must leave. This is why I can’t tell you where I am, because I am in hiding. I would disguise myself and sneak in to town, which is how I keep up with all that is happening. Since then, France has been in many wars with many different countries. Newspapers say the most successful army is lead by a fellow named Napoleon. I am hesitant in judging his character, because as of now, he seems like a responsible and reasonable person. Whether or not he will become another King Louis or Robespierre is unknown. I don’t completely trust him, but then again, after all that’s happened, how can I trust anyone?

bonaparte_napoleon
How would you judge Napoleon’s character?

I worry for the future France will have. It is clear the result is that the greed and immorality of our leaders quickly destroys all of France. I certainly want people to remember me as “Red Rosa”, the “Heroine of August Tenth”, the woman who fought for other women’s rights, and a proud founder of the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women. I hope no one repeats the mistakes our political leaders have made in the future.

As Napoleon takes over the Directory, I knew that the revolution had come to an end. He is a great leader so far, but I am a little afraid of all that power he carries… What will France be like 5 years from now? My health is slowly failing, though I am happy to have made a change in this revolution. Now I can live in this tiny sliver of peace, even though I don’t know what the future may hold.

Claire Lacombe of France

Antoine Barnave: I Can Taste the Guillotine

I am writing to you from jail today.

It is November of 1793 and I am in the city of Fort Barraux sitting in this cold, dark, and eerie jail cell. The past couple of years have not gone in my favour, and my future does not look pleasant either.

My entire career came to a close in early 1792, after my group, the feuillants, were driven out of the assembly following our disapproval of the war against Austria. The people these days seem to not be able to tolerate anything as any objections given are refused with anger. Anyway, my disapproval of the war was not the only thing that led me to jail, rather suspicion of treason was what everyone assumed. Having heard my views, you know that I am supportive of a constitutional monarchy that consists of a king, as I wrote in the constitution of 1791. I must admit that I was sympathetic to the royal family and I helped them plan a counter-revolution, but I do not believe these actions account for treason. It is my opinion whether or not I support the monarchy, and I just wanted to satisfy all the people by creating the constitution of 1791. Nonetheless, I am still here sitting in jail. Oh mon dieu!

I was at the legislative assembly for the final time on August of 1792 before I was denounced and arrested in Grenoble. 10 months later, I got transported to Fort Barraux, where I am now. My situation does not look good, and I do not expect to live much longer. But what is the point? The country is slowly deteriorating courtesy of Monsieur Robespierre. The revolutionaries clearly do not know what they are doing. The people should have just listened to me… isn’t that what I do? I am an orator and politician, my job is to speak to the people and convince in making the “right” decision. But what can I do now? The royal family has already perished and the constitution of 1793 has been implemented… no king… Good luck France.

I predict a lot more bloodshed in France’s future. What’s more, if the people find out about my correspondence with Marie Antoinette, the consequences will not be pleasant. I feel that I have done everything possible to help France. I guess my opinion was in the minority this time and I unfortunately could not do anything.

Note to self, carefully choose sides as your decision may turn deadly.

The French Resolution

Fall 1793

It appears that these tumultuous times are drawing to a close – at least for now. Louis-Auguste has been executed, and rumours are circulating that Marie-Antoinette has been doing some horrible deeds: it is almost certain she will be executed. This effectively puts an end to the near-absolute power held by the nobles, royals and clergy. It is up to the Jacobins now to channel the general will into a suitable form of government: whether that is a monarchy, aristocracy, democracy or what have you does not matter to me.

All that I wish is that the people will make the choice together, and it will be a fair vote that is carried out as the people need. This revolution has shown the French that a group of united people can topple even the oldest monarchies, and I hope they continue to practice what they have learned and all take part in being active citizens in France, taking part in the decision making and hard work alike, so that they may all reap equal benefits as part of the country.  We need to have no trickery, or inner alliances but an open, honest country that serves its people. If everyone can do this, France will prosper and become a role model for the rest of the world.

I have been dead for 15 years now, and I am pleasantly surprised that people have read my writings, and some, like the Jacobins, even look to them as a guide. I should like to think of myself as that, a guide: holding a lantern in the night so that those who wish to follow my ideals may walk in my light and be guided to wherever they want to go safely. I do not expect everyone to have such silly fantasies as me, though! I simply hope to be remembered as the man who lived for the collective. Even if they do not remember my name, I hope they remember my thoughts about equality of authority, and the good of the general will. And finally, just as the guide does after the traveller is in his home, I shall extinguish my light here and move on to another place in the night – perhaps to another traveller who needs guidance, or perhaps to the place where no living man has ever been. I do not know yet; I venture out, and I will know when I arrive.

Signed,

       Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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Madame Tallien: Prison is not a Pleasent Experience

My dear Papa,

You will not believe the outrage that has happened! I, Theresa, have been imprisonned by these foul revolutoinaries! Like a common criminal! That- that horrid man, Rosbipeierre and his gang, have decided that being born an aristocrat is a crime! A crime!. As if it was my choice to be born with a high status (if it was my choice, I would have chosen aristocracy, though. Being a queen is far too dangerous, have you heard of poor Marie Antoinette?). This prison is horrible, much too dirty for someone of my rank, and I’m sure these guards are even reading my letters.

Have you heard the news of the king, papa? As much as I am sympathetic, I must admit he had it coming. Those rumors of the locked chest, papa? In this country, traitors are not welcome. Even if he wasn’t necessarily plotting with them, even a correspondence is dangerous.

Still, I remain hopeful papa. I still remain my childishly vain self as I remark that my looks have not been overlooked here. You did teach me how to use the situation to my advantage. with any luck, I will escape and be more powerful than ever. If I do not, then I fear the guillotine may be my end. If that is to come true, know that I love you, papa.

Your loving daughter,

Theresa

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Charlotte Corday: I killed one man to save 100,000

Well, what an eventful end to my time in this revolution. Jean-Paul was threatening the republic too much. He needed to be dealt with. So I decided that what goes around, comes around. He stabbed us all in the back so I stabbed him in the back on July 13, 1793. Originally I planned on making a public spectacle, however his skin condition caused me to reorganize. I leave you with my Addresse aux Français amis des lois et de la paix further explaining my motives. Let me tell you this though. I killed Marat under the belief that his death will stop the violence that is happening in France and it will prevent the risk of an all-out civil war. My only regret is that my plan did not allow me to see whether or not my sacrifice was in vain. I was executed in the guillotine four days later. They gave me a trial where I explained that I killed Marat in order to save the 100 000 that I believed would one day die at his hand. Hopefully, when this revolution has died down and authority has stopped being challenged, France will come out strong with a Republic and no mass murderers in charge. I wish that I will not be forgotten after my sacrifice and though I did not mind dying for the good of the people, I hope that I will not go without recognition.