Answers to yesterday’s Bastille Day quiz

Answers to the Eleventh Annual Bastille Day Quiz

(All questions and answers are drawn from Teaching Representations of the French Revolution, ed. Julia Douthwaite Viglione, Antoinette Sol, and Catriona Seth [New York: Modern Language Association, 2019]).

A. Revolutionary History in Europe and Abroad

1. a. Robespierre issued this warning. See Christopher Tozzi, “Teaching the Revolution through a Military Lens” in Teaching Representations of the French Revolution (TRFR)

2. d. All of the above. For more on the queen’s terrible image in the public eye, see Dominica Chang, “French Revolutionary Women: A Century of Media Representation” and Melissa Deininger, “The French Revolution and Modern Propaganda” in TRFR.

3. c. Greece. In 1821, Greek revolutionaries in the Balkans and the Peloponnese rebelled against their Ottoman rulers. The conflict, known as the Greek War of Independence, was the first national revolution against a foreign rule since the American Revolution. An independent kingdom of Greece was finally established in 1832. With thanks to Rosa Mucignat and Sanja Perovic; for more on the spread of revolutionary ideas in Europe, see their co-written essay, “The French Revolution Effect: France, Italy, Germany, Greece” in TRFR.

4. d. Jean-Jacques Rousseau coined those terms and Jeffrey Champlin explains their impact in his essay, “Rights, Revolution, Representation: Thinking through the Language of the French Revolution” in TRFR.

5. b. Gens de couleur had a complicated meaning, as explained by Pratima Prasad in “Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Slavery and Colonialism in a Time of Revolution” in TRFR.

6.a. A law named for Deputy Jean Le Chapelier is considered a watershed moment for civic engagement in France, see Logan J. Connors, “Teaching the Revolution’s Theater as Cultural History” in TRFR.

7. d. All of the above, as notes Beth S. Wright in “’Speaking to All the Senses at Once’: The French Revolution through the Visual Arts” in TRFR.

8. d. J. H. Campe, author of Briefe aus Paris, a prorevolutionary manifesto published in 1789-90, was the only one on this list who survived. See Amir Minsky, “The French Revolution and the German Chimera: Theatricality, Emotions, and the Untransferability of Revolution in J.H. Campe’s Briefe aus Paris” in TRFR.

9. c. The optical telegraph was invented in the 1790s as a means of defense and intelligence. See Amaya Martin-Fernandez and José A. Martin-Pereda, “The French Revolution and the Beginning of Modern Communications” in TRFR.

10. d. All of the above, as noted by J. B. Mertz in “Teaching the Revolution Debate: Edmund Burke, His Radical Respondents, and William Blake” in TRFR.

11. a. Dutty Boukman led a voodoo ceremony on the night of August 13-14, 1791 which has been portrayed in wildly different ways by artists and historians; see Ronan Y. Chalmin, “How Should an Invisible Event Be Taught? The Haitian Revolution as Pedagogical Case Study” in TRFR.

12. b. Dessalines is said to have ripped the white out of a French flag, thereby creating the Haitian flag (red and blue). See Marlene L. Daut, “Teaching Perspective: The Relation between the Haitian and French Revolutions” in TRFR.

13. d. 51% were members of the third estate, 25% of the clergy, and 17% of the aristocracy. See Ourida Mostefai, “Exile, Displacement, and Citizenship: Émigrés from the French Revolution to the Twenty-first Century” in TRFR.

14. b. Simón Bolívar. However Francisco de Miranda is widely beloved as the forerunner of Bolívar. On Latin American involvement in revolutionary events, see Amy E. Wright, “From Transnational Political Thought to Popular National Iconography: Latin America’s Cult of Liberté in the Age of Revolution” in TRFR.

B. Cultural Echoes and Reminders

15. d. All of those songs are great for teaching French! See Habiba Boumlik and Robin Kietlinski, “Teaching the French Revolution at a Community College: Challenges and Benefits” and Erin A. Myers, “The Sans-culottides: Learning Revolutionary-Era French Culture through Celebration and a Reading of Hugo’s Quatrevingt-treize” in TRFR.

16. a. Chambord was the model for the chimneys at Waddeson Manor; see Katherine Astbury, “Engaging Students in Research: Stop-Motion Videos, Strip Cartoons, and the Waddeson Manor Collection of Prints” in TRFR.

17. d. All of the above. See Giulia Pacini, “Ideas on the Table: Teaching with the Faïences révolutionnaires” in TRFR.

18. c. The defeat of the wolf means a royal overthrow of revolution, according to John Pizer in “Teaching the French Revolution in Late Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century German Literature Classes” in TRFR.

19. c. Francisco de Goya immortalized the people’s reaction against the French in his famous paintings. See Yvonne Fuentes, “The French Revolution’s Echo in Spain through Literary and Satirical Representations” in TRFR.

20. c. The Confederate Army. See Jennifer Gipson, “Rethinking History: The ‘Marseillaise noire’ and Legacies of the Revolution in Creole New Orleans” in TRFR.

21. c. President Mitterand left the screening of Danton, directed by Andrzej Wajda: for more on revolutionary myth-making and its dangers, see Lauren Pinzka, “Teaching the French Revolution as Myth and Memory” in TRFR.

22. d. All of the above: Médine and Kery James are rappers; Abd al Malik is a slam poet. For more on their art and connection to revolutionary politics, see Séverine Rebourcet, “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, and Laïcité: Frenchness, Islam, and French Hip Hop” in TRFR.

23. b. “Je suis Charlie” became a free speech slogan around the world, as explained by Melanie Conroy in “Teaching Revolutionary Culture through Caricature: The Scandal of Charlie Hebdo” in TRFR.

24. c. “It is too soon to tell.” See Matthew Lau, “Writing to Appreciate the Enigmas of Danton’s Death and Monsieur Toussaint at the Community College” in TRFR.

25. d. The “Pretty Paris” face mask, the “Paris révolutionnaire” pillows, and the children’s books are all available from Honey Girl Books and Gifts, LLC: a small business in Seattle, WA (run by yours truly, JDV).  Also on Etsy.


Image by Jeanne-Louise Vallain, dite Nanine (1767 – 1815), courtesy of

Thanks and bon courage!


2 thoughts on “Answers to yesterday’s Bastille Day quiz

  1. 100%= you’re an expert!
    90% not bad
    80% thanks for caring
    70 and below–try again next year!
    Hungry for a painless way to learn? get the big, well-illustrated book, “Chronicle of the French Revolution, 1788-1799”. It is my favorite (I used to carry it to my Fr Rev classes, out of anxiety about not knowing something!). It offers day-by-day articles on art, culture, fashion, personal interest stories, political news, and an encyclopedia of influential people in the last decade of the 18th century.

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