Fear > Fête de la Fédération
> A Summary of what happened...
May of 1790, the districts of Paris decided to celebrate the first anniversary
of the Storming of the Bastille, which had taken place on July 14 of
the year previous. The idea was greeted with enthusiasm from all, and
it was eventually agreed that representatives from the National Guard
would swear allegiance to the Nation, the Law and the Crown; Mass would
be said by Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun, and a Te Deum sing; and the
banners of the 83 departments of France would be blessed. Both royalists
had reservations about inviting large numbers of provincial milita
to Paris, but in the end they posed no threat.
The festival itself was basically a cross between a military parade and a religious rally. The active participants, the National Guard, paraded through Paris to the Champ-de-Mars, crossing a pontoon bridge to pass through a huge temporary triumphal arch with figurative bas-reliefs and mottos extolling constitutional monarchy and celebrating the new era of freedom.
The Fête de la Fédération was an opportunity for the Church and State to share harmonious relations which had not happened for some time.