The Day of Tiles, 7 June 1788, marked the first political involvement of the Third Estate, as well as the first instance of reactionary violence.
Provoked by anger towards the government who had dissolved the Paris Parlement, several hundred urban workers in Grenoble threw tiles at the National Guard who had been deployed there to control the growing resentment among the populace about the lack of reform. This resentment was particularly fostered due to the adverse combination of continuing high taxes and feudal dues, with very poor harvests and the rising cost of bread, a food staple. According to Schama, the Day of Tiles “signified the breakdown of royal authority”.
There were several other similar riots across France, in both regional and metropolitan areas around that time as well, led by the example of Grenoble.
Soon afterwards, between 8 and 16 August 1788, France was declared officially bankrupt.
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