La Marseillaise
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisile was a captain of the engineers and an amateur musician. In 1792, France rejected an Austrian ultimatum (a demand which is accomplished under a specific time period). France declared war on Austria on April 20, 1792, a war that caused many disagreements among the French politicians. During 1792-1797 the War of the First Coalition involved Britain, Holland, Spain, Sardinia, and Napes. de Lisile composed La Marseillaise in Strasbourg on April 25, 1792 as a nationalistic response to the war. It was sung by Fran├žois Mireur at the banquet in Marseille which was to celebrate the departure of soldiers leaving for the front and to honor officers who was to participate in France campaign against Austria. Due to his work he was saved from dying by the hand of the guillotine. He was jailed because as a royalist he refused to take the oath of the allegiance to the new constitution. The song became the national anthem of France on July 14, 1795.

La Marseillaise composed by Claude Joseph Roujet de Lisle in Strasbourg on April 25, 1792

What defines the French Revolution

*movement was opened by the period of Enlightenment
-humans were capable of producing changes; equality and rights -> The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens
-reforming institutions so they were based on reasoning
*destroying the "Old Regime"
-abolish absolutism, feudalism and having legal equality
*sovereignty of the nation

La Marseillaise

*declaration of the Third Estate in building a constitution in 1789
*reflects nationalism and patriotic feelings (moving away from absolutism ideas)
-in the lyrics it speaks of freedom and refers to the people by using the word "our" and "citizen"
-the volunteers of the banquet marched to Paris and as they entered they sang the song
-copies were printed and distributed to revolutionary forces
*citizens gathered/supported because they believed that they are capable of creating changes
*it was so revolutionary that in 14 July 1795 it was banned by Napoleon under the Empire, it was reinstated in 1830 but was banned again by Napoleon III and finally reinstated in 1879

"France." Encyclopedia of National Anthems. Ed. Xing Hang. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2003. 237-240. Secondary School Collection. Web. 2 June 2010.
Halsall, Paul. "La Marseillaise. Modern History Sourcebook". 2 June 2010. <>.
Newman, Garfield. "Legacy: The West and the World". Whitby, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 2002.